The above video gives examples of Gaelic speech and song.


In this recent Voices From the North interview, musician and singer Diane Brown shares her life and her deep, unstoppable love of traditional ethnic music. She brings a keyboard into the studio and plays examples of songs from South India, Bulgaria, Japan, the Middle East, Appalachia and Scotland. Diane plays 16 instruments and would love to play 40.  Here’s the interview:



She’s collecting traditional music from around the world, having examples from 94 countries so far. She voiced a special request for traditional Bhutanese music, so if anyone out there has any please let me know.


Diane passionately outlines the story of how she got to the Mhòd on the Isle of Lewis in 2005 and became the first New Zealander ever to win there—in the traditional Scots Gaelic singing competition.


And she describes another role she has as a Gatekeeper – one who helps the spirits of those who have recently died. Don’t miss her story near the end of the interview of the young Iraqi man who recently died in the war there. And hear of Diane’s ongoing communication with a Kauri Tree Spirit and the Water Nymphs of Rainbow Falls, one named Vendra who is 800-years-old..


Here are a few gems from Diane:


“Why is that when you talk to God it’s called prayer and when God talks to you it’s called schizophrenia?”


Diane advocates taking the time to really sit and listen and feel. This runs contrary to the mantra many of us have heard from birth. “Don’t just sit there. Do something.” Osho said, “Don’t just do something. Sit there.”


One of her mottos is, “If I don’t understand something, let me. People fear what they don’t understand.” She doesn’t want to be afraid; she’d rather understand.


“The secret of being a musician is not how well you play, it’s how much in the music you are.” This makes me think that the secret to life isn’t in how well we play out our lives; it’s how present we are.




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