Author Archives: Charlotte Hathaway

The Dead Stations on TRADtv

Category : Blog News Press releases


Dead Stations are out of use platforms on a remote train line winding through the forested mountains. An unscheduled stop leads a passenger to leave the train and continue on foot, straying from the path.

At 5pm Monday 27th June internet TV channel TRADtv will be streaming a live programme about our latest show, The Dead Stations.

The Dead Stations is an inventive cross-arts project by writer/producer Charlotte Hathaway and composer/performer Mike Vass, described by Alan Morrison in The National as “…one of the most ambitious projects to emerge in Scotland this year so far”.

The piece aims to tell a story by interweaving audio drama and music album, with animated visuals to focus the eye.

It began life as a recording project, which came about as a result of the 2013 Remembered/Imagined project which commissioned pairs of composers and writers to create a collaboration of words and music inspired by the School of Scottish Studies Sound Archives. The pieces were then performed by Mr McFall’s Chamber, an actor and a singer. It was the first time Charlotte and Mike had worked together creatively and they wanted to develop this concept to create a longer, more ambitious and more immersive piece.

“…a satisfyingly unsettling tale, perhaps made more so by the serenely beautiful music” **** TVBomb

Since its initial conception the project has grown arms and legs, involving animators (Nica Harrison and Atikah Zailani) and sound designers (Lewis Jones and Yoann Mylonakis) from Edinburgh College of Art. It attracted brilliant contributing talent from the likes of Ishbel McFarlane and Tommy Herbert (voice actors), Mairi Campbell and Yoann Mylonakis (musicians) and guestsKathleen MacInnes, Ian Watt, Euan Burton and Scott Mackay. A live tour developed, climaxing at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh, and the full animated film was showcased at Edinburgh’s Hidden Door Festival at the start of June 2016. The two songs for the project will be released as singles, along with a specially commissioned animated music video by Gavin Robinson for ‘Eyes Fixed’.

“Charlotte Hathaway has conceived a performance that compels on a number of different fronts, each one of them mesmerising”Folk Radio UK

The show on TRADtv will feature a segment of the main animated piece, an interview with Charlotte and Mike, and performance by Mike Vass and Mairi Campbell. The live audience will be invited to send in any questions they might have for the team. You can watch the show and get in contact with the station here. The recording is available as a CD (featuring the artwork by the project’s animators) released by Unroofed Records.

It’s a story designed to be listened to: a mystery about loneliness and the mind, inspired by a train ride through Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest and the tale of Little Red Riding Hood.

For more information contact

The whole thing was made possible with the generous support of Creative Scotland, Arts Trust Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art.

The Dead Stations at Hidden Door Festival

Category : Blog News


hidden door

After a great live tour, we’re delighted to be showcasing the recorded version of The Dead Stations (by Charlotte Hathaway and Mike Vass) at Edinburgh’s Hidden Door Festival at the end of May.

Hidden Door is a volunteer-run multi-arts festival dedicated to opening up disused spaces in Edinburgh, making them available to artists and emerging creative talent for new ideas and groundbreaking projects.

This year, from 27th May- 4th June 2016 Hidden Door will return to the amazing disused street lighting depot behind King’s Stables Road in Edinburgh for an event called ‘Hidden Door Electric City’. It will transform it, for one last time, into an area where the public can explore and discover live music venues, theatre spaces, bars, a cinema, and a multitude of art exhibition, installation spaces and some of Scotland’s best emerging creative talent.

Our show will feature the full Dead Stations album (we performed a stripped-down version for the live shows) with accompanying animated visuals from Nica Harrison and Atikah Zailani. There’ll also be a guest appearance of the music video animated by Gavin C Robinson.

Our piece is being shown in the cinema space at King’s Stables Road on the evening of Monday 30th May, exact time to be confirmed. See the website for further details.

Date: 30th May
Time: tbc (evening)
Venue: Kings Stables Road, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Tickets: £10 (£8) – ticket gives you access to all evening events for the day


VIDEO: Single launch Eyes Fixed by Mike Vass

Category : Blog Videos

Talented animator Gavin Robinson has created a gorgeous new video for Mike Vass’s song ‘Eyes Fixed’, which features as part of The Dead Stations project. The track features the singing of Mairi Campbell and will be released as a single on 18th March.


eyes fixed vid image

VIDEO: Dead Stations Trailer

Category : Blog News Videos

Whilst making The Dead Stations, we’ve been lucky to work with two talented young animators, Nica Harrison and Atikah Zailani. They’ve made visuals to go with the live show, and a trailer. Take a look!

Press Release: Mike Vass/Mairi Campbell The Dead Stations

Category : Blog Press releases

Press release

11th January 2016

DS flyer crop

Mike Vass and Mairi Campbell collaborate on exciting new project and tour



Scottish musicians Mike Vass and Mairi Campbell have joined forces for the exciting new creative project The Dead Stations, which is touring Scotland in early 2016.

