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Conservatoire experience unites four-piece tipped as 'ones to watch'

By Margaret Chrystall

NOW touring their latest album Drawn From Deep Water, four-piece Gnoss showcase the music at Croy Live on Wednesday.

Fiddle, flute, guitar and percussion are what to expect, if you haven’t come across the talents of Graham Rorie, Aidan Moodie, piper and multi-instrumentalist Connor Sinclair and drummer Craig Baxter before.

As current and former students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the four have been tipped as ‘ones to watch’ by Songlines magazine, among many others.

And from first forming as a duo in 2015, fiddle and mandolin player Graham and singer and guitarist Aidan picked up a Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections and then went on to reach the semi-finals of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2016.

The following year, they got a nomination for up and coming artist of the year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.

“Aidan and me are from Orkney and we had been playing together at school from quite young,” said Graham.

“We both moved to Glasgow at the same time to study on the traditional music course at the Royal Conservatoire.

“We wanted to get a project on the go and to get out in Glasgow and play. We had already been playing together for a while and knew a lot of the same material, so all we needed was to get a name!

“Rather than just call it Graham and Aidan, we called it Gnoss because our view was that down the line we’d expand!

“We met Connor and Craig on the same course and with Glasgow being quite a session-led place, we played with them quite a lot and it was fun.

“When we did the first album, we got some guests in and after that we decided to expand to four permanently.”

The band Gnoss head for live Highland date this week.
The band Gnoss head for live Highland date this week.

Guests included Ross Ainslie, who produced the album.

“Connor had got to know him and we enjoyed the music Ross has made,” Graham said. “He was almost like a fifth member through the recording process. James Lindsay played double bass. And we had Zoe Bestel – we met at a festival. She is an amazing singer with a unique voice we thought would blend well with Aidan’s – and singer Kim Carnie also has a unique voice and sang with us.”

Young photographer Martin Venherm and artist Orla Stevens – whose canvas features in album photos – were brought into the project too.

“You are kind of making a difference to each other that way!” said Graham.

Gnoss play Croy Live tonight (Wednesday, October 30) at 7.30pm. Support from Hamish MacDonald. For tickets £12 – £6 for under 16s, call 01463 794823. More: www.gnossmusic.com

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