Anne Lister
Anne at the Millenium Centre, Cardiff

was brought up in Wales, studied in France and England and has been writing songs and stories for as long as she can remember. She has toured extensively in the UK and the US, both solo and with occasional collaborators, and has released eight CDs of her own songs on the Hearthfire label. Her best known song is undoubtedly “Icarus”, which has been performed and recorded by many different performers including Nic Jones, Martin Simpson and Archie Fisher. Her most recent album, “A Twist in the Story”, has received high praise in all reviews.

Anne writes what are to me quite simply some of the most distinctive and beautiful songs I know -David Kidman, The Living Tradition.

A thoroughly original poetic voice. Often drawing from British and Celtic myth, but as relevant as tomorrow’s paper. -Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe.

In addition to writing songs and singing them Anne is a respected storyteller and has worked in a wide variety of venues, from festivals to prisons with listeners aged from 3 to 100. She has run workshops in storytelling for adults working in a number of different settings, from childrenís hospices and prisons to schools and womenís refuges. She has an MA in medieval French, which entailed close study of some lesser-known tales of King Arthur, and she is working on a trilogy of novels which blend 21st century realities with folklore elements.

I couldn’t keep my eyes shut -Connor, aged 5, Cwmbran, Wales

Thank you for an excellent couple of days. The feedback from the children has been fantastic and your way with the children also impressed me and my colleagues. Your workshop kicked off the best English Week in Bishopsgate’s history. -Bishopgate School.

She has run courses on the Greek island of Skyros and at Cortijo Romero in Spain as well as working with the authors John and Caitlin Matthews. Anne is also sometimes to be found at the living history museum of Llancaiach Fawr, either as her 17th century alter ego Ellen Le Goff, or assisting with conducting ghost tours or even working on children’s activities.

It has got my imagination back and got me excited about an aspect of my life I had nearly completely forgot -Prisoner, HMP Sudbury

Mary Mc Laughlin

Mary at the Millenium Centre, Cardiff
Mary Mc Laughlin, born and raised in Northern Ireland, learned to speak and sing in Irish at the age of eleven. She worked with Anne on the British folk circuit in the 1980s and then moved to the United States, where she worked with many leading Irish-Americana musicians in the Bay Area of California and toured extensively throughout the US.

Her repertoire encompasses Irish traditional songs in both Irish and English, original compositions based on mythology, choral arrangements of Irish sacred music and storytelling. She has recorded four albums (two on major labels and two independent releases), contributed to over twelve compilation albums, written two Irish language song books for non-Irish speakers, and founded a sacred Gaelic choir in California.

Mc Laughlin often brings down the house with a mix of original and traditional songs, a laser-sharp pure voice and a warm, inviting stage persona -San Jose Mercury News, CA, USA.

“A Gaelic Christmas” is a glorious piece that combines both art and craft. -Dirty Linen Magazine, USA.

Mary has recently been awarded a first class MA in Ritual Chant and Song from the University of Limerick, specialising in early traditional Irish music especially the music associated with fairy-lore and the ancient music of the “keen”. Her studies have extended her knowledge of Irish mythology and how it is embedded in traditional music.

“Crystal Shoe” is a breathtaking work, a haunting voice surrounded by a dense weave of brilliant musicians. It floats by so easily, it ís hard to take it off the player. -San Jose Mercury News, CA, USA.