The Dead Stations combines live music, recorded audio drama and animation to tell the thrilling tale of what happens after a passenger alights at a deserted train station in a forest. The show is inspired by a train journey on a remote rail track, and by abstract ideas about Little Red Riding Hood.

Award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Vass has composed the music for the project. And in his first serious foray into songwriting, Vass has written the two stunning songs, Sleepless and Eyes Fixed, especially for the project. Vass’s last album In The Wake Of Neil Gunn was nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award 2015.

Campbell, who has just won Instrumentalist of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards, gives voice to Vass’s epic songs, which combine classical, electronic and pop influences.

Campbell and Vass will perform the score to The Dead Stations in the project’s launch tour, which culminates in a performance at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh. In the live piece, Campbell sings and plays viola and Vass plays tenor guitar and violin.

“I’m really proud of how the songs have turned out,” said Vass. “Mairi was the obvious choice for the songs and for this project. I love the tone, character and emotion that she conveys with her voice and with the fiddle.”

Campbell said: “I’m excited to be part of Mike and Charlotte’s vision to bring music and story together. Mike has such a unique and interesting songwriting voice. The songs he has written for this project are just gorgeous.”

The Dead Stations is written and directed by Charlotte Hathaway, an exciting new Glasgow-based writer, and is supported by Creative Scotland, Arts Trust Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art.

Vass and Hathaway first worked together creatively on the Remembered/Imagined project in 2013, which saw composers and writers pair up to create a new work that was performed by Mr McFall’s Chamber.

Hathaway said: “Mike and I wanted to build on our first creative project to make a more ambitious and immersive piece, and it’s been really exciting to tie all the different elements of that together. The actors, recording engineer, animators and sound designers have all been fantastic to work with, and Mike and Mairi are the most incredible musicians so this has been a creative dream team for me.

“In terms of the narrative of the story, I don’t want to give too much away at this stage. It’s quite dark, but I’m intrigued to see how the audience will feel about the characters in the end.”





Scotland tour dates

26 February – Skye @ SEALL Sabhal Mor Ostaig

27 February – Inverie @ Knoydart

28 February – Ardfern @ Craignish Village Hall

5 March – Banchory @ Woodend Barn

6 March – Drumnadrochit @ Glenurqhart Public Hall

11 March – Edinburgh @ Queens Hall – also featuring Yoann Mylonakis



Editors’ notes


@saystheking (Mike Vass)





All show information

Mike Vass, Mairi Campbell and Charlotte Hathaway are available for interview or comment


About Mike Vass

Winner of the prestigious ‘Composer of the Year’ title at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in 2012 and nominated ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in 2014, Mike has been described as ‘one of the most original composers working in the field of acoustic music’ (Richard Lindsay, Ullapool Guitar Festival).

He is in great demand as a performer, composer, producer and teacher; regularly touring with Scots singer Fiona Hunter whose critically acclaimed debut solo album he produced and arranged. He has performed extensively in the past few years with a number of acts including leading Scots Song band Malinky, the Paul McKenna Band, The Battlefield Band, Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes, Siobhan Miller, Robyn Stapleton, in a duo with twin sister Ali, and with International super group Fiddle Rendezvous, featuring Bruce Molsky, Maryann Kennedy and Gerry O’Connor.

Mike’s New Voices Commission ‘String Theory’ debuted in 2010 at Celtic Connections, and was described as ‘the most direct and honest since the idea was first conceived … precision, subtlety and attention to detail’. One of the highlights, the avant-garde piece ‘Man’s Search’ inspired by Viktor Frankl’s best-selling book, was described as ‘utterly compelling’ and was subsequently featured by the Victor Frankl Institute in Austria to commemorate Frankl’s birthday.

In 2012 Mike went on to release his critically acclaimed solo project ‘DecemberWell’, a highly original, kaleidoscopic work inspired by the Scottish Winter month of December. In the summer of 2014  Mike undertook his most ambitious project yet: ‘In the Wake of Neil Gunn’, a Creative Scotland Traditional Arts Commissioning project featuring a mirror voyage of writer Neil Gunn’s 1937 odyssey and a new album of original music inspired by the trip. The resulting album was longlisted for the SAY Award 2015 and shortlisted for Album of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2015.


About Mairi Campbell

Mairi Campbell is an influential and pioneering figure in Scottish music. Her music has a rooted and powerful quality and her musical interests are wide ranging: from playing Scottish dance music to pushing the boundaries of the traditional music scene with her soundings and improvisations.

Mairi recently won Instrumentalist of the Year 2015 at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards; and has previously won Scots singer of the year and tutor of the year. She has also won the Live Ireland Music Award for best female musician of the year, as well as the award for best composition of the year.

