During Lockdown, Nature Scot and Fèis Rois collaborated on a competition to inspire people to connect with nature through music.
Entrants aged 16 and over were invited to compose a piece of music inspired by one of 10 National Nature Reserves across Scotland.
We had originally envisaged selecting one winning piece of music for each of the 10 nature reserves. However, we received an incredible 148 entries and judges Julie Fowlis, Vic Galloway, Gill Maxwell and Karine Polwart eventually selected 12 winning compositions.
The standard of the entries was such that we ended up selecting two winning pieces of music for both the Rum and Taynish nature reserves. The 12 winners, 11 soloists and 1 duo, each received a £500 cash prize and, when Covid-19 restrictions were eased, they had the opportunity to visit the nature reserve that inspired their music with professional filmmaker, Graeme Roger from Wildbird.
We are excited to share these beautiful compositions and accompanying films with you on the Fèis Rois YouTube channel.
Click on the link below to listen to Marie Fielding’s music inspired by Beinn Eighe. This link also takes you to the other films in our In Tune With Nature series.
The 12 winning artists are:
Born in Edinburgh, award winning fiddler and composer Marie Fielding has been immersed in traditional music from a young age. Performing, playing for dancing as well as numerous recordings to her name, Marie is also Lecturer in Fiddle and Performance at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. An outdoor enthusiast, Marie is a keen artist, often painting Scottish Landscapes in an abstract style.
Lucie Treacher is a composer and artist creating interactive sound experiences, digital and theatrical, virtual and real. Her work is characterised by quirky and textural sound worlds which she weaves together in her multi-disciplinary creations. She was born in Dumfries and grew up in Glasgow and the Highlands.
If you enjoyed Lucie’s piece, why not learn it? You can download the lyrics here.
Charlie Grey is a fiddle player from the Great Glen. He has performed worldwide and has recorded on 6 studio albums to date. Charlie’s love for the landscape of the Scottish Highlands, culture and its music has shaped his playing style hugely. At 14 Charlie was accepted into the National Centre of Excellence for Traditional Music and has learnt from some of Scotland and Ireland’s most notable fiddle players including Charlie Mckerron, Caoimhín Ó’raghallaigh and Duncan Chisholm.
James Lindsay is a musician, composer and educator now based in Glasgow, Scotland. He plays bass with award-winning contemporary folk group Breabach whilst also being an in-demand session artist on the folk and jazz scenes. His debut solo album Strand was released in 2017 to critical acclaim.
Violinist and composer Catriona Price studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music having spent her childhood in Orkney folk sessions. She is a member of contemporary duo Twelfth Day and folk band Fara and regularly tours the world with both groups.
If you enjoyed Catriona’s piece, why not learn it? You can download the sheet music here.
Perth-native Beth Malcolm is a folk-inspired singer/songwriter, keys player and History teacher. She has frequently performed at the Glasgow Star; appeared at Orkney Folk Festival and The Carrying Stream and won Edinburgh Folk Club’s song writing competition. In January 2020, Beth won a prestigious ‘Danny’ award at Celtic Connections.
Sarah MacNeil is Scottish harpist, composer and graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She works full time as a musician and loves both performing and composing. Earlier this year Sarah released an EP of six own compositions titled ’Northbay’ inspired by the Isle of Barra. She is often inspired by places, scenery and the nature around us.
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Noss was the only nature reserve we could not visit in 2020. We look forward to taking Sarah to Shetland in Spring 2021 to create a video to accompany her beautiful music.
Recently graduating from Leeds College of Music and having been awarded the Taran Guitars Young Player Bursary 2020, Iona delivers well-crafted songs that have an understanding beyond her years for the stories she tells. Having found herself fascinated by discovering untold folk stories from rural parts of the UK, where natural environment, landscape, sustainability and community are integral to people’s way of life, Iona has honed her songwriting to create something really special.
Ross Hull is a fiddle player living in Glasgow. After spending 6th year of school at Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd, the Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music, he went on to graduate BA Applied Music from the University of the Highlands and Islands. Since graduating, Ross been working as a self employed musician.
Malin is a Piper, fiddler and Smallpipe maker from the Isle of Skye, currently studying piping at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Their two main projects are Two Octaves and Bogha Frois- LGBT+ voices in folk. Malin teaches Smallpipes at the National Piping Centre and Scots Music Group and is about to publish their first collection of original tunes.
If you enjoyed Malin’s piece, why not learn it? You can download the sheet music here.
Roo Geddes and Neil Sutcliffe
Roo Geddes (Glasgow) and Neil Sutcliffe (Stirling) met at the Junior Conservatoire of Scotland in 2014. They developed a close friendship and musical duo, delving into their shared backgrounds of folk, jazz and classical music. They also work together to compose new music, inspired by their shared love of nature, stories and community.
Barney Bridges is a Belgian musician living in Glasgow. His passion for music started at the age of 10 when he first picked up a guitar. Since then his growing fascination has lead him to become a luthier where he now creates one of a kind instruments for customers.