Thursday 14th Feb 1pm: A Reawakened Monument of Antiquity

I have a livestreamed gig that you can watch for FREE on Thursday 14th Feb 1pm UK time!

I have researched and arranged a 30-minute performance of fiddle music, Gaelic song and spoken word, inspired by ‘A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs’ (Joseph and Patrick MacDonald, 1784). How does the cultural and political landscape of this collection speak to us today, in 21st-century Scotland?

When researching and learning tunes from ‘A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs’, I was struck by the parallels between the cultural-political forces that motivated the MacDonald brothers to create and publish this tune collection and the cultural-political dynamic of Scotland today: cultural nationalism, the desire to preserve tradition, the marketability of Scottishness, the debate over who has authority to claim Scottish/Gaelic identity, the tension between authenticity and artistic creativity, the interplay between folk and art musics… How do culture and politics interact in Scotland, in the 18th and 21st centuries? What can culture give to politics, and what can politics give to culture? Why do residents in Scotland feel an urge to preserve our old traditions? Are we too concerned with looking at our past? What role does Gaelic music play in shaping our identity, both for residents in Scotland and for the Scottish diaspora? What does this music mean to us? This is a thought-provoking performance of music, song, spoken word, culture and politics. 

I am very lucky that some fantastic musicians have agreed to perform my music:
Spoken word and Gaelic song: Cameron Nixon
Fiddle and Gaelic song: Isla Ratcliff 
Viola: Emma Tomlinson 
Cello: Ellen Gira 
Clarsach: Justyna Krzyžanowska 
Photography: Ruairidh Gollan 

So far we have people from the USA, Netherlands and Sweden joining us on the livestream! Let’s see how many countries we can get! Please comment below about where you’ll be watching from 🙂

Isla x

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