Songs of Separation brought together ten female folk musicians from Scotland and England, to create a recording which reflects on the issue of ‘separation’ in its many forms, through traditional song.
Taking place on the beautiful Isle of Eigg in June 2015, the musicians spent an intensive week rehearsing and recording, including site recordings at the two sites central to the ‘Big Women of Eigg’ legend.
The SoS musician team brought together the musical skills and ‘big thinking’ of Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart, two of the UK’s most celebrated voices, Mary Macmaster and Kate Young, two boundary-breaking Scots, Hannah James, Hazel Askew and Rowan Rheingans, from the award winning English ensemble Lady Maisery, Jenn Butterworth and Jenny Hill, brilliant backline players who have worked in both English and Scottish trad scenes, and Hannah Read, a New York-based musician who spent much of her childhood on the Isle of Eigg. It was an unforgettable week of wonderful music making and compelling discussion!
Songs of Separation are performing a gig on 24th January 2016, at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow as part of Celtic Connections and are partnered with Artlink Central to offer a unique opportunity to bring Artlink Central beneficiaries, many of home will never have attended a music festival, to this gig through generous acts of musical kindness by supporters of the SoS project.
So how did this come about?
"A random act of musical kindness
Songs of Separation recently received an intriguing email from a lovely man from the States. This is what he said:
My wife and I have been following SoS, and we’re eagerly awaiting your CD. However, it’s not likely we’ll be able to cross the ocean for one of your gigs, so I had this idea, and if you think it worthwhile, I’ll need help with the logistics. It’s an idea of making a connection where there’s separation.
The idea is that we buy tickets to a gig, to be given to someone deserving, who might otherwise not be able to attend…() perhaps the members of SoS could choose the recipients. I can also think of one or two other remote friends who might want to do this, and if they tell two friends, and so on and so on, we might be able to bring quite a few people in out of the cold. Worth considering? Please let me know.
We were really excited about this idea (it sort of ‘fits’ some of our themes around social capital) and we decided to do an experiment. We wondered if other people would like to buy tickets for someone else to attend the Songs of Separation gig on 24th January 2016, at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow?
How will we do this?
We have approached a brilliant, small organisation, Artlink Central, who work with groups of people who have support needs, enabling them to access high quality arts experiences. They run a range of programmes, co-designed with participants, working alongside professional artists, for children and adults with disabilities, mental health difficulties, people who have dementia and women leaving prison. Artlink Central have agreed to help us offer these tickets to people who would love to come along, and would gain something significant from the experience.
Find out more about Artlink Central
We know the arts can have a profoundly positive impact, and we are profoundly thankful to anyone who chooses to take part in these ‘random acts of musical kindness’. The project is called ‘Save Our Seats’, a play on ‘Songs of Separation’s’ acronym. Thanks for saving a seat for someone else, who will really appreciate it."
- Sounds of Separation
Find out more about Songs of Separation - book tickets or save a seat!