A Time to Keep - Event Showcasing Songs by Lise Sinclair & Ástvaldur Traustasson

28 February 2012

A Time to Keep - Event Showcasing Songs by Lise Sinclair & Ástvaldur Traustasson

A Time to Keep - Songs by Lise Sinclair & Ástvaldur Traustasson - based on short stories by George Mackay Brown

March 2012

All dates and locations of this event are:

Thursday 8th March - St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall
Friday 9th March - Fair Isle
Sunday 11th March - Town Hall, Lerwick
Thursday 15th March - Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Saturday 17th March - Norræna húsið, Reykjavík, Iceland


The stories in George Mackay Brown's, "A Time to Keep" are tales of life in all its small detail, set in the harsh and beautiful landscape of the Northern Isles. They are lit with the author's precise, poetic touch and the characteristically understated Northern voice. The characters inhabit an unwritten history between the sagas and the 20th century as if carefully gathered from time itself.

Lise Sinclair is a singer, songwriter and poet of that same landscape and its music and literary traditions - a native of Fair Isle, Britain's most remote inhabited island, half way between Orkney and Shetland.

Lise has written a series of new songs that will bring the stories out of the book and connect the past with the present and the Northern Isles with Iceland, where George MacKay Brown drew reference and linked the Scottish and Nordic cultures as they are still lived in these Isles. Lise says that it wasn't so much an idea that presented itself, as she began to hear these songs on first reading the book, as if they were already there, singing out of George's clear, lyrical prose."

The music has been written in collaboration with Icelandic musician and composer, Ástvaldur Traustasson and recorded by a band of musicians from across the North Isles and Iceland, including Lise, Ástvaldur, Inge Thomson, Brian Cromarty, Ewen Thomson and poet and Icelandic translator A∂alstein Asberg Sigur∂sson. The band gathered from the North, in Edinburgh in January to rehearse and record the songs and will be releasing the album and performing the songs at a special series of concerts set to take place in the Isles, Edinburgh and Reyjavík in March 2012, at the end of the Year of Scotland's Islands.

The music is a rich tapestry of sound: voices, piano, fiddle, guitars, accordion, mandolin, banjo and harmonium, blending a wealth of tradition with what's new in Scottish music and Icelandic jazz into songs which are a journey from beginning to end, through time, under wide island skies.

The first performance is on Thursday 8th March in St. Magnus Cathedral in Orkney, a place where George Mackay Brown found inspiration, and where the fusion of Norse and Scottish voices resonates in the very stone. The performances includes Icelandic readings of the lyrics by A∂alstein Asberg Sigur∂sson.

Tickets cost £8 (£6 concession) and for the Northern Isles concerts are available from Shetland Box Office on 01595 745555 or www.shetlandboxoffice.org. Entry to the Fair Isle concert is by paying at the door.

This event is supported by the Scotland's Islands project, Shetland Arts, Scottish Islands Writers Network, Creative Scotland and The George Mackay Brown Fellowship.


Scotland’s Islands - the events, exhibitions and activities happening all year round.

We list every event we hear of, large and small, taking place on the islands of Scotland or taking place elsewhere and relating to Scotland's Islands. They provide a unique opportunity to savour the diversity and excitement of island life. Check our our facebook page for general updates too - http://www.facebook.com/ScotlandsIslands.  

There has never been a better time for you to visit Scotland's Islands, to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and unspoilt beaches, to get close to dramatic wild-life, learn about our heritage, participate in a great range of activities, and enjoy our music, food and drink.

All this on some of our 99 inhabited islands large and small (and many more uninhabited) accessible by sea and air in six regions: Argyll & Bute, Highland, North Ayrshire, Orkney, Outer Hebrides and Shetland.



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