Laurel MacDonald and Mary Jane Lamond are first cousins who have been singing together since they were very young. Although they both have actively pursued independent musical careers, they have also continued creative collaborations through recording and performance. In Patchwork, they have come together to revisit the folk song tradition and to explore its music, sounds and imagery from a contemporary perspective.
Nova Scotia-based singer and musician Mary Jane Lamond released her first album Bho Thir Nan Craobh in 1994, and soon after recorded the hit song Sleepy Maggie, a duet with fiddler Ashley Maclsaac that enjoyed major commercial success in Canada and internationally. She has dedicated her musical career to the preservation of the Scottish Gaelic language, has garnered numerous awards, widespread critical acclaim and a worldwide audience for her efforts. Her most recent project is a collaboration with Cape Breton fiddler Wendy MacIsaac. In 2012 they released the CD Seinn, to rave reviews. Mary Jane’s five solo recordings create a contemporary framework for ancient Gaelic songs, and her spellbinding performances make this music truly come alive.
“Lamond’s voice is an instrument of crystalline perfection that infuses fresh life into this old, old music… a latter-day Gaelic diva.”
Laurel MacDonald is a singer, composer and video artist who has released four solo albums and has performed at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Central Park Summerstage in New York, the Monterey World Music Festival in California, MUTEK in Montreal, and Sound Symposium in St. John’s Newfoundland. Her dance and music videos have screened at art and film festivals in six countries. Her award-winning video/audio installation XXIX, featuring 21 singers and 21 channels of sound, was exhibited at Nuit Blanche in Toronto, at BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre), and at AngelicA Festival Internazionale di Musica, in Bologna, Italy.
“MacDonald plums the spiritual depths with her mystical voice, turning a kaleidoscope that revolves around the listener in sultry polyrhythms and ghostly vocal gymnastics.”