Published: 06/06/2014 16:20 - Updated: 06/06/2014 16:32

Horse takes to the air

Horse makes a rare solo appearance at Eden Court this weekend. Photo: Kris Kesiak.
Horse makes a rare solo appearance at Eden Court this weekend. Photo: Kris Kesiak.

HEARING the voice of Fife-born singer Horse on the radio is hardly a new experience — but usually that voice is on a record.

Next week she will be introducing them instead when she sits in for BBC Radio Scotland’s late night DJ Iain Anderson.

Yet Horse — or Ms McDonald as she is more formally known — reckons that the biggest challenge will not be queuing and fading the CDs on time, but curbing her natural inclination to talk.

"People always say I’ve got a good voice for radio — I don’t know what that says about my face!" she laughed.

"The great thing about it is that I’m not just talking to Scotland and the UK. The show goes out online and Iain has a lot of followers all over the world, so it’s a good opportunity to reach out to people."

Horse will be adding in a few favourite records of her own, but not her own songs.

To hear those, rather than tuning into the radio a better option would be to head along to Eden Court’s OneTouch Theatre on Friday.

Horse will be performing there on her second ever solo tour — the first one being back in 2002.

"If you go out with just an acoustic guitar, people say you’re a folk singer," Horse said.

"Not that I have anything against folk singers, but I’ve been around so long and done so many different kinds of music that it isn’t me."

Horse admitted that for her, an acoustic tour is one of the hardest things to do.

"I’m a proficient guitarist, but what I want to focus on is my voice," she said.

"When the band and other musicians are there the pressure is off. For an audience as well, it’s quite different because they can focus on the story. With a band, you wouldn’t get that quite as much.

"It takes it down to the very basic — the voice, the melody and the words. And if all three come together and you perform it with your heart, rather than with your head, everyone becomes involved and that’s what makes it an intimate performance."

In a complete contrast to her solo show, Horse is also working on a composition she hopes will feature at next year’s Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, inspired by Scottish women poets.

Working on the piece may be taking her well beyond her comfort zone, but Horse — a great admirer of contemporary classical composer Max Richter — says that she has always wanted to compose.

"I have a good melodic sense and with that melodic sense I should be able to compose. That’s not the only thing I want to do, but I want to do a little more of that," she said.

This year it turns out that Horse is even busier than usual with more dates piling up on her calendar, including a lot more solo shows like the one she will be performing in Inverness this week.

"It’s not all about doing big band shows. It’s just about getting to people," she said.

"What seems to be happening as well is that a lot of people have been really touched by the music and again bringing it back to more intimate surroundings really infuses it with a magic.

"These are like little beings themselves, these songs, and it seems like they have come from somewhere else. With the best ones, there’s definitely a feeling that they have come from beyond me. What’s great is that the more I enjoy it and gift it to other people, I get it back from them. It’s not about the money. It’s about that lovely process and the joy that I get from them, and it works for all of us."

• Horse — Flying Solo, is at the OneTouch Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness, at 7.30pm on Friday 6th June.

You can hear Horse sitting in for Iain Anderson on BBC Radio Scotland from Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th June from 10.05pm to 1am.

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