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Eden Court’s Under Canvas celebrates Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters with Uisge week

Uisge week
Ingrid Henderson's Message In A Bottle kicks off the special week of celebrations.

Eden Court’s flagship summer festival will feature a series of critically-acclaimed compositions and performances, which all evoke the might and mystery of uisge, Gaelic for “water”.

The programme – which reflects that rivers, oceans, lochs and waterways have long been inspirations for Scotland’s musicians – sets sail on Wednesday September 15.

The Inverness venue will feature Ingrid Henderson’s Message in a Bottle, a new composition commissioned by NatureScot as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters. Through music and song, the acclaimed artist will explore the themes of migration, marine life, and the environment.

Multi-instrumentalist and keen sailor, Mike Vass, will play music from his album Notes from the Boat on Friday September 17, recorded with his friends aboard his own boat.

Then, on Saturday September 18, Orcadian fiddler Graham Rorie will play new music inspired by the many people who crossed the Atlantic from Orkney to Canada in search of work with the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 18th and 19th centuries.

uisge week
Mike Vass will perform during the upcoming Uisge week.

Uisge week will celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters

The week finishes on remote shores, with a live performance on Sunday September 19 from Joseph Peach and Charlie Grey, inspired by their voyage aboard the tall ship Wylde Swane to some of Scotland’s most remote and remarkable islands. The performance will be accompanied by a screening of Air Iomall, a short film based on this creative journey, and a Q&A with filmmaker Hamish Macleod.

The Year of Coasts and Waters has also inspired other activities around Uisge week. Launch! On The Sea With Scotland’s Lifeboats will be screened in the cinema, weaving together RNLI archive clips and new observational footage, to a contemporary soundtrack.

In addition, Eden Court’s engagement team is also working on a participatory dance piece, which will take place on either side of the River Ness. Thar Abhainn Nis (Across the Ness) is a dance project, featuring 40 community dancers, focusing on the river as an integral part of the city.

Under Canvas is currently taking place in Inverness.

Part of Eden Court’s festival Under Canvas

It responds to the Year of Coasts and Waters programme at Under Canvas and leads up to Eden Court’s focus on the climate crisis around COP26 (the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference). The event will be held in Glasgow between 1 and 12 November.

Seona McClintock, Eden Court’s producer for Gaelic and Traditional Arts, said: “Under Canvas is now in its third and final month and through the summer it has shown the appetite that audiences have for live music and events.

“Our festival takes place on the banks of the River Ness, a short hop away from the Caledonian Canal and the Moray Firth, so it feels like a fitting place to celebrate Scotland’s coasts and waters and the music they have inspired.”

Paul Bush OBE, director of events at EventScotland which sponsors the Uisge week, added: “It’s inspiring to see the different ways that Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters is being celebrated in 2021 and Under Canvas, supported through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, is no different with its diverse programme of music and film brought together under the distinctly Gaelic banner of Uisge.”


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