Ailie Robertson is a musician in the broadest sense: composer, arranger, teacher, improviser and harp virtuoso.
Ailie grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was immersed in the harp world from an early age. Through her piano and clarsach lessons she developed a love for both classical and traditional music, and in 2005 gained a 1stclass MA in Irish Music Performance from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
At 23 years old, she already had some of the most impressive credentials in the Scottish harp world. A 4time National Mod Gold Medalist, she was also 1st prizewinner at the inaugural London Harp Competition, and best overall musician at the Edinburgh Competition Festival.
She has represented Commun na Clarsach for Scotland at the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland, and in 2005 she was awarded a scholarship from the ESU in recognition of her ‘virtuosic clarsach playing’, and was a winner of the St Albans New Roots award. She played in the Scottish Harp Orchestra, Na Clarsairean for many years, performing with them at two World Harp Congresses in Seattle and Prague.
Since graduating in 2006, Ailie has been going from strength to strength as a professional musician and has steadily gained recognition as a performer and composer. She works as a soloist for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! program, and has given recitals at events all over Scotland, including performing for the British Queen, and being invited to give a private concert to the Lord High Commissioner and his guests.
She has played alongside many great Irish and Scottish musicians and has supported BBC award winner Karine Polwart. Notable festival appearances include Sidmouth, Cornwall, Whitby, The Edinburgh International Harp Festival, St Albans and many others.
When she is not in the studio or on the road, Ailie is a much sought after teacher around the UK and Ireland. She has taught at various festivals, was cofounder and director of the highly successful Borders Harp Weekend and tutors regularly for Feisean nan Gaidheal, as well as teaching privately and in several schools.
She released her first album with her band The Outside Track on the Bedspring Music label.
On her album Traditional Spirits she is joined by Patsy Reid on fiddles, Adam Sutherland on fiddle, Fraser Fifield on whistles and saxophone, James Ross on piano, Mattie Foulds on percussion, Conrad Molleson on double bass, and Tom Oakes on guitar.
The Little Lights CD features Scottish, Irish, Quebecois and original compositions arranged for Celtic harp.
First Things First (2007)
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.