Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Ry Cooder Concert hall

Surprised us all – he had intimacy with the quality of musicianship and his song choices. 
An uplifting experience. He took us on his spiritual journey. 

He performed roots songs by Willie Johnson, Woody Guthrie, and Blind Willie MacTell. 
With reverberating bass sax, gospel singers, strong guitar lines, and his own assured voice – with space and echoes, rumble growls, whispers, wallows, warbles, moans, blues guitar songs. 

Cooder sat surrounded by his 7 guitars. And he was ably backed by The Hamiltones and his son Joachim Cooder. 
He spoke of those today with "weak minds"‘, who know the cost of everything, but not the value of everything. ‘ He spoke of the waffle grid of streets of Santa Monica, where he grew up and his dreams of West Virginia. 

There was warm affection in the room from the packed concert hall for his keen fans, as Ry Cooder held our attention throughout. Surely dedicated to his craft. 

Keeping the Blues alive. A bit of a legend. 
Cooder has a new album 2018. 

Ry Cooder is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, and record producer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for hisslide guitarwork, his interest inroots musicthe United States, and his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries. Films such as Paris Texas.
His solo work draws upon many genres. He has played with - 
Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Randy Newman, Doobie Brothers, The Chieftains and more.
Cooder was ranked eighth on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" A 2010 ranking by  Gibson placed him at number 32.

Robert Burns Ellisland Farm


This summer I was so pleased to visit the last from our great poet Robert Burns lived in. Ellisland is just north of Dumfries and incredibly is pretty intact as when Burns lived here and contains books and other material he had there.  
 **In 1788, Rob and Jean settled at Ellisland farm, a few miles north of the town of Dumfries. It was so romantic and he was so pleased to have the river Nith running beside the new farm. A new farm house had to be built. The land was neglected – old ‘run-rigs’ strips, little drainage, no hedges to keep animals off the crops and no farm house.  They had a servant and farm workers at Ellisland farm so he was then able to write many songs and poems while we stayed here. 

Robert Burns had enjoyed a second winter in Edina in 1788, when stayed in St Andrews square. 
He left Edina that March, little knowing I would never return there. He wanted to return to find his muse and to the land and raise my young family. 

Burns married his Jean in March 1788 and they lived for a time in a small room in Mauchline. 
He was offered the choice of three farms and decided on Ellisland. The farm houses and byre had taken some time to build. Jean stayed with his mother to learn about cheese making for those months.



Burns found time to write near the woods of Craigie burn near Moffat.  He visited the Birks O Aberfeldy on my highland tour. He wrote and sang in the open air to study nature and human nature both. He studied the life of nature around him, from the wild flower, the river banks, the woodlands, the bird song, the small animals underneath, the fields of corn.

His most famous song, Auld Lang Syne was written in 1788, after he heard an old man singing this songs, and Burns added new verses. Burns collected all these old songs on his Scotia travels which inspired him to write his own songs too
He wrote Tam O Shanter – his most famous narrative poem was written on a free day as he walked along the shady path by the banks of the river Nith. He lived at Ellisland for four years. 
He also began training to be an Exciseman, which meant long rides away from home. 
Burns was only thirty and he had been the toast of Edina - he was the new father, the struggling farmer and the ambitious bard. 

Perhaps he had been doing too much - a young father, Exciseman, farmer and collecting songs and writing poetry.  
It became all too much. He sold off the stock to leave the farm life for town life in Dumfries.  
And in 1981 he and his young family left Ellisland for a town house in Dumfries town

Thursday, 25 October 2018

CELTIC CONNECTIONS 2019 launched!

Rab Noakes Old Fruitmarket

Celtic Connections 2019 announced today for its 18 days major winter music festival, 
From 17thJanuary to 3rdFebruary
The UKs premier celebration of celtic music. Over 20 venues in Glasgow, 300 events and 2,100 artists 
The festival will feature alongside one of special event concerts – film screenings workshops, talks, theatre, ceilidhs, exhibitions, free events and late night sessions.

Celtic Connections includes innovative collaborations while respecting past traditions and encourages new talent with late sessions, open mic and more.

Cara Dillon and Scottish National orchestra City Halls
Karen Matheson & Julie Fowlis
In this year of young people, the Opening Concert2019 will celebrate new talent and the passing of traditions between the generations and 15 years since Harvest 2004.

Appearing in 2019 – Rhiannon Giddens, Loudon Wainwright III, Graham Nash, Judy Collins, Kathy Mattea, Eddi Reader, Blazin Fiddles, Cherish the Ladies, Karen Matheson, John Grant, Elephant Sessions, Aiden Moffat and RM Hubbert. 

Special one off concerts include - 
Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInneswill perform with Amilinafrom Iceland, and string section for Sigur Ros. Rachel Sermanni and Jariath Hendersonwith the Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Karine Polwart and Kris Dreverwith the SCO. 

A celebration of folk-blues singer-guitarist John Martyn’s Grace and Danger album with a special line up – Paul Weller, Lucy Rose, Eddi Reader, Ross Wilson, Rory, Butler, Eric Bibb, John Smith, Katie Spencer.

Punch Brothers concert hall
Richard Thompson
*Visual Performances – showcase of Brave in Concert 
And The Bards Tale – a virtual journey through an 18th century Scotland with music, gameplay and acting and some of Scotland’s  finest singers.
Along with Showcase Scotland, World music, Celtic cousins (Ireland, wales Basque country) 

Full details & TICKETS Celtic Connections website - https://www.celticconnections.com/



**Celtic Connections Journeys and Photos since 2008.

I’ve been looking over some of my favourite images from Celtic festival. I’ve been honoured to shoot at the festival since 2008. Its hard to pick my best memories because there are so many!

From the top ceilidh bands, the famous, well kent faces, the emerging young talent, the skilled musicians, indie rock bands, the exciting collaborations and beautiful singers, the pipes and Gaelic song, world music and Irish dance – Celtic has them all and more.
Mogwai
Danny Thompson

Friday, 19 October 2018

PHOTOS V & A Dundee


Kengo Kuma's V & A Dundee

There was a young busker singing in the warm acoustic setting – rich with the river light and wood beams. 

V & A Dundee's Japanese architect Kengo Kuma brings nature’s environment into his buildings, outside the stone cliffs reverberate with movement and water runs underneath. The senses renewal for Dundee – and a new space of confidence and belief. 
And just like a great ship - the outside is cold and grey while inside a golden glow welcomes us. 


Design and Identity 
 Scottish visual identity –
There is a display of the Jacobite allegiance, with tartan, plaid, Celtic design, romance
Centre of skilled craftsmanship, design and of ideas between Scotland and Europe.
From the historic 1480 Book of Hours, The Poetry of Ossian, by James Macpherson.

.Paisley, shawls, Harris tweed, Clyde built ships, distinctive Glasgow style. 

Great Ocean Liners
FRINGE posters

There were interesting posters on display - the Beano, Fringe; Theatre, Slab boys, 
Dundee is the home of Scotland’s vibrant games centre - Lemmings, Mike Daily. Apps, and a hands on creative section.
There is an impressive exhibition of the great age of the Ocean Liners.


Scotland and Asia 1786, where fortunes were made East India trading company.
From1300 – 1707 there were strong links to France, the Baltic and the North Seas. 
There were Churchmen, scholars, merchants, mercenaries, who travelled or settled. https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee

I felt there could have been more focus on Dundee itself and its hugely diverse history. 



Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room
Ossian Poems by James Macpherson