Mairi Campbell and Kath Burlinson chat about collaborating together

Mairi Campbell and Kath Burlinson at the the List magazine's party at Summerhall, Edinburgh
Mairi Campbell and Kath Burlinson at the List magazine’s party at Summerhall, Edinburgh

Mairi Campbell and Authentic Artist Collective founder Kath Burlinson have been collaborating together since 2009. Their latest work Mairi Campbell: Pulse is running at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall from 3-28 August. 

In the first of this three-part series, Mairi and Kath talk about what it’s like working together, what they have learned from each other, and what it means to be an authentic artist. 


How has it been working together? 

Mairi: Very comfortable. We’ve been working together since 2009 in different ways, all of which, so far, has been a lot of fun! We both seem able to adopt roles for the work to be made.  

Kath: I’ve really enjoyed working on Pulse with Mairi – it’s been very harmonious and organic, but we’ve also ventured into very new territory for Mairi, beyond comfort zones. The depth and breadth of our creative relationship has allowed this to be possible. 


What have you learned since working with each other? 

Mairi: I’ve had some serious downloads in the past few years from wonderful mentors to whom I am so grateful. I seem to be gradually learning to let go and trust myself. Trust in my craft as a musician.  I’m also learning to love playing concerts and gigs! 

Kath: Mairi had a clear vision for the piece – some elements, such as the set, I was unsure of at first, but I have learned to trust Mairi’s strong sense of what is needed – she feels things vibrationally, and that’s taught me things too. 


What’s one interesting fact you’ve learned about each other in the time you’ve been working together? 

Mairi: Kath Burlinson has clear insight into creativity and each individual’s relationships and the blocks that get in the way.   

The Authentic Artist community is a practical and artistic support network.  

Kath: Mairi can take the mickey out of herself, which is a great quality! 


What does it mean to be an authentic artist?  

Mairi: For each person, I think there’s be a different answer, but to me it’s about facing and honouring my life as it is, and make art from there – to see as clearly as possible, to realise (seeing life with real eyes).    

Kath: I’m still finding out. That’s the point. It’s a practice, not a concept. I have guided more than 40 Authentic Artist workshops in Scotland and England and formed the Authentic Artist Collective and we are all exploring this question, through our artistry. 


Mairi Campbell: Pulse 
The Old Lab, Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
3-28 AUG 14:25 (15:20), PREVIEWS: 3 & 4 / BSLI : 18 & 25, NO PERFORMANCE: 15 & 22 
Buy Pulse tickets here:

Alastair McIntosh retreat on Iona

Alastair-McIntosh-byDominqueCartonScottish author, academic and activist Alastair McIntosh and I are leading the retreat Pilgrimage Week on the isle of Iona from 19 – 25 September 2016.

Alastair and I are interested in the healing power of the land and its communities. The retreat’s focus is on exploring the journey of life, its stages and spiritualities.

Alastair was brought up in Leurbost on the Isle of Lewis and is involved with Scottish land reform. He campaigned successfully against the Harris superquarry in Lingerbay and is a fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology. Alastair helped to set up the Govan-based GalGael Trust, which he is still actively involved with.

Alastair’s newly published book Poacher’s Pilgrimage  is about his 12-day pilgrimage through the islands of the Outer Hebrides, home to some of the most remote and spectacular scenery in the world. They host an astonishing range of mysterious structures: stone circles, beehive dwellings, holy wells and ’temples’ from the Celtic era that resonate to this day. 

The retreat takes place on stunning Iona (Scottish Gaelic: Ì Chaluim Chille), a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the Ross of Mull on the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Gaelic monasticism for four centuries and is known for its tranquility and natural beauty.

For more information on the retreat please email Alastair or visit the Iona Community website.

Win tickets to Pulse at the Fringe

_MG_1683Mairi is giving away a pair of tickets to her theatre show Pulse at Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3-28 August. Because she’s cool like that!

Just fill in the contact form below to tell us your favourite Mairi Campbell song and, all importantly, why it’s your favourite. You might love Auld Lang Syne because it reminds you of a special New Year’s celebration or you might prefer one of new tracks from her latest album Pulse. If you aren’t so familiar with Mairi’s music or don’t yet know her new material, check out the audio players on the shop page or on SoundCloud.

