Voice from the Keys

We are really pleased to announced that Kenna Ross, a piano player from Nairn and graduate from North Highland and North East Scotland Colleges, has allowed us to share her posts on her popular blog;

I have been up to so much over the past couple of weeks. Firstly ‘Carma’ had a gig at Balloch Gala, where we played 2 sets, with a good size crowd coming to watch us! We had two sets throughout the day that were both successful and fun to play. It was a great day, the sun shone and the crowd were very supportive. Last week I also left Aberdeen, finishing my second year at college hopefully with a HND in popular music, and I’m now ready to start the next part of my journey, hopefully going into third year of the university in Perth. Carma also played a set at the patron lunch in Nairn, it was great seeing familiar faces in the crowd!

I also can’t go without mentioning the amazing time I had at XPOnorth this week!

XPOnorth is a free event in Inverness for everyone involved in the Creative Industries from fashion and textiles, design, music and film. It holds many interesting panels and talks during the day, and then has a variety of bands performing in different venues at night. It is a great way of getting to know more people in the industry and networking. This year was the second year I’d attended and it didn’t disappoint.

We were able to play on XPOnorth live on Tuesday which was filmed at Eden court with trainee film makers and a very good set up of equipment. There was a moment when it looked like we might not perform as I didn’t have the plug for my piano but the staff were fantastic and found me one – phew! We chose to perform ‘The Warmest Day’ and received really positive feedback from the staff for. We were both shocked when we realised that the video that was taken of us performing this song made the news! (A video of the news coverage on Xponorth is on Carma’s FaceBook page)

We also went to see a bit of the opening for XpoNorth, which involved the performers from the UHI – I was reminiscing the days when I was in their shoes while listening to their incredible performances.

On Wednesday we went to see some other bands performing such as Silver Coast (who are doing amazing at the moment) and Spring Break in Hootanannys. We always like to go and watch Spring Break because of the catchy songs and energy.

On Thursday we decided to go to a panel of producers, it was called ‘The art of making records’ and had Cameron Blackwood who produced for George Ezra, Dave Bascombe, Brett Cox, Andrew Hunt and John Leckie who worked at Abbey road studios and worked with many famous bands such as Fleetwood Mac. One of the questions the panel were asking themselves was “how does a live performance sound so different to a record?”

We had hoped to go and see more panels and talks on the Wednesday but couldn’t make it, but will definitely be going to more next year.

We met a lot of talented people and had a catch up with some. We started off by seeing Rachel Sermani in Ironworks on Thursday night, going to see The Youth and The Young in Hootanannys, then The Side and then Michiel Turner who we have played with before, and has a really nice vibe to his performances. There were many more acts that I would liked to see but didn’t get the chance.

I’d like to thank XpoNorth for a fantastic opportunity to grow as a session musician while also enjoying the great musical acts that the North of Scotland has to offer.

To find out more about Kenna, please check out her bio below.

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Kenna Ross is a 20 year old piano player from the Highlands. She's currently in her third year of a degree in Popular music. Her first year was spent with the successful band 'AlmostFolk' in Alness, before taking Aberdeen for 2nd year with her current band 'Carma', alongside singer and friend, Carmen. She performs as a solo player too in hotels and schools. Kenna has performed festivals such as Jocktoberfest, Belladrum and Celtic Connections with Carma, and they have recently released their EP 'Serendipity'.as part of her studies kenna decided to start a blog about her journey, to hopefully a full time career as a session musician as well as a lover of music.For more information on Kenna and her blog.