Top music school to launch wild land CD in Birnam

Scotland’s finest young traditional musicians team up with the Trust to celebrate mountain and coastal scenery.

Plockton cd launch   web detail

Birnam Arts Centre is to host a special concert at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17 June, performed by the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music. The musicians will also launch a groundbreaking CD in honour of the diverse range of wild landscapes managed by the John Muir Trust.

The CD – titled The Snow is Melting into Music, from a John Muir quote – and concert have a strong Perthshire dimension. The eight tracks include Seven Men of Knoydart, written by Blairgowrie-born poet and folklorist Hamish Henderson, a dance set of Perthshire reels and a song called The Athole Gathering. The musicians include talented local lass, Mabel Duncan from Scone.

Other areas celebrated on the CD include Knoydart, Sandwood Bay, Assynt and the Borders. The tracks include songs and a variety of original instrumental arrangements featuring accordion, clarsach, guitar, fiddle, bagpipes, piano and whistle.

“So much of Scotland’s music and song is associated with the landscape, especially in the Gaelic tradition, and the John Muir Trust’s work in preserving that landscape is vital,” says Dougie Pincock, Director of the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.

“Despite being young people of the 21st century, our students are fully aware of this link and its importance. In an exercise earlier this year discussing what Scottish traditional music meant to our students, the word ‘place’ was right at the heart of their mind map.”

Mike Daniels, Head of Land Management for the John Muir Trust, and traditional music aficionado, said: “The John Muir Trust is honoured to have worked alongside the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music to get this off the ground.

“Having had the privilege of hearing the music, I would strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in Scotland’s landscape or rich musical heritage should try and get along to the concert. This is a magnificent and inspirational piece of work by Scotland’s most talented young traditional musicians.”

Tickets – priced £8 for adults and £4 for children – are available from the Birnam Arts Centre and on the door.

The Snow is Melting into Music CD will be on the sale at the event, and from the John Muir Trust on 01796 470080 (£10 including postage).