The University of Edinburghs Celtic & Scottish Studies presents: School of Scottish Studies Archives - In Light

The University of Edinburghs Celtic & Scottish Studies department will host an online event celebrating the School of Scottish Studies Archives on Saturday 22nd of August.  The day will feature specially commissioned new work from Scottish musicians Mhairi Hall and Rachel Newton, as well as film screenings and panel discussions, followed by an evening concert of music, storytelling and dance from a stellar cast of performers from both sides of the Atlantic. The evening concert will be hosted by Professor Gary West, Chair in Scottish Ethnology.

 The line-up features a host of incredible talent, including performances from musicians Julie Fowlis & Éamon Doorley; BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Ali Levack; Steve Byrne, Margaret Stewart, Fulbright-Scotland Visiting Professor Margaret McAllister, acclaimed author and storyteller Ian Stephen, amongst many others.

The evening concert will also include three special transatlantic guests: singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, fiddler Alasdair Fraser and dancer/musician Nic Gareiss as well as a performance from Glasgow based Chinese singer and storyteller Fong Liu.

 Dr Neill Martin, Head of Celtic & Scottish Studies said ‘We conceived this event amid the bewildering early stages of lockdown, when it seemed that the music stopped and all around became still and eerily quiet. This is our response; an assertion of the power of music, song and the traditional arts of all kinds to create and sustain community in times of adversity. We hope you will join us.’

School of Scottish Studies Archives Traditional Artist in Residence Mike Vass said ‘It has been a privilege curating this online event - many of the artists have a long association with the Archives and have drawn inspiration from them. Hosting this event online allows us to shine a light on the creativity that springs from this amazing resource, and on the wealth of material contained within it. We look forward to sharing this fantastic line-up, bringing together different audiences, and making connections through our shared cultural heritage.’

The online event will serve as a taster of what’s to come in 2021, as the department of Celtic and Scottish Studies prepare to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the School of Scottish Studies, and launch a brand new Master’s programme for traditional artists (musicians, dancers and storytellers) - the first of its kind.

 The day of events will be streamed on the Celtic & Scottish Studies Youtube channel and Facebook page on Saturday 22 August from 2pm.