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Away with the Birds – Hanna Tuulikki

Away with the Birds – Hanna Tuulikki

Hanna Tuulikki’s Air falbh leis na h-eòin est un corps de travail à explorer, la mimesis des oiseaux et de la chanson gaélique est développé dans le cadre du programme Cape Farewell's Sea Change.

du 29 août 2014 au 30 août 2014

Hanna Tuulikki’s Air falbh leis na h-eòin is is a body of work exploring the mimesis of birds in Gaelic song, developed as part of Cape Farewell’s Sea Change programme.

On the 29th and 30th of August it became a sited performance on the beautiful Isle of Canna. Over 200 people visited the Island and watched Hannah Tuulikki, nine fellow performers, and sound designer Iain Thompson in a creation that explored the overlap between bird and human song, and Gaelic folklore, all set in the magnificent setting of the island’s harbour.

Hanna’s vocal composition, Guth an Eòin | Voice of the Bird is the heart of the project. Written for a female vocal ensemble, it reinterprets archival material, fragmenting and re-weaving extracts of Gaelic songs into an extended soundscape. The music emerges from, and responds to, island landscapes and lives. It explores the delicate equilibrium of Hebridean life, the co-existence of tradition and innovation, and suggests the ever-present inter-relationship between bird, human, and ecology.

‘The piece is made from weaving together fragments of traditional songs and poems that imitate or emulate birdsong’ Tuulikki explains. ‘Each of the five movements represents a different habitat and bird community – wader, sea-bird, wildfowl, corvid, and cuckoo. In August we will perform the concert in the historic harbour of the beautiful Isle of Canna, where the music reverberates with the bird-calls and the ebb of the tide. The setting is so important to the piece. The Small Isles are a magical place and, to me, the performance begins as soon as people climb on-board the ferry-boat to make the crossing: the richness of the experience is people sharing a journey.’

Away with the Birds was conceived for and in relation to the Isle of Canna – its ecology, birdlife, history and community. The last custodians of the island, John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw, were renowned folklorists and ethnomusicologists whose extraordinary collection of Gaelic material is housed in Canna House. Steeped in the Gaelic tradition, their hospitality was famous and their home became a hive of creativity, welcoming artists, musicians, scientists and writers from across the world.

Today, the island’s small but vibrant community are re-invigorating Canna. Culture and creativity are crucial to this process; Air falbh leis na h-eòin is proud to work together with the islanders to ensure this aspiration becomes a reality.


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