I was on the road to Scotland in the beginning of November 2014. What a magical place! I had once been there, to the Edinburgh Harp Festival but this time I was really in the country side for five days among rivers, rabbits, dears, endless pastures and sheep. What a wonderful balance between nature and modernity. The concerts took place in the northern part with performances at the Sound Festival.
The first of the two performances was with Erdem Helvacıoglu, of a work based on electronics and harp, titled Resonating Universes, Sund Festival is interesting in that it operates not only in Aberdeen and Edinburgh but also in the countryside. Our concert with Erdem took place in Banchory at the Woodend Barn. I have to say that this is one of the warmest concert venues I have ever seen. It also had a very cosy back-stage, the homiest I have been to. The festival is right on target. rather then occupying it self with crowds, it promotes art with right programming. I was also happy that Resonating Universes received a beautiful review:
This was followed two days later by a joint performance with Bora Uymaz. Bora sang and played the bendir. I accompanied him on the lever harp for sufi music from the past and present. Tjis took place in the village of Glenbuchat. Glenbuchat Town Hall is a beautifully restored stone building where the community gathers for various purposes. On some nights it is a ceiligh…on others, it is for some Turkish music (!). I also played a set of 4 pieces Bora and wrote together based on Turkish makams and usuls titled A Rose Garden which was commissioned by the Sound Festival and The Northern Chapter of the Clarsach Society. The pieces are available for dowload to all harpists at:
Last but not least, Scotland would not be Scotland for us without Alan. Alan is retired medical doctor ad a harper whom I met in Edinburgh in 2013. He was a most gracious host to me and Bora. Alan lives in Glenbuchat in a cottage called “Dulax”, which dates from 1880. A river runs in front of it. There are no lights at night but stars! With Alan we had the best of Scottish food and enjoyed the country side fully. Thanks, Alan. You made it unforgettable!