Premiere of reel folk at Scottish national portrait gallery

On Monday 5 March, we were delighted to be part of the World Premiere of ‘Reel Folk’ in the Great Hall at the National Portrait Gallery.

Capital Theatres, in an innovative partnership with Live Music Now Scotland and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, supported by funding from the Life Changes Trust created a project called ‘Reel Folk’ in 2015/16.

Participants living with dementia met weekly at the National Portrait Gallery and in the Empire Rooms at the Festival Theatre exploring the paintings and archives with professional art guides and the professional Scots music trio Kilda.

The group discussed the art works and photos and Kilda brought the images to life with music from the period. From comments and stories collected from the participants Scottish contemporary composer Ailie Robertson was commissioned to create a new piece, ‘Reel Folk’ for Kilda to perform.

'Reel Folk' was premiered to an audience including the project participants who had been part of its development.

Live Music Now Scotland and Kilda will tour Reel Folk in community settings across Scotland in 2018.

Carol Main at Live Music Now Scotland comments:

‘It is really exciting for us to have a new commission from Ailie. Apart from her having been a harpist performing as part of the scheme for many years, it is the first time that our unique Composing with Care commissioning model has been applied to traditional music.’

Composer: Ailie Robertson

Kilda - Scott Wood, pipes, Mhairi Marwick on fiddle, Norrie MacIver, vocals and guitar.

Image credit: Phil Wilkinson

More info: Live Music Now Scotland