r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: September 2018

Air for John Rae

Jennifer Wrigley playing at the opening of a new gallery in The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. She wrote the piece for the 200th anniversary of the birth of the explorer John Rae and is playing on the fiddle Rae took with him on his arctic expeditions and which is now displayed in Stromness Museum in Orkney, his home.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh lecture: John Rae: Forgotten Hero of Arctic Exploration

Take the Slow Road

Highlands and Islands tour video, featuring Kicks In live from Orkney.

Filmed and Edited by Colin Macleod


Eilidh has never left her island. Every day is the same. Same chores, same people, same conversations. She stands on the cliffs and dreams of the Bigland over the sea.
Then one day a strange girl from faraway arrives on the Island - and with her, events that will change Eilidh's life forever.

Boldly exploring themes of conflict, migration and identity, Islander is for everyone 8 years and older. Blending dramatic action, epic storytelling and a cappella song, the performers live-record and layer their voices with looping technology to create a feast for the ears and imagination. -
Helen Milne, producer
directed by Amy Draper
written by Stewart Melton
music & lyrics by Finn Anderson

developed in association with Mull Theatre
supported by Creative Scotland

Rose Hips and Thistles

It's been a long Indian summer
and the hips are rotting on the beach rose.

I can almost taste their sour skins -
red balls of seeds glistening

like fiery cauldrons in the late September sun;
green tentacles dripping below.

I’m dreaming of exotic gentians,
alpines, delphiniums.

But it's the last of the flowering thistles
that stand before me

with their decadent helmets and feathers.
I think of Ellen Willmott

secretly scattering thistle seeds
in her neighbours' gardens,

spreading pieces of herself - a legacy, to grow
and grow again when her body

is lowered to feed the earth
in a last great act of love.


Cúchulainn focuses on climber and writer Ian ’Spike’ Sykes, whose life has been shaped by the Scottish Highlands and his experiences in the RAF Mountain Rescue team.
Shot in a variety of locations across Skye, from the dark walls of Garbh Corrie to the striking pinnacles of the Basteir Tooth, the film’s poignancy centres around a remote corner of the island, tucked below the Dubhs in the Coruisk Memorial Hut. Spike reflects on his love of Scotland, his affinity with the wild ridge line, and his memories of the tragic mountain rescue call out that took place over the New Year of 1963. The film also invites us to reflect on the poignancy of the setting by featuring a rendition by Spike on the banjo performing ‘The Grand Old Masters’, a folk song written by the late Tom Patey as a homage to his closest climbing friends including Jimmy Marshall and Don Whillans. - Coldhouse Collective
Live it up, fill your cup, drown your sorrow
And sow your wild oats while ye may
For the toothless old tykes of tomorrow
Were the Tigers of Yesterday

as sung by Tom Patey, from The Last of the Grand Old Masters

3 I 6 I 5

A short film highlighting humans' want and need for adventure. Aiming to inspire the viewer to endeavour to achieve more in their daily lives.
A film by Emma Whitaker/Silver Sloth Productions
Entered for the Women In Mountain Adventure film competition 2015

The Silent Islands

Using a battered medium format camera once belonging to the legendary photographer Fay Godwin, Alex Boyd captures the archipelago of St Kilda in a new light, from a 21st century perspective. From the crumbling Cold War military base to the wild beauty of the natural landscape, this collection of photographs is both an ode to the history of the islands and an insight into the modern day lives of those who live and work on St Kilda today. - Faclan

Proud Ness

Donald Morrison is challenged by Bauer Radio Scotland’s North of Scotland Correspondent Bryan Rutherford over his claims that the LGBT pride parade planned for the Highland capital next month will ‘promote immorality.’

Unbelievable response, almost at 7000 in a couple of days. Thank you to everyone who has signed, it just goes to show that when so many people come together we can spread a positive message and hopefully build towards having a more equal community. Thank you ❤️ - Rona Graham and Norman MacKinnon, of  Support Inverness Gay Pride and the LGBTQI community petition

Update: Thousands attend Pride events in Inverness and Stornoway

Àros na Fèinn

The Abode of the Fianna

four artists, four Highland shinty clubs

This video is about the Throw Up 20.18 project and the work of artist Tom Smith. Tom has been working with Beauly shinty club, exploring the history of the club and the wider community. Tom has been using a mix of lino-cut overlaid with screen printing on a large relief map. The final piece will incorporate augmented reality to tell the story of the club. - Paul Campbell

Highland Print Studio
Art project inspired by shinty club stories

The Caman Man

A song written by Gary Innes from his second album 'ERA' released in January 2017.

'The Caman Man', sung by
Robert Robertson, is about Scotland's indigenous sport, Shinty and was written to celebrate Gary's love for the game and to mark the end of his sporting career as he hung up his boots in 2014.

Filmed by Norman Strachan

Manus Mo Rùin

In 1115 Earl Magnus (Manus) of Orkney was killed by his jealous half brother Earl Hakon. St Manus has had devotional followers to this very day. This poem is from the wonderful collection of folklore, Carmina Gadelica, by Alexander Carmichael.  - Hands Up For Trad
sung by Highland based quartet Cruinn  who will be performing in this year's Blas Festival

Speaking Shaetlan

Here’s the trick:
pretend your mouth is full
         of stones.

Feel the dead weight
                     on your tongue,

the way this opens
           your throat, turning your mouth

into a cave,
           a wide darkness.

Then (and this crucial)
                        let them

still spit-warm from your lips
and watch

how they could shatter
on impact

           which they struck,
           how they could break

            like bone,
                     or bread

Roseanne Watt, from Scottish Poetry Library

Of Maree

She speaks of black water
and of the shock of rope,
that’s if she speaks at all.

She does not bathe
but cleans herself
with cloth and basin.

She will not drink
fresh water from the well
but simmers steepings.

The children thrive.
They have forgotten,
or forgiven, her.

The house has settled
to regularity and season,
and she to her embroidery.

She stitches, every day the same,
a ring within a ring within a ring:
the water on the island in the water.

Linda Goulden, from The Island Review

59.14 N 3.34 W In Search Of Ginnungagap

59.14 N 3.34 W presents the culmination of a curatorial residency undertaken by Laura Mansfield at the Erlend Williamson Art Fellowship with support from The Orkney Cultural Fund. Laura has invited the artists Sovay Berriman, Franziska Lantz and Matt Rowe  to join her on the residency to develop work in response to the Brough of Birsay, a small tidal island off the west coast of mainland Orkney.

The invited artists are exploring the history and geography of The Brough of Birsay developing a selection of works that draw upon ideas of the island as a site of ritual, a sculptural form and a point of communication.
The final event invites the public to partake in a journey across the Brough encountering and participating in each of the artist’s works.  - Matt Rowe