Lauren MacColl is considered one of Scotland’s most expressive fiddle players. Her performances are emotive, engaging and informed by an equal helping of tradition and technique. “The opening medley swiftly established many key hallmarks of MacColl’s playing: its wealth of dynamic variety and colour, the fluid agility and full-bodied weight of her bowing, her authoritative balance of fire and lyricism, vivacity and elegance.” (The Scotsman)
Originally from the Black Isle, she was immersed in the rich culture of the Highlands from a young age, learning her traditional music through the Feisean movement in Ross-Shire. “Even with MacColl’s own compositions, one did not have to scratch too far to find some Gaeltachd influences with MacColl one fiddler who owes a clear debt to the Highland piping traditions as much as her own instrument.” (Inverness Courier). She continues to be inspired by old music from her home area, those tunes forming much of her repertoire.
In 2004 Lauren won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award as a soloist, a platform for her to launch her career with her band ‘The MacCollective’, with whom she released two acclaimed albums on her own her own label, ‘When Leaves Fall‘ and ‘Strewn with Ribbons‘. The former was named ‘Classic Album‘ of Celtic Connections Festival 2008, and the second led to her win of the title ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ at The MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2009.
Lauren currently performs with many regular projects: with chamber-folk quartet RANT, on viola and fiddle with Salt House , in the Rachel Newton Band and in a duo with flautist Calum Stewart. She appears regularly as a session musician on recordings by such artists as Blue Rose Code, Siobhan Miller, Ewan Maclennan and as part of RANT recorded strings for Julie Fowlis’ latest album ‘Gach Sgeul’.
In 2017 Lauren premiered a new commission for Feis Rois titled 'The Seer' - 40 minutes of music based on the life and prophecies of the Brahan Seer. The music will be released as an album this summer.
A learning environment -
As a tutor Lauren has given workshops and summer schools in fiddle playing, ensemble work and music theory across the country. Her passion for teaching led her to set up the Black Isle Fiddle Weekend, a hugely successful festival for adult learners in Cromarty each July, and she continues to teach at RCS Junior Conservatoire, for various Feisean and privately.
With Thanks -
Lauren is a previous recipient of the Dewar Award for Excellence in the Arts, and has also been previously supported by Creative Scotland (formally Scottish Arts Council), Arts Trust Scotland, Friends of Highland Music, and the Highland Music Trust, all to whom she is hugely grateful.