Siobhan Miller is regarded as one the finest singers to emerge from Scotland’s music scene over the last decade. Her soulful and stirring renewal of traditional song has seen her win the Scots Singer of the Year award twice at the Scots Trad Music Awards. She is also a recipient of a ‘BBC Young Folk Award’ with Orkney’s Jeana Leslie with whom she has released two greatly received albums. Siobhan began singing in public in her early teens. Since then, she has developed her style through collaborations and studies with many of Scotland’s top musicians.
Those who’ve witnessed Siobhan Miller stilling and silencing everywhere from a sold-out Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to the bar session afterwards have waited impatiently to hear that voice take centre stage on her solo debut album and in 2015 Flight Of Time ended that wait. Made over a period of two years, in collaboration with reputed singer-songwriter James Grant, Flight Of Time may seem far from the trad ballads Siobhan is famed for but these 10 contemporary songs are, for her, as compelling as any ancient tale. “I’m not turning my back on traditional music,” she explains. “For me, folk songs have the same purpose as the songs I’ve recorded on this album. It’s the storytelling element of both that I love” Flight of Time was released on Vertical Records and launched at Celtic Connections in the Royal Concert Hall where Siobhan and her band opened for The Punch Brothers. The album was received to great acclaim and was nominated for album of the year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music awards 2016.
Accompanying Siobhan on this recording are a some of Scotland’s finest musicians including producer James Grant on guitars and vocals, Ewan Vernal (Deacon Blue, Capercaillie) on double bass, James Mackintosh (Shooglenifty) on percussion, the ubiquitous Donald Shaw of Capercaillie on piano, Rhodes & harmonium. Highlighting the scope and ambition of this album, three songs feature the cinematic sweep of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra with spectacular arrangements by Pete Whitfield.
Siobhan is an experienced live performer who has toured internationally in Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, America & Barbados. She has also appeared at many of the UK’s major folk festivals including Cambridge, Cropredy, Towersey, Underneath the Stars, Orkney, Shetland, Stonehaven, and The Great British Folk Festival.
As well as work with her solo band Siobhan has been part of many collaborative projects. In 2016 she was the musical director of the opening concert at Celtic Connections celebrating The Traditional Music and Song Association’s 50th Anniversary. Also at Celtic Connections she was part of ‘Steele the Show’ where Siobhan performed with folk greats including Patsy Seddon, Kathy Stewart, Mary MacMaster, Donald Hay, Eilidh Shaw, Andy Thorburn, Dick Gaughan. She is part of the cast and featured solo singer for ‘Far Far from Ypres’ songs from the first world war directed by Ian MacCallman which has been performed in many of Scotlands leading venues including The Queens Hall, The Concert Hall – Main auditorium and Eden Court. In 2012 She performed on Broadway, New York where she was resident singer in the Mabou Mines production of ‘Peter and Wendy’, with music composed by Johnny Cunningham. In 2014 she was a guest singer with National Theatre Scotland in their ‘Alternative Burns’ Production raising money for Breast Cancer UK. She is a former member of folk group Salt House who’s album ‘Lay Your Dark Low’ released in 2014 was heralded as “seamless” by The Guardian.
TV appearances include a performance on American hit TV series Outlander in 2014. She was also a featured artist on BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Live 2011 New Year show when Siobhan led the performance of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at midnight with Phil Cunningham and band. BBC Alba’s Scottish Songbook from Celtic Connections 2010, and performing at the live broadcast of the Scottish Trad Awards 2014. This year has also seen her perform for Nicola Sturgeon at Edinburgh Castle and for HRH Prince Charles at Dumfries House. She also works for Live Music Now and has extensive experience in leading singing & Scots traditional song workshops and she has a first class honours degree in Traditional Music from the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow.
Siobhan is currently working on her second solo album due for release in February 2017.
Photographer: James Morrison