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Salm (Vol I) CD

About the Salm CD (Volume I) Buy product

Salm (pronounced salam), the Gaelic translation of the word Psalm, is a collection of Gaelic Psalms, sung in the traditional style by some of the best precentors -- those who lead the praise -- singing with a large church congregation. The recordings took place over two evenings in a Presbyterian church on the Isle of Lewis, where the singing was spontaneous and completely unrehearsed.

The style defies description; with so much of the sound texture relying on the congregation's individual response to the melody and the individual precentor's lead. The musical term is "Free Heterophony", and in the hands of the Gael this has become quite different to the English, European and Scottish tunes on which it was originally based.

There are some black congregations in Alabama and North Carolina who sing hymns in a similar style, and there are striking similarities with the singing style of the Coptic Church of Ethiopia. However, despite any parallels between it and other musical forms, Gaelic Psalm singing is a uniquely precious musical -- and spiritual -- heritage.

We hope you will be greatly blessed by listening to this CD (the first of two volumes), and that all our efforts have been ultimately to the glory of God.

Track Listing

If you have the right software (Winamp, Windows Media Player or similar) you can listen to 30-second samples of some tracks. For each track that has a sample available, the first "listen" icon provides the sound as an MP3, the second as an Ogg Vorbis file. If you are not sure which one to play, click on the first one.

  1. Kilmarnock Psalm 16: 8-9 (Calum Martin) listen icon listen icon
  2. Montrose Psalm 9: 10-11 (Angus Graham)
  3. St. David Psalm 48: 13-14 (Rev. James Maciver)
  4. Martyrdom Psalm 57: 1 (John MacSween)
  5. Martyrs Psalm 79: 3-4 (Donald J. Macdonald)
  6. New London Psalm 63: 2-3 (Donald Macleod)
  7. Dundee Psalm 103: 1-2 (Rev.Neil Shaw) listen icon listen icon
  8. Moravia Psalm 16: 5-7 (Kenneth A. MacKay)
  9. Walsall Psalm 13: 1-2 (Murdo Maclennan) listen icon listen icon
  10. Bedford Psalm 45: 13-14 (Murdo Kennedy)
  11. Bangor Psalm 22: 1-2 (Iain MacAskill)
  12. Stornoway Psalm 133 (John Murdo Martin) listen icon listen icon

Produced by Calum Martin
Recorded live in Back Free Church, Isle of Lewis, Scotland on 20th and 21st October 2003
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Calum Malcolm
Assisstant Engineer: Philip Hobbs
Video Enhancement:
CD Blue-book Mastering:

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(For more information on the historical background and development of Gaelic Psalms, visit