Skye Festival/ Fèis an Eilein programme announced including world premiere of ‘Aiseag’

SEALL (Skye Events for All) has announced its programme for the Skye Festival (Fèis an Eilein) which runs across the whole of July and August in the Sleat Peninsula in the south of the Isle of Skye .

As well as a jam packed programme of traditional music and ceilidhs featuring well loved musicians Mary Ann Kennedy, Christine Primrose , Charlie MacKerron and bands Rant and Cherrygrove, the festival also encompasses a wide array of artists from the rest of the UK and abroad. Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, Sotho Sounds from Lesotho , Skip Gorman from the US will all bring their unique sounds to venues at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland ’s Gaelic College . On a practical music-making note, the Festival is working with local FOTS records to develop ‘Trash the Orchestra’, inviting the public to create instruments from sea-shore and household junk.

There will be theatre from Dundee Rep, an outdoor walking performance from Magnetic North, storytelling and a number of films including ‘Seachd -  Inaccessible Pinnacle’ and the recently acclaimed ‘Bridge Rising’ about the Skye Bridge.

One of the aims of the festival is to showcase the wealth of creative talent in the area. Local tourism organization Visit Sleat has organized a pop up gallery ‘Made in Sleat’ with work for sale from well-known local artists and craft makers. There will also be an art installation by Hector MacInnes and Kate McMorrine as well as month long  gallery residencies at Talla Dearg, Isle Ornsay. For the first time, guided minibus tours of the Sleat peninsula will be available twice weekly guided by local taxi company owners Peggy and Donny Nicolson.

And to celebrate the unique coastal landscape of the area, SEALL has teamed up with The Highland Council and will be hosting the Skye and Lochalsh Seashore Festival as part of the wider programme. Activities include rock pool safaris, story-telling and local history talks.

And finally - in what is an endorsement of Skye as a cultural hub in the Highlands - , the Skye Festival opens with the world premiere of ‘Aiseag’ a composition by Mary Ann Kennedy with co-creators Canadian composer Scott Macmillan, Gaelic poet Aonghas MacNeacail and Lochaber-based Watercolour Music audio designer and producer, Nick Turner. A PRS Foundation New Music Biennial commission and part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme ‘Aiseag’ is inspired by the network of small ferries that ply the west coast of Scotland and Nova Scotia . It brings together the voices of Inverness Gaelic choir, the strings of the Scottish Festival Orchestra, and melds them with the sounds of traditional musicians, electronic and real-world sound.

And after all that activity - for those in need of refreshment, there will be home baking available at a host of charity cafes in village halls throughout the area. 

Duncan MacInnes, Director of SEALL said “Sleat has a huge amount to offer as an area, from its scenery, to its people and the musical and creative talent which is everywhere. This festival gives something just a little bit different – we’ve got some great acts and some unusual venues and a huge amount of community support and involvement. There really is something for everyone and we hope the festival gives a good excuse to come and explore. “

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8 Jul 2014
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