Scottish vocalist Julie Fowlis, best known to U.S. audiences as the singing voice of Merida, the lassie-power heroine of the Pixar film “Brave,” will perform at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fowlis’ appearance in Music at Noon: The Logan Series takes place at noon in the McGarvey Commons of the Reed Union Building. Admission is free and free reserved parking will be available in the Reed lot.
Brought up on North Uist in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, Fowlis is a proud standard bearer for Gaelic music and culture. She is the first person in Scotland to hold the title Tosgaire na Gàidhlig, or Gaelic Ambassador, and recently was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University to recognize her promotion of traditional Scottish music in her solo concerts, international festival appearances, and studio recordings. She also is Gaelic artist-in-residence for Tobar an Dualchais, an ambitious digital archive documenting 40,000 pieces of Scottish folk culture.
In “Brave,” Fowlis sings two songs that serve as Merida’s musical thoughts, “Touch the Sky” and “Into the Open Air.” “That was a nice vote of confidence from Pixar, having only heard me sing in Gaelic,” Fowlis told The Los Angeles Times. “There simply aren’t any recordings of me singing in English, so they probably didn’t really know what I sounded like. I barely knew myself.”
Fowlis’ 12-stop fall tour of the United States is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Music at Noon: The Logan Series receives major support from the Kay Logan Trust and additional funding from the Penn State Behrend Student Activity Fee, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, the Erie Arts Endowment of ArtsErie and Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour.