I am delighted and proud to announce that Nordic Viola’s Sagas and Seascapes has been selected as part of the Made In Scotland Showcase at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and we will be performing at the Scottish Storytelling Centre from 15th-17th August at 8:30pm. There will be also be an online screening of the film via the SSC website on 18th August at 7pm, followed by a Zoom Q and A with the principal creators on the project.
The programme also features music from the Faroes by Eli Tausen á Lava and Kári Bæk. Orla Stevens has produced new artwork to asccompany Eli’s Søgnin um Kópakonuna í 10 Myndum (The Tale of the Sealwoman in 10 Pictures) which will be seen for the first time at the Fringe.
Visit our sister site, https://www.sagasandseascapes.com/ to book tickets and for much more interesting content on the project. You can also sign up to the newsletter to keep abreast of all the news in the run-up to Edinburgh. Tickets can also be booked here
You can here excerpts from the music we’ll be performing here:
Back in 2016, Seyđisfjörđur in East Iceland was the first stop on my sabbatical. Chosen on the suggestion of friend and Iceland expert, Cathy Harlow because of it’s rich and varied cultural life, (and also for its direct services to the Faroe Islands, which I visited on the same trip) the people in the village welcomed me into their community. I gave short performances in the schools, masterclasses in nearby Egilsstađir and also performed in the magnificent Bláakirkjan (blue church) with local violist, Charles Ross. Bláakirkjan is the most iconic building in Seyđisfjörđur, its colourful blue and white facade standing at the end of the rainbow road. Inside, it is a bright and intimate space, built of wood and gently resonant.
I therefore can’t wait to return to Seyđisfjörđur to perform in the Bláakirkjan summer concert series on 6th July. The series has become one of the major cultural events in East Iceland. It offers a varied programme of music where you can see many of the country’s most interesting musicians as well as international artists. I’ll be performing with Arnhildur Valgarđsdóttir, who I also met in 2016 in Reykjavik. Adda trained in Scotland and currently works as a highly respected pianist, organist and choirmaster in Reykjavik. In fact, if you live in Central Scotland, you’ll be able to catch her on tour with her choir this August.
We’ll be taking our audience on a journey round the North Atlantic, starting in Orkney with Gemma McGregor’s Hardanger-fiddle-inspired “Joy” and Peter Maxwell Davies’ much-loved “Farewell to Stromness.”
After a reflective pause on our journey with Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel im Spiegel”, we visit our host country with Jón Thorarinsson’s short viola sonata. Thorarinsson studied music at the Reykjavík Music School and with Paul Hindemith at Yale University. He was head teacher from 1947 to 1968 at the Reykjavík Music School, head of Sjónvarpi’s art and entertainment department from 1968 to 1979, as well as numerous other projects in the field of music. Full of character, this sonata shows off the singing tone of the viola with long, cantabile lines, a passionate, at times bleak second movement and a final Rondo with lively jazz rhythms.
Adrian Vernon Fish’s Qaanaaq Sonata is a much more substantial piece. It’s inspired by the main town of that name in the northern part of the Avannaata municipality in northwestern Greenland. Adrian and I share a love of Greenland and Adrian’s music depicts so much about life there: the beauty, but also the barrenness and harshness of the landscape, the warmth and humour of the people and the rollicking energy of a dogsled ride that Adrian was lucky enough to experience there.
That’ll be the end of our official programme, but we might just have a little treat from Shetland to throw in at the end, too.
Once the concert is over, I’m looking forward to exploring the hills around Seyđisfjörđur: the high mountain lakes and the streams of waterfalls tumbling down the valleys. The eerie green murk of the Lagarfljót up at Egilsstađir and the unique woodland along the lochside at Hallormsstaðaskógur Doubtless there’ll be more inspiration to be gathered there for future projects!
A creative music workshop for 10-14 year-olds exploring the sounds of the sea and its creatures! with Nordic Viola
We will explore the sounds of the sea and its environment using musical instruments, recorded animal and bird sounds and our own voices, and think about the effect humans have on wildlife in our seas.
The workshop will take place in the upstairs gallery at Weigh Ahead on Dunblane High Street.
In the morning we will learn a sea jig that we can perform outside Weigh Ahead as the Dunblane Road Race runners pass.
After a short lunch on the drying green, we will work together creatively on a short musical seascape.
No musical experience required, though please bring an instrument if you have one. We will provide simple instruments. Bring along something that could become sea waste – e.g. plastic bottle, twine, old plastic tubs/buckets.
Nordic Viola is grateful for support from Dunblane businesses Weigh Ahead, Green Clean and Allanview Windows and Doors Ltd whose generous donations are enabling us to offer this workshop free of charge. Voluntary donations will contribute to Nordic Viola’s performances at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.
Our Crowdfunder has come to an end and I’m delighted to say that we surpassed our funding target.
A massive thank you to all of you who supported us. Your money really does make a difference: Orla Stevens will be able to work with composer Eli Tausen á Lava to produce new art for the project and our musicians will be properly supported with their rehearsal fees and with all their costs to get to Edinburgh paid.
The £200 over target will go towards a CD which we aim to produce in 2023 and will fund a musician for the day.
For those of you who chose a reward, these will be mailed out to you by 27th August at the latest. Before that, we hope that you will join us at one of our performances at the Scottish Storytelling Centre 15th-17th August at 8:30pm. For those of you who live further away, there will be an online screening of the programme via SSC’s website on 18th August at 7pm. This will be followed by a live Q and A with some of the artists involved via Zoom.
If you missed the Crowdfunder but would still like to help us, then pop over to our shop. You can either pay online via Paypal or, if you don’t have a paypal account, send me a message containing any products you would like to buy via the contact form and I can arrange payment with you.
Whilst our Crowdfunder is now closed, you may enjoy seeing some of the interviews and features with artists and composers on our video updates.
Thank you once again for all your support and please do pop over to our sister website to keep up to date on Sagas and Seascapes in the run-up to Edinburgh this summer.