Detta: It's a Drone!

I have just come back from a lovely couple of days in the Western Isles, East Ayrshire and the Highlands.

While I was in the Western Isles I was brilliantly assisted by Catriona Watt a Gaelic singer and fiddle player. Over the couple of days I was there, several incidents seemed to connect Eva Quartet to the Gaelic tradition.

One day we stopped for lunch by the Harris Tweed shop, famous for making its tweed wool clothes, hats, scarves and all manner of things! As we were eating, Catriona was telling me about the waulking songs that women would sing as they beat and softened the cloth and how she had been reminded of this after a discussion about Bulgarian women’s working songs at Leverhulme School earlier in the day. As in Gaelic music, there is a strong tradition of women’s working songs in Bulgarian music and many of the songs Eva Quartet sing reflect this, such as ‘The Sun Shimmers’, which is a harvest song from Thrace and is on the Love Music Festival Jukebox.

After lunch, we went to Sir E Scott School, where, during the workshop, one boy thought he had heard a Bulgarian word that sounded like the Gaelic word for ‘stop’, just at the point when the music did stop!

After repeated listenings, we decided that the word they were singing was similar but not the same as the Gaelic word, and we still have to find out from Eva Quartet what this word means in Bulgarian…

Both of these incidents got me thinking about how we listen to and relate to music. How is it that we hear the things we hear inside of the music? Sometimes music can sound so new and different to us and yet at the same time we can connect to it and find things in it from our own lives.

Try listening to some of the music on the Jukebox and see what it reminds you of? Does it bring any memories up for you? Or make you think of something familiar?

One last example seems particularly apt for the children of Inverie and Morar schools in the Highlands who had a visit from me on a very blustery day this week.

Detta blog 5

After talking a little bit about drones, we got down to the business of making some of our own music, however just as we were about to record it, the wind picked up and was howling around the school building. One girl from Inverie School pipped up, ‘it’s a drone!’ and indeed it was. You might even be able to hear it on our recording. After the workshop, the children from Inverie had to hop on the ferry back home in gale force 9 winds! Good luck to you guys, I hope you made it.

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