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  • 12/09/13

    I've had an incredible but intensely busy summer. Things always quieten down a little in September after the madness of the festival season. But not for long...

    My album Hotline was released on July 1st and has been receiving good reviews. Here's one from The Herald. And Songlines gave it 4 stars calling it 'A mosaic placing the traditional next to the experimental - as much jazz as it is folk'.

    Since the start of July I've played festivals in Ortigueira in Galicia, Hebcelt, Larmer Tree, Folk By the Oak, Wickham, Trelawnyd, Sidmouth, Snape Proms, Fiddle Frenzy in Shetland,Telemark in Norway, Green Man in Wales and Tonder in Denmark.

    Low playing Green Man. Lau played this stage on the Sunday evening. It was exciting.

    I've also written the music for a play called The Baroness, a psycho-sexual drama set in the early 1950s and tells the story of the intense friendship between the 62-year-old Karen Blixen (pen-name Isak Dinesen), the writer of Out of Africa, and Thorkild Bjornvig, 29 years old and a rising star of Danish poetry. It opened in Stornoway on 31st August and is touring Scotland through September with the brilliant Dogstar Theatre Company. The play will finish off at The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh on the 27th and 28th September.

    Rehearsals for The Baroness in Stornoway

    This month sees me writing more and touring less. Reacquainting myself with Edinburgh post festival is always a treat. I've been writing for The Woodend Barn's Atomic Doric project and have started, with Lau, on a new piece for the PRSF's New Music Biennial programme which will premiere at Celtic Connections in 2014 and will be used as part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations in Glasgow.

    There are some gigs though! Kan are out on the road next weekend.

    Thursday 19th - The Tolbooth, Stirling
    Friday 20th - Saltaire Festival
    Saturday 21st - CCA, Glasgow

    Hope to see you at some of these.

    Here's hoping for an Indian summer. Do we even get those?

    Aidan x

  • 23/07/13

    I'm heading north tomorrow to spend some time in some beautiful areas in Aberdeenshire. The purpose is to connect with the landscape and the people and eventually I'll write some music which will be performed in Woodend Barn in November.

    But the next few days are about walking and talking and playing tunes outside, meeting people and being inspired by what's around me. It got me thinking tonight, about what actually inspires me when I write:

    Being outdoors and with nature calms me. The flash of inspiration doesn’t often come to me when I'm outside just because I’m outside and it’s beautiful. It's more to do with when I'm actually writing (and it's grafting, for me anyway) and I have a contemplative place I can go to, to help block out the madness or mundanity or stress of life.

    I sit and play and record and focus on the beautiful things. Then I play more and notate and try and be at peace, to create. Nature and the outdoors and especially the Scottish landscape is a safe and comforting place in my mind.

    If I get a chance to spend time to write in these areas then all the better. It doesn't always lead to calming beautiful music, quite often the opposite, but it helps calm the peripheral thoughts that can often blur the creative channels.

    I often write music about places. This is a strange concept to some people. But it seems quite natural to me. It's not like the music is directly influenced by the shape of that hill or the sound of that wave, it might be, in some way, but the dedication of the tune to a place is more about how that place made me feel and how it helped focus my mind on the music and only the music.

    More info in this project here

  • 26/06/13

    I'm involved in an interesting writing project which is part of Creative Scotland's Year of Natural Scotland programme.

    It's a project using multiple artforms, diverse locations and a variety of different community groups to take a look at Scotland’s varied landscape and its connections to the wider world. Be it music, film, words or dance; each can interpret the scenery of the land and the characteristics of people. This project will explore the idea that no matter which geography you inhabit, you can be at the epicentre of a universal enquiry.
    There is more information here

  • 22/06/13

    I wrote a couple of blogs while in Japan. Part 1 is here and part 2 here