Dee and Don Ceilidh Collective create music inspired by the landscape

After a difficult year for so many, the Dee and Don Ceilidh Collective is delighted to launch a new project encouraging people to not only connect with their local landscape and each other online, but to work with some of Scotland’s most revered traditional musicians to create new music and song.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 7:00 am
Fiddler Adam Sutherland and singer Iona Fyfe are among the musicians participating in the project.
Fiddler Adam Sutherland and singer Iona Fyfe are among the musicians participating in the project.

The project, which is free to all taking part, is entitled ‘Our Living Rivers and Glens’ and will encourage participants to explore their local environment and to collect their responses in word, sound, video and images which will then be uploaded in an online map.

The composers – including fiddlers Charlie McKerron, of Capercaillie, and Tarland’s Paul Anderson – will draw inspiration from the map to form new music, meeting with the participants through online Zoom workshops which will allow them to be involved in the creative process.

As well as learning the new music online, it is hoped that if restrictions allow there will be a gathering later in the year to perform together.

The composers include fiddlers Paul Anderson and Charlie McKerron.

Two well-known North East artists, Gill Russell and Peter Stollery, will be leading the gathering, mapping and collating section of this exciting new project which has received funding from Creative Scotland.

Gill said: “We are very lucky to be able to wander freely through the wonderful landscapes of our rivers and glens.

“Connecting with place is always very personal and depends on one’s own inspirations, experience, memory and connections. I am looking forward to seeing the diverse range of responses generated by our participants”.

Participants can also work alongside fiddlers Adam Sutherland and Arthur Coates and multi-instrumentalists Hamish Napier and Fraser Fifield, and there will be an opportunity to create new songs with singers Jenny Sturgeon, Iona Fyfe and Shona Donaldson.

As well as first class composers, experienced and well-regarded tutors Averil Blackhall, Grace Banks, Pete MacCallum and Carola MacCallum will be involved in the zoom workshops and will teach the new tunes on a variety of instruments including fiddle, guitar, voice and clarsach.

Steve Garrett, of The Dee and Don Ceilidh Collective said: “We are excited to begin exploring new ways of working to connect people to the landscape and each other again.

"We are grateful for funding from Creative Scotland's Open Fund in supporting our artists and musicians who have, no doubt, just faced the most challenging year in their careers.”

The Dee and Don Ceilidh Collective is a charity based in central Aberdeenshire previously running workshop weekends throughout Deeside and Donside and now welcoming people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to sign up to be part of this innovative new project.

Find out more and sign up at no cost for the project at www.deedonceilidhcollective.com/our-living-rivers-and-glens. You can also follow progress on Twitter – twitter.com/DeeDonCeilidh – and Facebook – www.facebook.com/DeeDonCeilidhCollective.