Twelfth Day

About Twelfth Day

Orcadian fiddle player Catriona Price and Peebles harpist Esther Swift joined forces to form Twelfth Day and create an innovative take on folk music. The pair first came into contact at St. Mary's Music School in Edinburgh. Both Price and Swift made their start in music at an early age. Price began playing piano at age six, and just a year later she took up the fiddle. While growing up she was a member of the young fiddle group Hadhirgaan, who were guided by Douglas Montgomery. Swift showed early promise, taking up both piano and violin when she was just five. Inspired by a performance by Borders harpist Savourna Stevenson, she decided the clarsach was her instrument of choice. She had to wait a few years before she was big enough to play the full-sized pedal harp, but she persisted and also benefitted from lessons from groundbreaking Scottish harpist Catriona McKay. The pair went on to become members of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and Camerata Scotland. Price also became a leading player with the Great Britain National Youth Orchestra, and principle second violin for the NYO's contemporary music ensemble the NYO Sinfonietta. Price and Swift studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, and during this time they founded Twelfth Day. As classically trained musicians they utilized their technical ability, as well as an innovative approach to folk music, to create their debut record, Northern Quarter, in 2010. The duo followed up that recording with a collaborative album with vocalist Joy Dunlop titled Fiere, which was based on the work of Scottish female poets. Their next release was a bold one. The Speak from the Start EP included cover versions of Kanye West, Twin Atlantic, Passion Pit, and even their take on Morrissey's "You're the One for Me, Fatty." The Devil Makes Three followed in 2014, quickly followed by a mini-LP that included their arrangement of a Schubert song. For their next project, 2017's Cracks in the Room, they created an album that responded to social stigmas toward strong, independent women. ~ Bekki Bemrose

Manchester, England

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