Birlinn Jiarg was brought together by multi-instrumentalist Beccy Hurst to perform the traditional Manx music she grew up with as well as her own compositions. Having performed with various Manx bands and dance teams over the years, Beccy moved to England to study on the Folk Degree at Newcastle University.
At the center of Birlinn Jiarg’s sound is the combination of Beccy’s whistle and concertina playing and the clarinet and flute of Freya Rae (Freya Rae and Louis Bingham, Tom Kitching Band). The unusual combination of low whistle and clarinet was what originally inspired the band’s formation and sets Birlinn Jiarg’s sound apart from more traditional line-ups.
Having performed in a duo with Beccy for a few years, Scottish guitarist and bouzouki player Alasdair Paul (Pons Aelius, Kimber/Paul) was a natural choice for Birlinn Jiarg. Completing the quartet’s line-up is bodhránist Callum Younger (Pons Aelius, Trio FCT). Callum and Alasdair have worked together on a variety of projects and their inventive and powerful accompaniment provides a great platform for Beccy’s and Freya’s melodic interplay.