- Traditional and folk music
Alison Kinnaird M.B.E was born in Edinburgh in 1949. She earned a MA in Celtic studies and archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and studied glass engraving with Harold Gordon. Kinnaird uses lead and optical crystal. Her works are in many galleries and private collections. The techniques used by Kinnaird include copper-wheel engraving, cutting, sandblasting, acid etching and casting. Kinnaird is also a musician; she plays, teaches and lectures on the small Scottish harp also known as the clarsach. In 1997 Kinnaird was awarded the M.B.E for her contribution and long standing service to art and music. In 2011 National Life Stories interviewed Kinnaird for their 'Craft Lives' archive. The interviews took place over three days and document her life from childhood to becoming a successful artist and musician.Kinnaird was one of the first acts signed to Temple Records during the 1970s and she has had eight albums released through the label. Kinnaird worked with the Scottish music group Battlefield Band on their albums Music in Trust Vol I (1987) and Music in Trust Vol II (1988). Kinnaird has been recognised for her contributions to Scottish folk music and was inducted into the Scots Trad Music Awards - Hall of Fame in 2010. Kinnaird has written many books about traditional music and the small Scottish harp. Her first book on the subject was published in 1990 and is a collection of 24 harp tunes that she arranged. Tree Of Strings (1992), written in collaboration with Keith Sanger, documents the history of the harp in Scotland and is the first book of its kind. The Lothian Collection (1995) has 25 harp tunes from the big houses and great families from East, West and Midlothian all arranged by Kinnaird. The Small Harp Tutor (1996) is a book about learning to play the small harp which covers the history of the instrument, maintaining the instrument, arranging tunes and gives useful finger exercises. The book is accompanied by a 60 minute CD which guides the learner from novice to more accomplished player. Kinnaird's most recent book is The North East Collection; it features tunes mainly from the 18th and 19th century arranged by Kinnaird.