MACGILLIVRAY is the Highland name of Scottish writer, performance artist and musician Kirsten Norrie, reflecting her matrilineal highland heritage. MacGillivray is the author of two poetry collections and eight albums with the soundtracks to two major British films to her credit. Forthcoming is a non-fiction book and a third poetry collection. As a performance artist she has worked solo and with groups 'The Wolf in the Winter' and the 'Parlour Collective' internationally. She has three degrees from the University of Oxford, including an AHRC funded PhD in Scottish Performance and Poetry. MacGillivray has made a Gaelic short film and appeared opposite Toby Jones in 'By Our Selves', directed by Andrew Kotting, 2015. Her work has appeared regularly on the BBC and in British press. Nominated for a Help Musicians (PRS) New Scottish Performer Award and a Paul Hamlyn Composer Award, MacGillivray is the recipient of four Creative Scotland Open Funding Awards, a Wellcome Trust Sciart Award, a Boise Travel Scholarship from the Slade School of Fine Art and is a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress and was a Fine Art Fellow at the University of Gloucester having taught at the Universities of Oxford, Cheltenham and Gloucester and Edinburgh College of Art.
W R I T I N G
MacGillivray is published by Bloodaxe in the UK and Red Hen, Los Angeles in the US. Her first poetry collection, 'The Last Wolf of Scotland', follows real-life scalping survivor Robert McGee and is based on time spent with Navajo and Hopi communities in Arizona as well as research as a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. 'The Last Wolf of Scotland' by Los Angeles press Redhen which originally came out with Brighton based Pighog in 2013. A second poetry book, 'The Nine of Diamonds: Surroial Mordantless', was published by Bloodaxe in 2016 and written in situ on the Isle of Skye during a Creative Scotland/Royal Scottish Academy artist residency at Sabhal Mor Ostaig. Her third collection 'A Crisis of Dream', forthcoming from Bloodaxe Spring 2019, is a trilogy comprising a Dantesque Gaelic tree alphabet 'The Gaelic Garden of the Dead', the relationship between optics and the paranormal 'A History of Ghost and 35 sonnets and chewed up sonnets to Mary Queen of Scots - one for each step she descended to execution then ground up for the fifteen minutes her lips moved after decapitation - 'In My End is My Beginning'. Her poetry has appeared and been reviewed in Magma, the Poetry Review, the Poetry School, the Scotsman, Test Centre, New Writing Scotland, Gutter Magazine, the Sunday Herald, the Oxford Poetry Magazine, Shearsman, Neon Magazine and many others. She has read internationally.
Under the name Kirsten Norrie, a non-fiction work 'Scottish Lost Boys: Seven Renegade Essays' is published by Strange Attractor Press/MIT in Spring 2019 and showcases key figures from Scots counter-culture which emerged from her AHRC funded doctoral research. Also as K.M. Norrie, she is currently working on a debut novel: 'The Neon Boneyard' based on her experiences in Arizona. She has published work as a critical writer in Art Monthly and Performance Research (Routledge) and contributed essays to a significant number of art publications. She has read with Ishion Hutchinson, Don Paterson, Alan Moore, Vahni Capildeo, Lee Harwood, Tom Raworth, Nancy Campbell, Michael Moorcock and Iain Sinclair.
M U S I C
In 2018, MacGillivray worked on a soundtrack with Hauschka vocally, speaking words by Rob MacFarlane and singing Gaelic phrases for a film shot in the Cairngorms by Rob Petit for Milkwood Films. In 2017 MacGillivray was nominated for a Help Musicians (PRS) New Scottish Performer Award and a Paul Hamlyn Composer Award. A BBC Radio 3 Late Junction Live from Edinburgh Festival Featured Artist in 2015, MacGillivray has performed internationally solo playing electric autoharp, grand and toy piano, harmonium, dulcitone and collaborated live with Hardeep Deerhe on tabla (trained by tabla master Vijay Kangutkar), Japanese composer Atzi Muramatsu on cello and Ben Chatwin of Talvihorros on electronica. She has made eight records, releasing her fifth album 'Once Upon A Dirty Ear' on Hundred Acre Recordings in June 2015, following a strong review in the Wire Music Magazine of her previous album 'Horse Sweat Chandelier' in 2013. Antigen Records is to release 'Watermarked in Flame', a live EP, in September 2017 and in 2016 MacGillivray received significant Creative Scotland to create a record dedicated to Mary Queen of Scots, using air from many of the sites she was born, lived, was imprisoned and died in titled 'In My End is My Beginning' and for a period of research in Gaelic song, for which MacGillivray was taught by Gaelic singer Christine Primrose. She has interviewed Shirley Collins, Margaret Bennett, Christine Primrose and Peggy Seeger.
A long time collaborator with James Young who performed extensively with Nico, co-wrote with John Cale and wrote music cult classic 'Songs They Never Play On the Radio' (Bloomsbury), MacGillivray has performed internationally, been aired on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction and The Verb and Radio Wales and provided soundtracks for British film 'Swandown' (Channel 4/Britdoc) and appeared in 'By Our Selves' (2015) in a cameo alongside graphic novelist Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta ) and Toby Jones (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games) whilst also contributing two tracks to the soundtrack. She has worked with The Fall, Thurston Moore, Arlo Guthrie, Arthur Brown, Shirley Collins, Laura Cannell, the Dead Rat Orchestra, Jem Finer (The Pogues), Hauschka, Trembling Bells, Olivia Chaney, Current 93, Gallon Drunk and Vic Godard and the Subway Sect. She has performed at spaces such as the CCA, the Whitechapel, the British Library, the South London Gallery, Edinburgh College of Art, the Holywell Music Room, Dorchester Abbey, o2 Academy Islington, Sketch, Cafe Oto, Union Chapel, the Volksbuhne, Pianos NY and the Rockwell Music Hall, Brooklyn and at Celtic Connections, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Queensland Poetry Festival. Reviews have appeared in publications including the Quietus, the Wire, Popmatters, ATTN Magazine, the List, Rock N Reel (R2) Magazine.
P E R F O R M A N C E
As a performance artist MacGillivray is part of the European collective 'The Wolf in Winter' founded by B. Catling who have worked in Greenland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the UK. She is a member of the 'Parlour Collective'. As a solo artist MacGillivray has worked in Vietnam, the US, Norway, the UK, Spain and Germany and with the Freud Museum, the South London Gallery, the Courtauld, Leighton House, the British Council and the Goethe Institut. MacGillivray has walked in a straight line with a dead wolf on her shoulders through the back streets of Vegas into the Nevada desert, eaten broken chandelier glass in a derelict East German shopping mall, headbanged in gold medieval stocks in Birmingham allotments, burnt on a sunbed wearing conquistador armour in Edinburgh's underground city, breast-fed a Highland swan in Oxford and regurgitated red roses in Greenland.
She remains clan chief . . .