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Blue Lamp Evening of Dialect Delights

Tuesday 19th September, Doors 7.30pm, 8-10.30pm with interval 
The Blue Lamp, Gallowgate, Aberdeen 

Join us in The Blue Lamp to enjoy an evening of poetic and musical dialect treats from Shetland, Orkney and Aberdeenshire, including a world première, with an array of performers: Carol Anderson, Sheena Blackhall, Christine De Luca, Gemma McGregor Geordie Murison, Hannah Nicholson and Outwith Ensemble.


Join us in The Blue Lamp to enjoy an evening of poetic and musical dialect treats with an array of performers, compèred by Shane Strachan. North-East Makar Sheena Blackhall and Shetlandic writer Hannah Nicholson will share their work, Orcadian composer Gemma McGregor and Shaetlan poet/former Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca will discuss their new, collaborative joint piece exploring ideas of the Shetland seascape – commissioned especially for the WayWORD Festival - in conversation with Sound Festival Director Fiona RobertsonOceans Shifting Tides. Christine and Gemma have been working with sound and word images connected with distance and the sea. The Atlantic Ocean is on the west side and the North Sea is on the east side of both Shetland and Orkney. The meeting of the two oceans is an image that appears in both cultures, and composer Peter Maxwell Davies was inspired by the place where the oceans meet in Orkney when he wrote his second symphony. The conversation will be followed by the première of McGregor and De Luca's brand-new work, performed by exciting Aberdeen-based ensemble, Outwith. To complete the evening, Bothy Ballad champion Geordie Murison teams up with peerless North-East fiddle-player Carol Anderson to round off the night in style.


North-East Makar, Sheena Blackhall is a Scottish poet, novelist, writer of short fiction, illustrator, traditional storyteller and singer. Author of over 170 poetry pamphlets, 15 short story collections, 4 novels and 2 televised plays for children, The Nicht Bus and The Broken Hert. Along with Les Wheeler, she co-edits the Doric resource Elphinstone Kist, and has worked on the Aberdeen Reading Bus, as a storyteller and writer, also sitting on the editorial board for their children's publications in Doric, promoting Scots culture and language in the North-East. In 2018 Aberdeen University awarded her the degree of Master of the University. In 2021 she was appointed Scottish Poetry Library’s poetry ambassador for the Scots language. She has been an Honorary Fellow of WORD Centre for Creative writing since 2014.


Christine De Luca writes in English and Shaetlan (Shetlandic), her mother tongue. She was appointed Edinburgh's Makar (laureate) for 2014-2017. She has had eight poetry collections published, several of which have won awards. She has also written two novels and several storybooks for children. She is also active in translation, with six bi-lingual poetry collections published as well as classic storybooks for children. She particularly enjoys collaborating with musicians and visual artists. Her poetry has inspired both jazz and classical compositions, most recently working with Tommy Smith and with Orkney-based composer Gemma McGregor. Another Time, Another Place (The Scottish Gallery, 2021) documented a collaboration with the Scottish artist, Victoria Crowe; and her more recent collaboration with the artist Brigid Collins, was formed in the tranquility of Dr Neil’s Garden in Edinburgh.


Gemma McGregor is a composer from Orkney and a Teaching Fellow at University of Aberdeen. Gemma has received commissions and awards from Creative Scotland, Heritage Scotland, Illuminate, Nordic Viola, Multitude of Voyces, CoMA, RVW Trust, and Summartónar Festival. Gemma has composed two operas - The Locked Door (Aberdeen Sound Festival, 2015), and The Story of Magnus Erlendsson, (St Magnus Festival, 2017). Four commercial albums feature her music, including 'A Slaughter of Ravens' on Music from the Islands, (Tutl Records, 2021). She composed music for three short films and Edinburgh Quartet performed four of her works in November 2022. She worked with poet, Dawn Wood, on the soundscape for Modern Chants in 2021. Gemma directs The Experimental Music Project, who perfom multidisciplinary works at the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness. Many of her pieces are based on the poems of Orkney poets including George Mackay Brown, Ronald Ferguson, Pam Beasant and Edwin Muir.


Hannah Nicholson is originally from Shetland, but has been based in Aberdeen since 2016, and also previously lived in Glasgow. She holds a BA (Hons) in English with Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Strathclyde (2010), an MLitt with Distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Aberdeen (2017), and an MSc in Information and Library Studies from Robert Gordon University (2018). In 2021, she was one of the winners of the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. Much of her writing incorporates Shetland dialect and has touched on a variety of themes including mental health. Hannah’s work has appeared in the likes of Gutter, Northwords Now, Causeway, Silk & Smoke, Seaborne, The New Shetlander and Poetry Scotland to name a few. 


Carol Anderson & Geordie Murison: Carol is an energetic and sensitive fiddle player from the North-East of Scotland recently returned to Stonehaven after a considerable spell playing with numerous artists in London. The red tassel on her fiddle marks her out as one of the more exceptional pupils of the legendary fiddle player and tutor Angus Grant, who didn’t give these away lightly. There is a spirit in her playing which always captivates, and her CD Single Track Road Trip, with gifted guitarist Martin MacDonald, remains a classic in the tradition. Carol also performs solo and with various ensembles and ceilidh bands.


Geordie was born and brought up on a farm at Fetteresso just outside Stonehaven, his father having moved there in 1935 from a farm in Buchan. His father had two older sisters who were a great source of stories about school and farm life before and after the First World War. A chance meeting with Jim Taylor, Bothy Ballad King Tam Reid's nephew, in 1997, led to Geordie attending Aberdeen Branch TMSA sessions. There he met Tam and Anne Reid who encouraged him to enter competitions at festivals. This led to him being invited to perform regularly all over the country, including London, Dorset, Dublin and Whitby as well as in Scotland. In 2008 he won the Elgin Rotary Club's champion of champions Bothy Ballad competition. Geordie has been a stalwart supporter traditional song and his 2017 CD The Time is Comin Roon contains the finest renditions of both celebrated and less familiar ballads to be found anywhere.

Outwith Ensemble is an exciting new music group which brings some of the finest professional performers in the North East together; led by Dr Aaron McGregor on violin and including Emily De Simone (cello), Andrew Birse (violin 2) and Zoe Matthews (viola).

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This event is supported by

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