Mairi Campbell was one of the pioneers to introduce the viola as an effective aesthetic voice in Scottish traditional music, and to reintroduce solo step-dancing to Scotland in the early 90s.
She is a viola player, singer and songwriter whose music has a rooted and powerful quality. She continues to push the boundaries of the traditional music scene with her soundings and improvisations.
In 2017, Mairi’s theatre show Mairi Campbell: Pulse was nominated for Event of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. She has also been named Instrumentalist of the Year, Scots Singer of The Year, and Tutor of The Year, and received the Live Ireland Music Award for Best Female Musician of the Year and Best Composition of the Year.
Mairi’s voice was heard worldwide when her version of Auld Lang Syne, with David Francis as The Cast, was used in a pivotal scene in the film Sex and The City (2008). She has performed the song at the Kennedy Center Awards before President Clinton and at the Scottish Parliament. In 2018 Mairi re-recorded Auld Lang Syne with Dave Francis and is to debut her theatre show Auld Lang Syne at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Mairi plays regularly with the Occasionals, Mr McFalls Chamber and Caledonia Concerto. She was musical director of the Edinburgh-based folk-choir Sangstream for 12 years and has worked extensively as a session musician.
She is a skilled and experienced free improviser who has continuously developed her practice and found collaborators and mentors in this field. Most recently she has worked with Kath Burlinson of Authentic Artist Collective and Paul Oertel and Nancy Spanier. She is also trained in InterPlay, a cross-form arts and community building practice.
Mairi originally studied viola at the Guildhall School of Music and attended Peter Wiegold and Peter Renshaw’s pioneering course Music Performance and Communication Skills in 1985.
Other influences are Benno Plassmann of the Working Party and Sahaja Yoga. In 2007 she founded her own music retreats on the Isle of Lismore.