'Queen of Gaelic singers' inspires video game soundtrack

Flora MacNeil
Video game developers came across clips on the internet of Flora MacNeil singing [Getty Images]

A Glasgow-born singer features on the soundtrack of a new horror video game after the developers heard her mother singing Gaelic songs on the internet.

Maggie MacInnes' mum Flora MacNeil, from Barra, was known as the "Queen of Gaelic singers". She died in 2015 aged 86.

Brighton-based games developer The Chinese Room came across clips of MacNeil singing and approached MacInnes about recording Fath Mo Mhulaid a Bhith Ann.

The game - Still Wakes the Deep - is set on a North Sea oil rig and has characters voiced by Scottish actors Alec Newman, Neve McIntosh, and Karen Dunbar.

The game has been published by Secret Mode and released on various platforms, including Xbox and PlayStation.

MacInnes can be heard singing in the game's launch trailer, and also when playing the game in its Gaelic language option.

Still Wakes the Deep's audio director initially messaged MacInnes on social media.

The singer and Celtic harp player told BBC Naidheachdan: "I thought it was a joke at first.

"The song isn't scary in itself, but it is suitable for the story in the game.

"The men are trapped on the oil rig and there is something evil coming after them.

"One of the characters is longing to be home with his family and is looking out to sea, longing to be across the water back to his home.

"From that point of view, from the atmospherics of that feeling within the game, it is suitable."

Maggie MacInnes performing at 2004's Celtic Connections
Maggie MacInnes performing at Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival in 2004 [Getty Images]

MacInnes first recorded Fath Mo Mhulaid a Bhith Ann in the 1980s and has since released a new single of the song, which was recorded at her home on Barra.

She said: "I love the song.

"It is full of beautiful poetry about the beauties of Barra and a longing to be back on Barra."

MacInnes learned Gaelic songs from her mother, who came from a long line of singers on both sides of her family.

MacNeil learnt most of her repertoire from her mother, Ann Gillies, and she was exposed to hundreds of songs while growing up in the Hebrides.

Singer Flora MacNeil
Flora MacNeil grew up on Barra in the Hebrides [BBC]

Related internet links