Mona's Isle

Sat, 03 Jun 2017

A new CD and DVD celebrating the life of one of the Isle of Man’s most important cultural icons has been released by Culture Vannin. Inspired by the folklore collection, music, poetry and life of Mona Douglas RBV (1898 – 1987), this collection of new songs was created by a group of Manx musicians who all had some connection to Mona.

The project was the vision of local musician, Dave Mclean, who had been a member of Mona Douglas’ youth group, Aeglagh Vannin, in the 1960s. He brought together the ensemble of singers and instrumentalists who, over several months, created this collection of new songs which were then performed and filmed live at the Centenary Centre in Peel in 2012.

The songs of Mona’s Isle are in Manx and English and vary from traditional to modern in style – some are new settings of her poems, or re-workings of traditional melodies that she had collected in the early 20th century, whilst others are original songs which explore Mona’s fascinating life and philosophy.

The CD features musicians Aalin Clague, Alanna Cowley, Annie Kissack, Bob Carswell, Breesha Maddrell, Bruno Cavellec, Chloe Woolley, Clare Kilgallon, Dave Kilgallon, Dave Mclean, Greg Joughin, Mandy Griffin, and archive audio of Mona herself singing a song that she had collected in the 1920s; “Arrane ny Niee”.

The live concert DVD also includes performances of Manx dancing, harpist Charles Guard, Gaelic choirs Cliogaree Twoaie and Caarjyn Cooidjagh, and a commentary about the work of Mona Douglas.

Mona’s Isle – The Legacy of Mona Douglas is available in Isle of Man bookshops or direct from Culture Vannin: