In 2020 Marcas was commissioned, alongside Ainsley Hammill, Pàdruig Moireasdan and Glasgow Improvisors' Orchestra to create a suite of songs interrogating themes of sustainability through a uniquely Gaelic-speaking consciousness. The project saw the cohort revitalise a number of traditional Gaelic song forms including waulking song ('Luadh na Gealaich') and puirt-à-beul ('Puirt Ghriomasaigh').
As well as these additions to the tradition Marcas, Ainsley and Pàdruig explored contemporary song forms with two settings of 'Fàidh' and Marcas hymn to Lothian Gaelic Choir, persevering through lock-down, the sequel to 'Grioglachan' - 'Reul-chrios'.
As principal lyricist, Marcas worked closely with Ainsley and Pàdruig to craft their own ideas into singable stanzas to groundbreaking effect.
sgrìobhadh òran │ songwriting
The old adage in Gaeldom was that if a poem couldn't be sung it wasn't much of a poem and so it was natural that Marcas would eventually combine his love of words with his love of singing them in order to add to the Gaelic song tradition.
Marcas has been blessed to collaborate with some of Scotland's finest composers and musicians including Rachel Walker, Mary Ann Kennedy, Ainsley Hammill, Pàdruig Moireasdan, Marit Fält and Gille MacKenzie, many of whom have set his poetry to music.
Others, like Rachel, have worked in partnership with Marcas, responding to commissions such as ColmCille 1500 and Ocaidich for Ceòl is Craic.
Marcas was also one of the original members of the Bogha-frois collective, which performed two sell-out gigs at Celtic Connections. Alongside Marit and Josie Duncan, Marcas contributed the new song 'Dumbbells', which was later selected to represent Scotland at Liet International - the Eurovision of Minoritised Languages.
One of Marcas' career highlights was working with Edinburgh-based composer Ailie Robertson for a special festive commission for The Nevis Ensemble. The result was 'An Dubhlachd' - an stunning blend of contemporary orchestral
In 2020 renowned singer and composer Rachel Walker commissioned Marcas to work with her to craft two special new songs for her then-forthcoming album 'Gaol'. The pair worked together at the Scottish Poetry Library and on Zoom to craft 'Là Luain' and 'Tìr is Sàl', which went on to become bona fide Gaelic hits over the spring of 2021 and have achieved considerable critical acclaim.
It was Inverness Gaelic Choir which brought together Marcas an Mary Ann Kennedy, and two innovative settings of Marcas' poetry were the result. 'Ainneamhag', from Marcas' second collection was successful for the choir at the 2016 Royal National Mòd, again breaking new ground.
They came together again for Mary Ann's inspiring Blas Festival showcase 'Beul na h-Oidhche gu Camhanaich' with a special song in memory of the late Maggie MacDonald. Mary Ann's stellar studio recording of the song went on to be a stand-out track from her spectacular album 'An Dàn'.