Friday, 15 March 2019

Women Musicians


Beth Orton
There are many exciting Scottish women musicians  
Be Charlotte, Stephanie Cheape, Iona Fyfe, Siobhan WilsonKarine Polwart,

But there is also a serious lack of women producers, songwriters and executives. Women must think bigger. I believe we must have more business and management courses in education. There are many women in media and promotions.


Iona Fyfe
Julie Fowlis

Low Anthem
Sharon Shannon
Imelda May
Congratulations to the recent success of Scots! – Calvin Harris (our major Scots producer) at the Brit awards; Tom Walker from Kilsyth and Lewis Capaldli from Glasgow! Well done to all. 
 
Laura Marling

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

NEW BBC Scotland channel!


The Nine News team,Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler
Launched 24th February 2019, with one of the most successful Scots band Chvrches and the song 'Miracles'.
So far a promising start – well done to all! Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the channel.

I welcome Debate Night much more enjoyable, honest and real than the QT, which brazenly tries to stir up unnecessary controversy – rather than looking for consensus and on how we can move forward. Plus a quality series on the Yes/No Referendum in 2014.

The Nine
The new flagship news program top marks too with presenters Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler. A welcome return of political correspondent James Cook. And shows the breath of talent in Scotland, well able to present international and national news from both Scottish and international perspectives.   
CHVRCHES
There Nine News program with various correspondents in London, Brussels, and other locations. The show is projecting a relaxed format and looks promising so far. 

The schedule is mixed. I believe it's crucial Scotland has its own TV channel so I wish the new channel good fortunes. Catalonia has 4 tv channels - two news channels, an entertainment channel and a family channel.  I am concerned too that the Scottish license money is around £350m, yet only £32m is being spent on this channel. Much more is spent in Wales, England (over 100%) and Northern Ireland (75%) by comparison. Scotland (55%).   (Virgin 108)

BBC Scotland - https://www.bbc.co.uk/welcome-to-your-brand-new-television-channel-bbc-scotland


Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Celebrating indigenous languages

Add caption
 “We loose colour and diversity”\\
Some of the most popular concerts at Celtic Connections festival are the concerts by Gaelic singers. 
Jeremy Dutcher, was awarded Canada’s Polaris Music Prize in 2018 for his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. Dutcher, an indigenous artist from  New Brunswick, performed in the Wolastoq language 

This year at Celtic Connections 2019, as part of  2019 Unesco International Year of Indigenous Languages and to give artists space and time to interrogate how Scotland and Canada’s shared colonial histories manifest within contemporary creative practice. 
Jean Cameron in her article, ‘How our Scotland-Canada collab is celebrating indigenous languages’ writes about how she looked at Scotland’s colonial past after working with artists at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games cultural programme: folk who scrutinised Scotland’s imperial history. …..The Indian Act brought in by Macdonald in 1876 resulted in 100,000 indigenous Canadian children being forcibly sent into the residential school system that removed and isolated them from the influence of their homes, families, languages, traditions and cultures. For too many, these schools were sites of colonial violence where children were subjected to sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the people supposed to “civilise” them. 

Support from Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government in Canada and The High Commission of Canada has enabled us to bring 15 or so artists together, including Kanyen’kehaka (Mohawk) curator Greg Hill from the National Gallery of Canada; Kevin Loring, the first artistic director of indigenous theatre at the National Arts Centre of Canada; Scottish composer and former Young Gaelic Ambassador of the Year Pàdruig Morrison; author Donald S Murray and creative producer Seona McClintock. 
Let us remember why they are smaller and fragile: often due to oppression, cultural imperialism and economic disconnection. These themes will undoubtedly emerge during this exchange. It’s vital to remember language adds colour and tone to life, place, belonging and perspective. If we lose any, we lose that colour and all that it reflects. Nuances and idioms shape us, some words don’t translate, they are untranslatable.”



Language makes us who we are and there is renewed interest in both Scots and Gaelic. Tellingly for the course of the British power in Ireland (the DUP) continue to fight against the acknowledgement of the Irish language, even while original Scots/Irish settlers there spoke Irish Gaelic. In the past century Scots culture was portrayed by an out of touch caricature – of Donald wheres yur troosers, bagpipes and the White Heather Club dancers.
The European project on the other hand values all its regions and understands that EU success depends on the health and diversity of all its constituent parts and the remotest regions and small farms are sent decent grants and support. 



Thursday, 21 February 2019

We are killing our eco system


I heard we’d have birdless skies. On my walks in the marshlands and moors near the Campsies in the summer sunshine, I noticed I cannot see any white butterflies. When I drove over on the M8 to Edinburgh my windscreen used to be covered in dead insects, but not anymore. What is going on? I read of sea lice in Scottish farmed salmon; disposable clothes; of the coral reef disappearing; of children dying of air pollution; and of the plastic choking our beaches and killing life in our oceans. 

What are we doing? What are we thinking? Why aren’t the manufacturers going sustainable, the way we used to be? Why are governments not enforcing Green laws? My instinct always told me that organic and free range was best: these pesticides get into breast milk. 

My mother used to grow her own vegetables. When I was growing up we had strawberries in cardboard punnets; potatoes in dirt sacks (they lasted longer and were fresher this way); fish and meat in greaseproof paper; milk in glass bottles; fruit in brown paper bags. Yes there was life before plastic!  

Now I am astonished at the amount of plastic myself and my husband generate each day. We are in an area that recycles, and I have cut down on my use of plastic bin bags – but it’s really not enough. We’ve been a reckless, thoughtless society. I live in the suburbs of Glasgow and instead of having natural garden habitat or trees, some are concreting over their gardens. We are building houses here on marshland (with the threat of rising sea levels) with no sustainable infrastructure. Who is agreeing to all this? We’ve become a throw away, wasteful world.

I was so pleased to see our young people finally take to the streets in large numbers in Friday, to protest at our selfish carelessness. Scotland has been leading the way in renewables energy – while the UK government has been cutting the funding. We must all work together to save our planet, protect our wildlife and children in poverty. 

Yet the news today is full of a foolhardy Brexit – which is about saving our out-dated, not fit for purpose UK political system. In the big scheme of things, what is really important for the future for our children and grandchildren - sustaining health and life as we know it – or saving the British Tory party? Let's go natural!