London Concert!

For those of you down in England for whom even Perthshire is a wee bit far away, Nordic Viola is venturing south, so please come down to London, do your Christmas shopping and have a nice, quiet(ish!) weekend in Surrey.

Lillie Harris has written a piece for solo viola inspired by Shetland and we’ll be performing straight after our visit to the islands at St. Katherine’s Merstham. We’ll also be joined by my good friend Angela Turner on cello.

Thanks to artist Adele Wagstaff for arranging the concert for us and, as ever, my other artist friend, Chris Wesley for patiently doing yet another version of his wonderful poster for me:


A very delayed post on my last few days in Iceland!

I’ve been so busy since I got home that I never got round to talking about my visit to Myvatn, but, seeing as I’m uploading photos to my other posts, I can’t really wrap up Iceland without showing you some photos of this amazing volcanic region. I confess to spending my last few days as a tourist, pure and simple, although as a musician, you’re always noticing sounds – the ones that’ll stay with me are the grey lag geese cackling away, the ravens croaking – and the wind!

As you can see, by this point, the autumn colour was just incredible. It was also a lot colder than when I arrived in Iceland in August, but then at 65 degrees 37 minutes north, it’s not so far from the Arctic Circle.

Ever since I studied geology at school, I’ve wanted to walk round a volcanic crater, and here it is:


Back in Reykjavik I got chance to shop for books and CDs to give me a bit more food for thought musically. I took a bit of a punt on a CD setting poems by the poet Ólafur Jónsson with the following Icelandic composers:

Bára Grímsdóttir, Hugi Guðmundsson, Trggvi M. Baldvinsson and Thuriður Júnsdóttir

It’s good! I really think we should be exploring more music from Iceland and the Faroes here in the UK, and in Scotland in particular – we have so much in common – impressive landscapes, a strong traditional and contemporary scene and an understanding of what the weather can do to you! Actually, these are the most important impressions I took home with me from the Faroes and Iceland – that and the wonderful and generous musicians I met on my travels.