Friday, 8 January 2021

Celtic Connections first online festival 2021!


Transatlantic Sessions 2020

At this cold and dark time of year the accomplished and melodic fires of music light up our hearts and the evening skies

 

Celtic Connections, the world's biggest winter folk festival, first online festival will celebrate the musical connections, accomplished musicians, perfect melodies, musical traditions and much more. Its hard to explain what its like to miss the buzz that surrounds folk festivals and the importance to our lives of live music. So I'm looking forward to seeing some top class Celtic concerts online and on the BBC

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR MUSICIANS IN THESE DARK TIMES 


Celtic Connections has now listed their first online digital festival. 

Some photos for the Danny Kyle stage.






The festival will run from Friday 15th January to Tuesday 2nd February 2021Follow the conversation at @ccfest

TICKETS AND PROGRAM - : www.celticconnections.com

SOME HIGHLIGHTS

Monday 25th January

*BBC Scotland channel: BURNS NIGHT with the BBC SSO, EDDI READER and KAREN MATHESON 7pm - 8pm 

 

*Some of CELTIC CONNECTIONS festival will be on BBC Alba

Friday 15th January Celtic Connections 2021 Online Celebration Concert (Various Artists) 7.30pm - 9pm £10 On BBC ALBA: EP1 Cuirm@Celtic Connections: Duncan Chisholm 9pm 

Monday 18th January - Come Away In with Karine Polwart, Eddi Reader, Rab Noakes, Siobhan Miller & Finlay Napier 7.30pm - 9pm £7

 

Wednesday 20th January   Blue Rose Code - Karen Matheson - LYRE - Rory Butler 7.30pm - 9pm £7

 

Friday 22nd January - Blazin Fiddles - Xabier Diaz - Gnoss - Deirdre Graham 7.30pm - 9pm £7. On BBC ALBA: EP2 Cuirm@Celtic Connections: The Staves 9pm

Sunday 24th January - The Secret Sisters - Kinnaris Quintet - An Tobar Presents 7.30pm - 9pm £7

Friday 29th January -  Transatlantic Sessions with Special Guests 7.30pm - 8.30pm £10

Saturday 30th January - Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi - Kris Drever - Dean Owens with Joey Burns (Calexico) 8pm - 9.30pm £7


Musical Director Donald Shaw - “The resounding feeling that has come out of the recording days is a space for musicians to come back, to play again, to feel part of the community that they helped to create. The last time a lot of the contributing artists performed was at Celtic Connections 2020 and now they are back playing as part of the festival one year on after what has undoubtedly been the hardest year of their careers. We feel incredibly proud that as a festival, along with our funding partners, we have allowed for this safe space for them to play again, embrace their creativity and ultimately give them hope that there is a future for them within this industry.”


Aly Bain


 The Celtic Connections online festival will begin one week today. Across 19 days, the festival will present over 30 online performances between Friday 15th January and Tuesday 2nd February 2021.

World class concerts will be available to view online with some of the biggest names on the Scottish music scene and beyond appearing on screens across the world as part of the winter festival. Celtic Connections has created unique digital content from specially commissioned projects and performances filmed across many of Glasgow’s much-loved venues. International artists have also contributed to the eclectic line-up by recording performances remotely.

Traditionally, the festival welcomes over 100,000 attendees to Glasgow, a UNESCO City of Music, and on announcing the digital-first festival organisers hoped it would appeal to the wide international audience they usually see attending the festival. The 19-day event undoubtedly has caught the attention of music fans across the world with festival passes purchased in 35 countries already. With the festival’s global audiences in mind, they have allowed for all shows to be available for a week after they are first streamed to alleviate any restrictions for different time zones enjoying the range of content.  


Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “The announcement of the full festival programme today marks a huge moment for me and the wider team. The concept for a digital-first Celtic Connections was borne out of a desire to promote wellbeing and optimism amongst fellow musicians as much as it was about still being able to offer entertainment to our loyal Celtic Connections audiences during the dark nights of January. 


John Paul White


Rab Noakes

Eddi Reader and the RSNO


Thursday, 31 December 2020

Year of Turbulence 2020

 

Walks kept us going
 
We’ve Lost and Gained

We have passed through the porthole of the pandemic into a new existence and we don’t yet know where the pieces will land. The world as we know it has fragmented. Much has changed, much remains the same. 

 

The vaccines are coming, but we are only at base camp for recovery. Its been a year of limbo, with a blank calendar, working at home, empty shops, queues,… 2020 saw many major and life threatening errors – failure to act quickly, out-of-date PPE, failure to listen to the science, 

 

We started using Zoom and Skype much more – for interviews, business and family get togethers. Some of this was good and will continue and many found working at home went okay. We went our daily walks which mattered a lot.

City centres were deserted though, and all the small cafes and shops that support city working will surely close. Cities will need to adapt and change as people bought more locally. 

 

Empty Princes street during lockdown

Edward Carson statue thrown into river Bristol Black lives matter

Will calm waters lie ahead in 2021 – perhaps? 

How can we explain the isolation and disquiet of this Covid pandemic to future generations? After seven long months, with our lives often on hold, its been a strange, strange time. It has given us pause for thought though and to consider what is most important in our lives. By far the hardest part has been missing family, 

 

I’ve kept myself busy with major tidying projects in the house and with my vast archives online. After 12 years now pursuing photography, I have a large website archive of photos from Celtic Connections music festival and from Edinburgh book festival – www.pkimage.co.uk.

