Songs of Separation brought together ten female folk musicians from Scotland and England, to create a recording which reflects on the issue of ‘separation’ in its many forms, through traditional song.
Celebrating the similarities and differences in our musical, linguistic and cultural heritage, and set in the context of a post-referendum world, the work aims to evoke emotional responses and prompt new thinking about the issue of separation as it occurs in all our lives. The collected songs will aim to get to the heart of what we feel when we are faced with a separation, both good and bad. Providing a ‘thread through time’, joining us to previous generations who shared the same human experiences and responses to separation, and to the generations that will follow.
Taking place on the beautiful Isle of Eigg in June 2015, the musicians spent an intensive week rehearsing and recording, including site recordings at the two sites central to the ‘Big Women of Eigg’ legend.
The SoS musician team brought together the musical skills and ‘big thinking’ of Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart, two of the UK’s most celebrated voices, Mary Macmaster and Kate Young, two boundary-breaking Scots, Hannah James, Hazel Askew and Rowan Rheingans, from the award winning English ensemble Lady Maisery, Jenn Butterworth and Jenny Hill, brilliant backline players who have worked in both English and Scottish trad scenes, and Hannah Read, a New York-based musician who spent much of her childhood on the Isle of Eigg. It was an unforgettable week of wonderful music making and compelling discussion!
We have been sharing the progress of the work through short films, released during the week of the recording (see our youtube channel), and we are currently working on a ‘making of’ documentary, to go with the album, with a planned release in January 2016.