19 - 29 May 2022

Scottish Creations


Myths, Legends, Fable and Folklore – storytelling is central to our identity, culture and community.

We celebrate that in Scottish Creations. The evening begins with 45 minutes of Scottish music, the heart of which is a brand-new piece by Celtic harpist Ailie Robertson which explores some of the typical characters found in storytelling – be it hero, lover, villain or even trickster. Interspersed with her music you’ll hear pieces from other distinctive voices of Scottish music: James MacMillan, Anna Meredith and more.

In the interval you’ll be able to enjoy a pop-up exhibition featuring a mix of art and craftworks created by local artists from across Scotland. Including paintings, tapestry, textiles, photography, poetry, ceramics and more – all inspired by stories and the area in which they were created. To round off the evening, rejoin us and local musicians as we let our hair down with an hours session of relaxed traditional music, a joyous end to a night of discovery.

  • Concert programme includes:
  • Ailie Robertson
    New Commission
  • James MacMillan
    Memento
  • Sally Beamish
    Movement from Partita
  • Anna Meredith
    Variation on Tullochgorum
  • John McEwan
    Quartet No.15: In Modo Scotico (1st movement)
  • Thu 19 May 7:00 pm
    Isle of Mull  Mull Theatre
  • Mon 23 May 7:00 pm
    Isle of Skye  Dunvegan Community Hall
  • Tue 24 May 7:00 pm
    Inverness  Eden Court
  • Thu 26 May 7:00 pm
    Shetland  Mareel
  • Sat 28 May 7:00 pm
    Aberdeen  Music Hall
  • Sun 29 May 7:00 pm
    Dundee  Caird Hall

Booking Information

Pop-up exhibition presented in collaboration with Creative Lives.
Performances lasts 2.5 hours including 45 minute interval for viewing of the art exhibition.

All venues apart from Mull
Tickets £12
Concessions £5 (Students, Under 30’s, Disability & Unemployment Benefit recipients)
Carers and Under 16’s free with a paid ticket

Mull
Tickets: Pay what you decide

Alistair Savage on the traditional music session

Violinist Alistair Savage, who has curated the second half of Scottish Creations, talks about the music he's programmed.

When Ailie Robertson and I first met to discuss ideas for the session, uppermost in our minds was trying to create something that would have a sense of structure but would also allow for creative freedom and be a welcoming environment for local community players who wanted to take part.

The initial idea we discussed of trying to represent each of the different locations the ensemble are visiting on the tour seemed a good starting point. The first place I remember us both mentioning was Aberdeen, I think because instinctively James Scott Skinner stood out as an obvious musician with connections to that area and ‘Hector The Hero’ was a tune we reckoned would be known and played by lots of players in all the locations we were visiting. Over the next few weeks I did likewise with the other touring venues, pondering where we were due to visit, the musicians and music special to each and the individual significance historically they all had.

There were melodies that jumped out at me as being unique in their quality but also in the emotional connection to the various areas we were due to visit. For Mull, the Iona Boat Song (Caol Muile) has a resonance to St. Columba’s journey to Iona in 563 AD and seemed a beautiful tune to begin the session each night. The Lament of Flora MacDonald by Niel Gow junior (Nathaniel Gow’s son) was, I thought, a poignant melody with historical connections to Skye. Niel Gow senior (Nathaniel’s father) is represented in the feature on the Highlands’, with a popular strathspey and reel.

Gow was an important contact for Robert Burns during the poet’s Highland Tour and Robert Burns himself is one of the poets featured during the session. I felt with this being the Year of Stories and its significance to the ensemble tour, each stage of the session should be represented by a poem read by a member of the ensemble.

Alongside the melodies mentioned above, there will be other traditional melodies from Shetland and Dundee along with a couple of my own compositions, that I’ve arranged especially for Ailie and the ensemble to play on this tour, that have connections to the Highlands and Shetland. The sessions in each location will hopefully merge the old and the new, the present day community musicians in all these areas alongside the Scottish Ensemble, with a glimpse of their history expressed though words and music.

Alistair Savage

Local musicians are invited to play alongside Scottish Ensemble and Ailie Robertson – read more here.