Inter-island project takes off

Normally musicians go on the road to promote their new work. But for three island-based musicians their newtour means taking to the air.

The ‘Between Islands’ project, featuring three singer songwriters from the Northern and Western Isles, will be taken to outlying audiences this year with the help of Flybe franchise partner Loganair.

The project, featuring Kris Drever, from Orkney; Arthur Nicholson, from Shetland; and Willie Campbell, from Lewis, will produce a collection of songs fusing diverse styles from three distinct backgrounds.

The result will be heard for the first time in public when it is premiered at the Hebridean Celtic Festival, which is marking its 20th anniversary. It will then tour to Orkney and Shetland, with the help of sponsorship by Loganair, which flies regularly to the islands.

The project was devised by an Lanntair, the arts centre in Stornoway, which will stage the premiere during its 30th anniversary this year.

Between Islands can be seen in an Lanntair, on Wednesday 15th July and in Stromness Town Hall on Friday 17th and the Mareel entertainment centre in Lerwick on Saturday 18th July. The tour is sponsored by Loganair, Mareel and an Lanntair.

Alex MacDonald, Head of Performing Arts at an Lanntair, hopes it will be the first of many collaborations: “Between Islands is all about celebrating the wealth of talent the islands have collectively; an exploration of our ties rather than our differences.

“It seemed to me that we could make something very special happen by pairing the right people and I think we have struck gold with this first project. So much so that we plan to extend the idea and include other art forms such as film or craft in the future.

“We are very grateful to Loganair for helping us in what we have achieved so far this summer.”

The collaborative spirit has also extended to the creation of a closer working relationship between the arts centres in Lewis and Shetland.

Bryan Peterson of Shetland Arts said: “Between Islands is an exciting new project that will unite the Scottish Island groups through creative collaborations with some of the finest artists from each area.”

Phil Preston, chief operating officer at Loganair, said: “It’s fantastic to once again lend a hand to our friends over at HebCelt.

“The festival is marking an important milestone, celebrating its 20th anniversary and the inter-island project is an excellent way to recognisethis achievement.

“The islands play an important part of Loganair’s network, so we were humbled to be asked to offer some support to HebCelt and an Lanntair.