STONEHAVEN FOLK CLUB - COASTAL COMMUNITIES GRANT - CD PROJECT
Stonehaven Folk Club was founded in 1987 by a small group of local enthusiasts who were passionate about folk music. They set about preserving its heritage by promoting and encouraging live music and performance in the Mearns. With a membership of seventy people, plus attenders drawn from across the Shire and far and wide, the club programme was attractive to both traditional and contemporary folk audiences and participants. So much so that it has been twice voted the BBC Alba Folk Club of the Year and has received several accolades for its work in support to cultural and heritage aims. It has more recently, set up a joint project with Hands UP for Trad to provide financial relief for performing artists in Scotland seriously impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. On-line concerts involving some top artists have been very well received and raised great contributions for struggling artists.
‘The idea of making a CD flowed from this fundraising effort and the realisation that we need to keep our music alive. We need to support more artists who have lost their livelihoods. With the support of Aberdeenshire Council who funded our project, we commissioned 10 artists to write and record songs and music that comes from our heritage and lore in this local area.’ said Andy Popplestone, SFC Chairperson.
The project, set in the coastal communities’ strip from Findon to St Cyrus explores what it is like to live on the fringes, the margins, where land meets sea in the North East corner of the Mearns. The inspirations for songs came from the lives and experience of the artists themselves and source material from some local historians and writers. They reflect on the sense of place, the people, the stories, and the roots that make us who we are.
‘It was envisaged that some of Scotland’s finest musician and local artists might like to contribute to the recording, and we were over the moon when artists responded to our invitation to take part.’ Meg Findlay, project Artist Support explained. ‘We have ten artists who are all weel kent in the North East and stand with some of Scotland’s finest talents, particularly in musicianship and song-writing.’
The CD is produced using the expertise of a top producer of the folk genre, Mike Vass. The CD brings together their new music and forms a great body of work reflecting the coastal environment. ‘The writing and performance of new music celebrating our history, our communities seem even more crucial at this moment in time when it is hard to get together as a folk community.’ adds Gloria Potter, project Co-ordinator. This unique and interesting project is a tremendous boost to the local area in sharing their heritage, culture and stories forward in song that will be sung for generations.
Mearns Writers is a creative writing group which normally meets weekly in Stonehaven and Inverbervie. Due to Covid 19, they currently have a weekly zoom meeting at 7pm on Thursdays. Everyone is welcome to join them.
For further information, please follow this Mearns Writers link, or contact Alistair Lawrie at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Mearns Writers wish to extend the reciprocal use of their site for the CD.