Celebrated Scottish folk/electronic musician Drew Wright (aka Wounded Knee) will be leading The Nation//Live – Roots, a project which aims to create a collection of songs sung by migrants to Scotland. The process will reference images of folk singers, and scenes of folk music being performed, from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery collection. The songs will capture the experience of individuals from across the world, who have left their homelands for many reasons to make new lives in this country.
Inspired by their native musical traditions, the participants will describe their lives in Scotland today, developing crossover musical styles that reflect on their role in Scotland’s future. Drew Wright will also link Roots to issues explored in the other four encounters that make up The Nation//Live, gathering material (such as hymns in the Gaelic tradition of island communities) to inform and inspire the participants. The new songs will be released in LP format, and a performance will mark the opening of the exhibition at the SNPG in October 2013.
The Place of the Route of the If’en by Charles Avery, 2007, from his series The Islanders will be the lead image for the project as it depicts a marketplace that is the dividing line between two cultures, combining the exotic with the indigenous. This work explores the relationship between the past and present, and myth and reality, and conjures up an image which is redolent of the past but also has a fantastic aspect to it.