I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some amazing musicians and artists, both online and in person and one such artist is Christine Weir, or “Chris the Celt” on Instagram. Since we connected on IG, I started listening to some of her music and it is definitely worth checking out. Read on and discover more about this very talented music artist!
TA: First, introduce yourself and tell a little about what it is that you do.
CW: So right now I’m basically a singing teacher – I became a singing teacher after being a professional singer for over 2 decades. I have written a book about the voice, called ‘Shut your Trap and Sing’, I’m busy completing my Estill Figure Proficiency qualification and I’ve got a teaching diploma in Scottish Traditional music (voice).
Over the course of my singing career I’ve done quite varied work – for example I was part of a successful a cappella group for 2 decades and I also sang in a Las Vegas-type Extravaganza surrounded by feathered showgirls! But, in recent years, being Scottish born, I’ve went back to my roots when I fell in love with Celtic music and Scottish and Irish traditional music. I’ve found my home in Celtic music.
TA: Who were some of your earliest musical influences?
CW: I always wanted to be a good singer so I was inspired by Barbara Streisand, but also loved the iconic rock bands like Deep Purple, Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd. I feel that my music today reflects both those influences as well as the more recent Celtic influence.
TA: Now you’ve dealt with some personal battles in recent years. In what ways has this allowed your music to evolve and maybe shift a little from what it was when you first started out?
CW: My early, self penned songs were always written about Celtic myths or historical events. But my personal battles over the past few years have changed the theme of my music; through music I’ve expressed my grief and also tried process the touchy subject of life and death; My battle with breast cancer led me to write the song ‘Dark Lord’ which is based on recurring dreams that I had before and during cancer treatment.Then, in December 2020 my beloved brother passed away so my next song ‘Stay a wee while’ was written to him. My forthcoming release ‘Death be not proud’ is based on the 16th Century poem by John Donne, and in writing this song I really confronted my own mortality and my hopes for an afterlife.
My next songs writing phase will hopefully have a joyous theme, but whatever the subject matter, I always keep my music authentically Celtic by using typically Celtic scales and modes, and I always feature Celtic instruments like Tin Whistle, bag pipes, fiddle, accordion .
TA: What was your very first music gig and was there any lesson you took from it?
CW: Ha ha , I’m red in the face as I remember this: my first music gig was when I was about 17 years old, singing with a Big jazz band. I thought I was brilliant but afterwards I received feedback that I was out of tune most the way through! How humiliating! I think what I learned from that is that it’s very easy to get caught up in your own subjective on-stage experience, which is not a good thing – you always need to keep some part of your brain detached from what’s going on so that you can monitor yourself and your performance… i.e. listen, tune in, and listen again!
TA: Do you have a favorite Celtic myth or legend? If so, what would that be?
CW: It would be Samhain – the festival of the dead: On the night of Samhain the anceint Celts believed that the veil between the living and the dead was lifted. On this night you could speak to your ancestors, you could ask them to intercede for you and show you the way. I feel this myth keenly because I grew up in South Africa where many people still practice ancient traditional healing practices especially ancestor veneration. So I related to this quite deeply when I wrote the song Samhain.
TA: What future projects do you have coming up?
CW: There is not much live music happening anywhere at the moment but I’m trying to record and produce 1 song a month. Eventually, when we can perform again, I’ll collate all of these new songs into a performance and print them onto an album .
TA: Where on the internet can people find you?
CW: Here are some links: YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFelaxE9EefXvjLObCfzm2w
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Fans are describing her music and stories as a much welcome escape into another world. Drawing inspiration from the works of fantasy writers like JRR Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Diana Gabaldon, and George R.R. Martin, along with historical events, mythology, ancient texts, and lore, Tiffany aims to take you into a world of bonfires, castles, dragons, and of course, time travel!
From ethereal gothic ballads to folk-tales inspired by the Celts and Viking sea adventures, symphonic world instrumentation and operatic blast beats that invoke passion and mystery, her voice and style has been described as being truly unique.