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Salm Volume One - Gaelic Psalms from the Hebrides of Scotland

arc light editions


Released: 2nd Feb 2018


this is a uniquely soul-stirring recording of human voices united and at their most affecting – a powerful document of a living tradition.

In Gaelic psalm singing, a precentor leads, and from here voices follow, moving together in great swells like the murmurations of birds. These recordings of Gaelic Psalm singing were originally made over two evenings in the Back Free Church on the Isle of Lewis in October 2003. The singing was spontaneous and totally unrehearsed. The sound comes in great waves, swells of sound that break and roll around the space. The texture relies on the individuals: this is group singing where the individual is preserved, elevated, but together. A precentor leads off with the first lines of a psalm, and the congregation follows, some faster than others, and each one remains discernible.

Salm Volume One - Gaelic Psalms from the Hebrides of Scotland


  1. Psalm 16: 8-9: Kilmarnock: Calum Martin (Tong)
  2. Psalm 9:10-11: Montrose, Angus Graham (Barvas)
  3. Psalm 48: 13-14: St David: Rev James Maciver (Knock) 4. Psalm
  4. Verse 1: Martyrdom: John Macsween (Tarbert)
  5. Psalm 79: 3-4: Martyrs: Donald J Macdonald (Barvas)
  6. Psalm 63: 2-3: New London: Donald Macleod (Bayble)
  7. Psalm 103: 1-2 Dundee: Rev Neil Shaw (Conon-Bridge)
  8. Psalm 16: 5-7 Moravia: Kenneth A Makay (Vig)
  9. Psalm 13: 1-2 Walsall: Murdo Maclennan (Marvig)
  10. Psalm 45: 13-14 Bedford: Murdo Kennedy (Marvig)
  11. Psalm
  12. 1-2 Bangor: Iain Macaskill (Tolsta)
  13. Psalm
  14. Stornoway: John Murdo Martin (Portree)