And also reviews and other essays on my blog www.musicfootnotes.co.uk

 

Over the years I’ve taken photos of many famous people: musicians, novelists, artists, politicians, poets and more. Recently I’ve renewed my interest in history, particularly Scots history, which I had little knowledge of before – from George Buchannan, Edinburgh enlightenment, Thomas Muir, Robert Burns, Eliabeth Stewart, Covenanters, Brognar of Ness Orkney, more. 

In particular I’ve been reading of our Scots Bard RB and I recommend these books –

The Bard by Robert Crawford; robetr bursnan dthe Hellish Legion, John Burnett.

 

President Elect Biden

HIGHER NOTES : President Elect Biden

We may be ending the year on higher notes and its hard to express my desire to see the back of that dark and ignorant bully in the white house, Donald Trump. As the long slow march of Democrat votes were tallied up in November, it was akin to voices of light and sanity speaking up. 

What a relief! I listened to Joe Biden’s first speech as President Elect with hope, as he spoke of healing divisions in America and hopefully worldwide too. This was such a crucial election. I want to tell Biden, education is the key, even if he cant’ pursue all he’d like to! Then I hear that his wife is a teacher. Good news.  

The relief is enormous to return to some kind of sanity and see the back of an opportunist populist and hopefully we might see the back of other opportunists and disrupters closer to home.



People painted windows, stones and decorated with bright lights


I may support an Indy Scotland – but my main motivation is democracy (prefer to be part of a Scottish Democratic party) rather than any sort of nationalism (as Boris likes to focus on) and that’s for Scots to have a voice.

 

Meanwhile the excellent Irish Times writer Fintan O’Toole theorises that the Right has realised their route to electoral success is extreme populism – with opportunistic, fake electoral lies to hoodwink the public to vote for them.

The Tories used to be the party of decency, morality, family values, but not anymore: now Its all taking the party line. Now they represent reckless greed, capitalism and selfish individualism begun under Thatcher, who famously said, “There is no such thing as society.”

And during the First lockdown March the spring air was the most perfect and clear we'd ever seen. I took photos of the blossom with my new Sony  camera.

 

It’s hard to look ahead with any certainties anymore – who can really say. Better to expect the unexpected. There are Big Anniversaries in 2021 – The Declaration of Arbroath, 100 years of Northern Ireland in April, May – Scottish parliament elections. 

If this hard year has taught us nothing, its that the real heroes are the ordinary people who kept our country going and not the people at Westminster. 

 



 

 

 

Fare Well - Homanay Celebrations

Fare Well - Part 129 December - 

Filmed in the stunning Scottish Highlands, tonight we host the premiere of the first instalment of our 2020 online celebrations. 

Fare Well, a visually captivating and emotive experience, will see 150 individual drones take to the skies to deliver the UK's largest swarm drone show.

Set to the words of award-winning poet and Scots Makar, Jackie Kay. Fare Well Part One takes inspiration from what we've been able to do and not do during 2020. Jackie writes about the way that the air carries airs, music, the virus, chants and hymns.  Despite the trauma of the months gone by, we can and must still hope.  Hope for the future, hope for a new year and hope for each other.  Part One of Fare Well looks at the year gone by – the funerals and weddings cancelled, the griefs and despairs which have been collective, with a feeling that the world has become a village.

"This air has heather and malt on its breath

as it sighs, puffed oot after a year of death,

under the blue mask of its flag. The Saltire’s

been a warning cross. Dinny come too near. "

 Drone show pioneers, Celestial have used sophisticated AI software to choreograph their movements, the drones reached an altitude of 150m and top speeds of up to 25mph to form images created by Scottish illustrator, Gary Wilson.  Reflecting both the words from Jackie’s poem and the surrounding nature of the Highlands, the drones depict a series of images including a stunning Stag galloping across the scenery and the Saltire Cross.  Lending their voices to part one are renowned actors David TennantSiobhan Redmond and Lorne MacFadyen; with 25-year-old native Gaelic speaker Winnie from the Isle of Skye completing the line-up, all to a musical score from Skye-based Celtic fusion band, Niteworks.

"Let us remember and never forget

That we won’t let our hopes fizzle out"

 

 

https://www.edinburghshogmanay.com/whats-on/fare-well-part-1

SONGs of 2020

 

There were a few songs that helped through the tough times we all unexpectedly suffered through in 2020. 

 

Songs of pulling together. 

There were many heroes of 2020 – those who selflessly worked in care. 

Each Thursday we clapped on our doorsteps for the health workers – perhaps the clapping might get rid of the virus!

 

*SONGS

Times Like This by Foo Fighters

A star-studded cover version of the Foo Fighters' Times Like These has topped the UK singles chart after a close battle for the number one slot.The charity single, which features Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, Jess Glynne and Biffy Clyro, beat The Weeknd's Blinding Lights by just 3,000 copies.

 

Stand by Me 2020

 

True Colours by the local school choir

 

Hit song Blinding Lights by the Weeknd spent 8 weeks at No One 

 

Ceilidh nights – with renowned fiddler Duncan Chisholm’s from the western isles. Perfect pick up.

 

*MUSIC

Live concerts and festivals were cancelled – but many albums were released.

Taylor Swift re-recorded her albums as Spotfiy take so much of the money on the streaming services. 

Lewis Capaldi – most streamed 

One World concert Lady Gaga

Tv shows and concerts with Zoom audiences. 

 

**TV meanwhile TV series kept us afloat too. 

Queens Gambit

Normal People

The Crown

Succession

 

*Cinema

Bond movie delayed for one year. Cost 250m with 5m in media.

We saw Tenet by in a near empty cinema in September

 

 

 - VOICES FOR SCOTLAND

*The Big Indy night in - https://voicesforscotland.scot