There are ten musicians in the Songs of Separation gang, hailing from across Scotland and England. Some of you will know some of us… but in case there are a few of us you’ve not encountered before, here’s an introduction in the form of a short, quirky interview.
Today we feature a very special musician – Kate Young – and there will be more interviews from the gang over the next few weeks. Please keep in touch or join our newsletter if you’d like to find out more!
What made you want to start playing music?
Kate: When i was five, I went into an antique shop with my parents who had gone to get a cupboard. I became transfixed on this dusty old piano that barely worked. We brought it home and the tunes began. Started fiddle a little later and did all the Edinburgh-based folk things like the Feis, Tinto Summer School etc….
What made you choose your instrument?
Kate: I don’t know if I thought about it so much at the time – I just wanted to play tunes (I was also playing a ton of other instruments around age nine!)
Who would you say have been your influences (musical and otherwise)?
Kate: Tori Amos, Joanna Newsom, Liz Carroll, Jan Švankmajer (Czech film director), Nature.
Tell us one unusual thing about you
Kate: I hate parallel parking. Sorry that’s not very unusual is it?
What do you want the Songs of Separation project to achieve?
Kate: It will be a great opportunity for us folks who don’t usually get to hang out, to hang out and hopefully some interesting things will surface – musically, conversationally or perhaps thematically. We have recently undergone significant changes in the political climate in Scotland and our relationship to the rest of the UK, so I think it will be very topical that these English and Scottish musicians will be together focussing on what connects us in our past and present.
I think this project also brings into the light the role of the female folk musician. Times have changed dramatically for women over the years, and we have much more freedem than we would have done 100 years ago. But still there seems to be a more male-dominated music scene, prevailing across other music scenes and industries. This is our chance to research and collaborate on material that we feel is relevent to us as women in the work we do, and hope this will act as something for young female musicians to aspire to.
Got any news?
Kate: I have a relatively new album out under Kate in the Kettle – ‘Swimmings of the Head’. This year got off to a fun start with performing some of my songs/pieces with Mr McFall’s Chamber at Celtic Connections and recently performing at 6 Music festival in Newcastle with Moulettes. I’m on tour as ‘Kate in the Kettle’ in May!
Check out Kate doing her thing here: