Congratulations to Benedict Morris who has been nominated in Up and Coming Artist of the Year sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2020. Vote here! Vote now!
We asked Benedict Morris the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2019, Benedict Morris from Glasgow is a rising star of traditional music. Boasted for his “Virtuosity” by Irish Music Magazine and hailed “Magnificent” by Sharon Mair at BBC Scotland, Benedict is already making a huge impact on the traditional music scene.
In January 2019, Benedict was named BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year as part of Celtic Connections. He is a founding member of his 3 current bands, Benedict Morris & Cormac Crummey, Arkus and EADAOIN where their music is stemmed from their upbringing in traditional music using a mixture of traditional tunes as well as their own and produce instrumental music steeped in emotion, drive and vivacity. He also tours freelance with several Irish Dance companies across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
In September 2019, Benedict took the stage at the Last Night of ‘Proms in the Park’ in Glasgow Green, accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell. This was a performance was recognised as the ‘stand-out moment’ of the night by Proms Executive Producer Stephanie McWhinnie.
Some of Benedict’s accolades as well as the Young Musician of the Year include a BMus in Classical Violin from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was also Long-Listed for the Northern Ireland Album of the Year with Benedict Morris & Cormac Crummey for their album ‘Wavelength’ as well as having several 5 star reviews as a soloist and as member of his current bands.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
I’ve had a passion for traditional music since I started learning the fiddle when I was little. From listening to a wide range of Scottish music growing up, I became obsessed with it and was always making my own sets that I’d imagine I’d play when I started my career. I’ve been fortunate enough to play some amazing gigs and tours already in my career and to be able to perform and convey your own music, to share your story and emotions to people all across the world is an indescribable feeling that I don’t want to let go of.
Any particular career highlights?
To play at Proms in the Park in your home city was an amazing moment. There was two sets that I played which were both orchestrated beautifully for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. It was some of the first music I had ever put together as well so to play it again but with this incredible body of sound behind you was unreal – I had goosebumps!
In 2018 I also played the 3 Arena in Dublin as part of a suicide awareness event for high school students in Ireland. The venue was full and it was a brilliant event all together. The kids loved every second so that was a special moment considering the importance of the message to young people in Ireland.
What are your plans for the future?
Throughout lockdown I’ve been writing lots of music for release in 2021, some for current bands and some for other projects that will be announced next year. Collaborating with different musicians is what we all love and when you find the right fit of people then something magic can happen with the music. I cannot wait to release the new music and new projects next year and perform & tour them with in the future so fingers crossed we can return to playing live as soon as possible – you won’t want to miss out on a ticket!
The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, Na Trads 2020, will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on 12th December 2020 at 9pm where the award winners will be announced along with specially recorded music performances. During the day on Saturday the 12th, you will be able to watch from 1pm til 9pm a day of live Scottish trad music including Kinnaris Quintet, Dallahan, Inyal, Paul McKenna Band, Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth and many more here https://youtu.be/amByvVzxl5E. Keep up to date with all the latest information by joining the Hands Up for Trad newsletter at https://handsup.link/Newsletter or use the hashtags #natrads #HUFTonline.
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