Her voice was heard worldwide when her version of Auld Lang Syne (with David Francis as The Cast) was used in a pivotal scene in the film Sex and The City (2008). She has performed the song at the Kennedy Center Awards before President Clinton and at the Scottish Parliament.

Mairi is a skilled and experienced free improviser who has continuously developed her practice and found collaborators and mentors in this field. Most recently she has worked with Kath Burlinson (Authentic Artist Collective) and Paul Oertel and Nancy Spanier. She is also trained in InterPlay, a cross-form arts and community building practice. In 2007 Mairi founded her own music retreats on the Isle of Lismore.



For all press enquiries please contact Charlotte Hathaway on or 07986121370

TRACK: A meditation on loss from Mike Vass

Category : Tracks

Mike has been in the studio this week recording a new single. We’re very please to announce it here. You can get it on bandcamp and shortly iTunes and other platforms. Thanks for supporting independent music!

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 track=50971214 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5]

Dead Stations tour dates announced

Category : News

The Dead Stations by Charlotte Hathaway and Mike Vass

We are excited to announce the dates of our 2016 Dead Stations launch tour featuring Mairi Campbell:

“The whole forest has this feeling of going on forever. And if you lose track of the train line then you’re lost…”

A story told through live music, recorded actors and projected animation. Mike Vass and Mairi Campbell come together to create a haunting landscape of music and song.

Dead Stations are out of use platforms on a remote train line through the forested mountains.

The piece came about as a result of the 2013 Remembered/Imagined project which commissioned pairs of composers and writers to create a collaboration of words and music inspired by the School of Scottish Studies Sound Archives; and performed by Mr McFall’s Chamber, an actor and a singer.

It was the first time Charlotte and Mike had worked together creatively and they wanted to develop this concept to create a longer, more ambitious and more immersive piece.

The Dead Stations brings together music, sound design and recorded voice actors to build the atmosphere, with animators creating accompanying images.

It’s a story designed to be listened to: a mystery about loneliness and the mind, inspired by a train ride through Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest and abstract ideas about Little Red Riding Hood.


Written and conceived by Charlotte Hathaway, music and lyrics by Mike Vass.

Collaborating with: Nica Harrison and Atikah Zailani (animation); and Lewis Jones of Red Eye Sound Design and Yoann Mylonakis (sound design)

Featuring performances by:

Mairi Campbell (vocals and viola)
Mike Vass (tenor guitar and violin)
Yoann Mylonakis (piano)
Ishbel McFarlane (voice actor)
Tommy Herbert (voice actor)
Ian Watt (voice actor)
Kathleen MacInnes (voice actor)

Poster design by Lizzy Doe and additional material from Iain Hutchison, Euan Burton and Scott Mackay.

Supported by Creative Scotland, Arts Trust Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art

For more information contact

Album of the Year Award Nomination

Category : News Uncategorized

We’re over the moon that, after a fantastic year for the album, Mike Vass’ In the Wake of Neil Gunn has been shortlisted for Album of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.

Voting is open until 20th November, and the Awards take place on 5th December. Take a look at the other nominations and vote here.

TRACK: Eyes Fixed by Mike Vass feat. Mairi Campbell

Category : Blog Tracks

We’re working on an experimental new project combining scripted drama with music and animation for a record that’s not quite music album, not quite radio drama, and when seen live, isn’t quite animated film either. It’s a wonderful mixture of all the media. The project features original score by Mike Vass and writing by Charlotte Hathaway, as well as animation and sound design from Edinburgh College of Art. We’re very excited about it, and the sound is making an excursion from Mike’s more recognisable Scottish traditional melodies. The album ‘The Dead Stations‘ is due to be released at the end of February with a short tour of Scotland and launch at Edinburgh’s Queens Hall in March.

This sample track features vocals and viola from Mairi Campbell:

Supported by Creative Scotland and Arts Trust Scotland

In the Wake of Neil Gunn @ Edinburgh Fringe

The 10-track recording, recently nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year Award, featured samples of “found sound” recorded on the trip (from flapping flags to Tobermory clock chime) and live instruments captured later in the studio. Highly original and genre-hopping across folk, classical and electronic styles, it is a suite of music that ebbs and flows, variously subtle and symphonic.

At the Fringe shows Mike will be joined by some of Scotland’s foremost traditional musicians who also featured on the album. While Mike plays tenor guitar and masterminds the sampling, Jennifer Port plays oboe and clarsach (Celtic harp), Hamish Napier is on piano and flute, Euan Burton plays double bass and Innes Watson plays guitar. Adding to the filmic sound is The Cairn String Quartet of Katie Rush and Catherine Robertson on violin, Annemarie McGahon on viola and Susan Applebe on cello.

The performance will integrate traditional, classical and electronic elements alongside film, photography and spoken extracts from Gunn’s work – vividly evoking the moods of the sea, weather and landscape in one memorable musical-maritime experience.