Please also tell us which shows you can attend and we will do our absolute best to accommodate that.

Mairi will then pick her favourite answer and we’ll be in touch by email to let you know if you have won.

We’d also like to post some of your responses in a follow-up post and on social media. So please let us know if you prefer to remain anonymous and, if not, what your Twitter hashtag is?


Mairi Campbell: Pulse is showing at: 

Summerhall, the Old Lab
August 3-14, 16-21, 23-28
2.25 – 3.20 pm

With love, Mairi’s team xx




Pulse, Pulse and more Pulse in Mairi’s July newsletter

Click here for the link to the July newsletter in MailChimp or read it below.

Hi folks, getting very excited about Pulse at the Fringe… just sayin’! Tickets on sale now.

Kath Burlinson, co-deviser and director of Pulse, and I recently recorded a series of short videos about and around the show. We chat about the inspiration for the show, its themes, my connection to Scotland and to Gaelic, our highlights and even some of the gaffes along the way … such as the time we left the computer containing the whole show in the bar at the Tron Theatre! We’ll be distributing the videos on social media before and during the Fringe run and we hope you might enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them.

More details about the show on the flyer below. Book tickets here.








Pulse: Made in Scotland!

It really feels huge for Pulse to be selected as part of Made in Scotland, a curated showcase of Scottish performance on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

This year, the showcase features 19 world-class dance, music and theatre shows, which the Herald’s Mary Brennan has described as “a vivid reflection of the creative energies at work within Scotland today”.

Check out the Made in Scotland website for the full list of acts. And here’s the short promo video of all of us.

Made in Scotland showcase 2016 from Made in Scotland on Vimeo.


Authentic Artist Collective at the Fringe

There are eight other members of Kath Burlinson’s Authentic Artist Collective with shows at the Fringe this year. So if you are confounded by all the choice of the Fringe why not go and see one of my artistic colleagues.

The Human Zoo Giant – click here for more info
Sarah-Louise Young Cabaret Whore presents La Poule Plombée – click here for more info

Skye Reynolds A: Version and Pitch – click here for more info

Christine Firkin The Fabulous Punch & Judy Show – click here for more info
Amy Duncan – who is playing for one night only, on Aug 21 – click here for more info.  

Gabrielle Margulies Paper Hearts the Musical – click here for more info 

Elyssa Vulpes Front Line – click here for more info

Mairi Campbell: Pulse at Summerhall – click here for tickets

Pulse the album

As many of you know, the show Pulse features six tracks from the album Pulse, which is the result of an ongoing collaboration since 2012 between producer Dave Gray of Soundcafe Studios and me.
Dave and I continue to work together in the studio. The music is guiding us and some fascinating tracks are emerging that will likely make up another album and theatre show. Dave’s skill in production, and as a musician, is right up there … and he makes a fine cuppa too!
‘Side by Side’ is probably my favourite track on the album due to the balance of image, sound and story weaving a magic presence. But they all mean a lot. ‘What the Devil ails ye?’ conveys my sense of loss and anger at being disconnected from traditional music during my time at the Guildhall school of music. ‘Darling don’t be silent’ gets the whole audience singing along during Pulse, which feels absolutely magical. And ‘Minnie’s House’ takes us to Minnie McMaster’s kitchen in Cape Breton, where I learn to do the old style of Scottish step dancing.
The CD of Pulse if currently sold out but you can still get the download and listen to snippets from the album in the shop on my website.

And before the Fringe…

There’s a lot to fit in before the Fringe run kicks off on the 3rd August.
I’ve already been up on Lismore for a few days and am just back from Cornwall to rehearse with violist pal, Sophie, who is the daughter of Peter Renshaw who features in the show. This evening I’m doing a gig at Leith Folk Club, and this coming weekend there’s a performance and a workshop at Music on the Marr festival in Cumbria (23rd and 24th). It’s a full on summer!
And did I mention that the Fringe run kicks off on 3 August??! 

There are cheaper tickets on 3 & 4 August at our Preview shows and it would be lovely to see some familiar faces there. We also have 2-4-1 tickets on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 August so take a late lunch and bring a pal!

Hope to see you there.
“The sky was clear – remarkably clear – and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse.”
Thomas Hardy