This June five Scottish folk musicians and five English folk musicians will head to the west coast Isle of Eigg to make an album together. The theme at the core of project reflects on the issue of ‘separation’ in its many forms, through traditional song. The musicians will include Karine Polwart, Eliza Carthy, Mary Macmaster, Kate Young (aka Kate in the Kettle), Hannah James (Lady Maisery, Kerfuffle), Rowan Rheingans (Lady Masisery), Jenny Hill, Jenn Butterworth, Hazel Askew and Hannah Read.
Celebrating the similarities and differences in our musical, linguistic and cultural heritage, and set in the context of a post-referendum world, the work aims to prompt new thinking about the issue of separation as it occurs in all our lives.
The Isle of Eigg is a well chosen location, in Karine Polwart’s words “Eigg itself is a vibrant and creative island community of around 80 people, and one that knows, now and historically, all about separation and exile, and the power of unifying and dividing forces. It’s known historically as The Island of The Big Women, and I’ll be making my way there in a pretty mighty female company that combines five Scottish folk musicians and five English folk musicians, including the majestic Eliza Carthy, the inventive Kate Young (aka Kate in the Kettle) and ace harper (and my former housemate), Mary Macmaster.” She’s clearly looking forward to the project adding “We’ll sing a-cappella in the Cathedral Cave, talk and play long into the early-summer nights, walk out to the Singing Sands, with their views over to the Isle of Rum, and make an album together that’s soaked in Atlantic spray.”
In addition to the album some of the magical moments will also be captured in a series of film shorts courtesy of Ben Cormack of Picarus Films, an island-based film company. Here’s a film he made a year ago on Eigg that captures some of the magic of the place, the music is Passing Places by the wonderfully talented Mairearad Green.
Find out more about the project here: http://www.songsofseparation.co.uk/
Photo Credit: Greg Carr