Griogair Labhruidh pronounced 'Grigar Lowry' is a traditional Gaelic singer who sings in the seann-nòs style of the southern Hebrides and Argyll. He is also a very accomplished piper and composer of both bagpipe music and Gaelic song/poetry and belongs to a piping tradition that has been in his family for many generations. His technical ability and sensitive arrangements of traditional music on the guitar are also a huge factor in his work.
He is 24 years old and was brought up in Gartocharn on the East side of Loch Lomond and has lived for the past few years on the island of South Uist but now bases himself on the mainland. On his father's side he belongs to the Lowrey/Lawrie piping family of North Argyll and his maternal lineage, also known for piping, goes back to the the Knapdale area of Mid-Argyll. Despite family ties with both Skye and the traditionally Gaelic speaking areas of Loch Lomond, it is very much to Argyll that he belongs.
He draws much of his material from Argyllshire's incredibly rich Gaelic tradition but also has a huge interest in the bardic tradition of South Uist, which has influenced much of his own work. He is a fluent Gaelic speaker and as well as having a wealth of traditional material, he also writes original music having won the Seo Seinn competition for Best New Gaelic Song.
He regularly works with the top Gaelic acts in Scotland including: Margaret Stewart, Iain MacDonald, Allan MacDonald, Cathy Anne MacPhee and Kathleen MacInnes. He has given numerous radio and television performances including this years Hogmanay programme which featured his distinctive, playing the small pipes and singing traditional Argyllshire 'mouth music' at the same time. He regularly performs in both Ireland and Scotland and having collaborated with Irish Gaelic musicians, considers the connections between Scottish and Irish Gaelic culture a very important factor in his work.
He has performed at many music festivals including Celtic Connections and the Festival of World Cultures and in 2004 he was involved in the making of a major film production called Joyeux Noel. A wartime story based upon the 1914 Christmas Truce. In this film he was involved as a piper/actor and the following year, was asked to attend the Cannes film festival, where he played the cast of the film up the red carpet.
Griogair has done much study into the aural tradition of Argyll using materials which are housed in the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh and has recorded some of this music on his new debut album Dail-riata.
The album which was produced by Iain MacDonald (Glenuig) also includes some of his own material and gives a taste of the unique side of the Gaelic tradition that he belongs to.