Last evening ‘Songs of Medieval Aberdeen’ went to Holyrood, for a reception, presentations and performance of the new music written by Dr Claire Hawes and Aberdeen-based musicians Davy Cattanach and Paddy Buchanan. The three were joined by percussionist Craig Spink.
The performance, held within the Scottish Parliament’s Garden Lobby, was hosted by Lewis Macdonald MSP and introduced by Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP. Senior Vice-Principal Professor Karl Leydecker spoke on behalf of the University of Aberdeen which is celebrating its 525th anniversary this year.
The set included the songs composed and performed by the trio last year, at the celebration to launch the Aberdeen Registers Online, and a new song, ‘Who Killed Davy Dun’, inspired by the game developed by Dr William Hepburn in 2019 in connection with an event he designed for the Granite Noir festival in 2017.
City Archivist Phil Astley transported council register volumes seven and eight from Aberdeen to Parliament, so that they could be displayed for guests. The volumes were open to the pages containing the 1505 ‘aquavite’ entry, and the 1499 entry mentioning ‘brokin folkis’. The latter inspired the musicians to write a song with that title.
The performance involved a set of five songs, each introduced by Dr Hawes who explained the creative process behind their composition.
It was an exciting evening, demonstrating on a national stage the rich creative work that has been derived from the Aberdeen burgh records!
Follow this link to the University of Aberdeen news item about the event.