Celebrated Scottish folk/electronic musician Drew Wright (aka Wounded Knee) led The Nation//Live – Roots. Roots aimed to create a collection of songs and spoken word recordings by migrants to Scotland. The songs captured the experience of individuals from across the world, who have left their homelands to make new lives in this country.

Inspired by their native musical traditions, the participants described their lives in Scotland today whilst discussing their musical heritage and through this process developed music collaborations which reflect their part in Scotland’s future.  Project participants from Senegal, Poland, the Czech Republic, Morocco, Ireland, the Philippines, Italy, Zimbabwe, Malaysia and the United States, combined to record an album of music and spoken word tracks that reflect each of these countries’ cultures and Scottish folk traditions.  

The songs recorded were released in a 10’’ vinyl LP format which is available to buy from the online shop. The tracks can be streamed through the soundcloud links below.

The Place of the Route of the If’en by Charles Avery, 2007, from his series The Islanders, was the lead image for the project as it depicts a marketplace that is the historic dividing line between two cultures, combining the exotic with the indigenous. This work explores the relationship between the past and present, myth and reality. To accompany the LP a photo-shoot was set-up in The Barras Market in Glasgow, the most iconic of Scotland’s few street markets. The shoot features heavily in the project film and appears on the inside sleeve of the LP. 

A programme of Roots pop-up concerts, featuring project participants have taken place in The Nation//Live exhibition in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Glasgow Film Theatre and the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre in Dumfries. Performers included Do the Gods’ Speak Esperanto, Davno, Rosita Bowcut, Peter Angelini, Valentina Bonnizi, Sylvain Ayite, Wounded Knee, Christiane Schnegotzki and Arthur Johnstone.

The Nation//Live - ROOTS

Artist Wounded Knee worked with people who have migrated to Scotland to share folk song traditions from around the world.  

Directed by Daniel Warren.

Roots is the fifth part of The Nation//Live Outreach project. Recordings of the songs produced on the project can be purchased as a vinyl LP or digital download with The Nation//Live catalogue.

[Duration 7:35]

Freedom Come All Ye as sung by Wounded Knee

Drew Wright aka Wounded Knee performing Freedom Come All Ye to mark the start of The Nation//Live – Roots in the Backdoor Gallery, Dalmuir Library, Clydebank, Jan 2013.

[Duration 3:14]

Glasgow Eskimos as sung by Arthur Johnstone

Arthur Johnstone performing Glasgow Eskimos to mark the start of The Nation//Live – Roots in the Backdoor Gallery, Dalmuir Library, Clydebank, Jan 2013.

[Duration 3:18]