Christina Stewart is a singer of great sensitivity who communicates the depth and beauty of Scotland's song traditions, whether in Scottish Gaelic, Scots dialect or English. Her evocative style is suffused with an authenticity which comes from her roots in Scotland.
She prefers to describe herself as 'belonging to' the Scottish Highlands. "It means so much more than just having been born and brought up there," she explains.
Christina graduated from the School of Scottish Studies and Edinburgh University with MA Honours in Scottish Ethnology and Scottish Historical Studies, incorporating traditional song in the broader context of Scottish history and culture.
Her childhood was spent in the Highland capital, Inverness, so grew up in an environment where the Gaelic and Scots traditions of Scotland meet and in a family in which Scotland's traditional culture was an intergral part.
It is no wonder then, that much of her work centres on traditional song in the context which gave rise to it, waulking songs sung while working tweed, playground songs in school playgrounds, lullabies in baby and toddler groups.In the last 20 years, she has developed a reputation in her native country as not just a captivating singer and tutor, but an exponent of song within the wider oral and folk tradition of Scotland, with infectious enthusiasm, extensive knowledge and a commitment to appreciating songs within their cultural contexts, which she feels is vital to a robust, living tradition.
Her newest album, “Haunting”, is a celebration of songs alongside the stories associated with them, all relating to the eerie otherworld of Celtic supernatural with Second Sight, glammer, selkies, fairies, ghosts and the Devil.
Recent years have seen Christina teaching Scotland's song traditions in the United States, on the faculty at the prestigeous Swannanoa summer school and Common Ground on the Hill in Maryland and in Spring 2014, in Germany's Konstanz.
In 2013, Christina performed "Tales and Songs from Highland Perthshire" with harpist Bill Taylor and storyteller and folklorist Bob Pegg. The show draws on the song and story collection and the extraordinary life of Lady Evelyn Stewart Murray, who was daughter of the Duke of Atholl.Christina previously toured heritage centres and abandoned settlements with Bob Pegg, in "Come Listen to the Crofters", recreating a sense of the culture of the crofters who had once lived there before being ‘cleared’ to the New World.
Singing at ceilidhs, concerts and in competitions from an early age, Christina pursued her interest as a student in Edinburgh. Edinburgh's traditional music scene soon became part of her life and she formed Horo Gheallaidh with friends Gavin Marwick, Jenny Booth, Sandy Brechin, Ishbel MacTaggart, and her brother, Alpin Stewart, among others, to represent Scotland at the Quiema das Fetas festival in Portugal.She recorded with Talitha MacKenzie on the groundbreaking first “Mouth Music” album before returning north and forming the Feisty Besoms singing group with friends and recording “Auld Flames”.
Motherhood inspired Christina to begin a crusade for traditional lullabies resulting in the “kist o dreams” and “Learning with Lullabies” projects and two solo albums. She has a long-standing involvement with the burgeoning fèis (traditional music tuition festival) movement in Scotland currently teaches at festivals, for community projects, in schools and playgrounds.