Craig Armstrong’s interest in the Gaelic Psalm tradition has now led to the creation of a very special new piece of work which will receive its world premiere in An Lanntair, Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis, 27th August 2016.

The piece of music, Ballantyne, is a collaboration with musician and composer Calum Martin, who has been involved in composing, recording, performing and teaching Gaelic music for more than 40 years. 

The world premier of Ballantyne will celebrate the spiritual music of the Islands.  

The evening will also feature members of the Scottish Ensemble, Lewis-based cellist (and former member of the Ensemble, Neil Johnstone), Highland fiddle player Duncan Chisholm and a host of psalm singers from throughout Lewis and Harris. 

Calum Martin said: “Having previously worked with Craig and The Scottish Ensemble on a commission for the Ryder Cup in 2014 called Martyrdom Variations, it is an honour and a pleasure to be working with him once again.  

“I have always believed that the key to maintaining any music tradition is the inclusion of a mix of both young and old, and at a time when the established traditional churches are turning their back on this precious musical heritage, I am delighted sufficient people are still interested and willing to help in trying to keep our Gaelic spiritual music alive.

“We acknowledge that this is firstly and fore mostly a spiritual vocal tradition but it is also a unique Scottish art form, which deserves to be nurtured and preserved.” 

The project has been created as part of Bealach, An Lanntair’s Creative Places Award winning project.  

The Ballantyne concert can be heard in An Lanntair on Saturday 27 August at 8pm.