Epic Award Shortlist
Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin’s Archive Project (in partnership with the School of Scottish Studies Archives and supported by Creative Scotland) has been shortlisted for the Voluntary Arts Epic Award. This is exciting for us as it is the first project the both of us (Mike and Charlotte) worked on together (Charlotte as co-ordinator and Mike as musical director) and the album that was produced is the last release on Unroofed’s predecessor, Rusty Squash Horn Records.
The School of Scottish Studies, established in 1951 and featured in a recent BBC documentary, houses a treasure trove of recordings including traditional songs, music, and stories. It’s a fantastic resource and an important asset to Scottish heritage. EYG wanted to inspire new people to use the Archives and break down barriers young people and the wider community might have with visiting or using them.
The aim of the Archive Project was to encourage young people to get a meaningful understanding of the content of the Archives and the context of the recordings, and then creatively respond. We picked 7 young traditional musicians aged 16-23 who explored the recordings and photographs in order to build material for their first professional album. We encouraged them to look beyond looking at the archives as a simple source for repertoire, but to find new creative angles to developing their own material.
The young musicians worked with mentors Alasdair Roberts, Mike Vass and Matheu Watson, as well recording with David Gray at the Sound Cafe. They also wrote and arranged a track for EYG’s Big Band to perform, worked with a design student from Napier University to put together the cover (featuring fabulous images from the photographic archives and original artwork from Conrad Molleson), and some of the music was then taken on and re-arranged to be performed by the Tinderbox Orchestra.
What resulted was an excellent album full of new music: songs inspired by anecdotes and practices described in interviews, instrumental music inspired by photographs and recollections, new melodies for collected poetry, found voices, and fresh arrangements of traditional material. There was even a music video.
You can find out more about the project here, buy the album here (all proceeds go to support Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin, a youth music charity specialising in traditional music) and vote for the project here.
Here’s a track from the album:[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/121340866″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]