This weekend, September 19th & 20th , will see a virtual celebration of the 45thNew Hampshire Highland Games as a live online experience which we can all enjoy.
The New Hampshire Highland Games draws crowds of over 45,000 to New Hampshire each year for the three-day festival which is one of ASFs favorite Scottish Games and Festivals to attend.
The American Scottish Foundation has for the past few years taken part in heading up The Scottish Village tent sharing information on Scottish experiences – we cannot wait to be back in 2021 celebrating our love of Scotland.
Situated on the beautiful Loon Mountain, the NH Games is a must attend event for those who love to come together to celebrate their Scottish heritage, to enjoy the incredible Highland Games experience and to have fun!
Although the NH Games can’t go ahead as it normally would this year the Virtual Highland Games will be a wonderful celebration of the 45th anniversary of the New Hampshire Highland Games.
The organizing committee have programmed an exciting weekend of music, dance and activities for us all to enjoy and promises to ‘Showcase the Sights, Sounds and Smile of the Games’
The events will begin on Saturday afternoon as a wonderful video will go live to represent the Opening Ceremony of the Games, always a wonderful experience and a sight to behold.
There will be lots of exciting Scottish goodies and crafts at the Virtual Vendor Village and we are strongly encouraged to show our support for the vendors, all small businesses selling Scottish goods who have had their businesses significantly affected this year.
Saturday night will feature a live concert by Albannach, one of the New Hampshire Highland Games favourite bands who have a large army of fans in the Scottish Festival circuit in the US.
Join Jamesie Johnston and his crew for an hour of Albannach beginning at 7pm Eastern Time.
Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, Bloody Scotland takes place Friday September 18th – Sunday September 20th and will be an incredible celebration of Scottish literature, crime novels and stories!
The festival, which normally takes place in the beautiful city of Stirling, will this year take place entirely online, allowing crime writing fans from all over the world to be a part of the Bloody Sunday experience.
Saturday September 19th will see a huge range of discussions, panels and workshops taking place including Criminal Masterminds: a discussion with celebrated crime writers Lawrence Block and Ian Rankin and don’t miss Crime at the Coo Online a brilliant event featuring live author performances along with film of memorable acts from previous years.Sunday
Scotland is a land of stories, myths and legends. Its history, landscapes, scenery and of course people make for an incredibly inspiring environment for great stories to come from and some of the most celebrated literary figures in the world have come from Scotland ; Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Walter Scott, David Livingstone, Iain Banks, Irvine Welsh, JK Rowling need we say more?
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is a must attend event for those who love stories, literature and the magic of poetry. Each year it attracts thousands of people to the many events, performances, book readings and activities which take place as part of the Storytelling Festival program.
The theme for The Scottish International Storytelling Festival in 2020 is ‘In The Flow’ : An exploration of Scotland’s coasts and waters through music and storytelling. Scotland with its 7,330 miles of coastline has a rich history of stories which have emanated from or been inspired by events taking place on its beautiful coasts and waters.
Although festivals throughout Scotland have not been able to take place as they normally would there has been a successful pivot to virtual events with festivals such as the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival both offering up incredible experiences online this year which you can still access on their respective websites.
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival will also this year present an action packed virtual experience for all to access and enjoy!
Scottish International Storytelling Festival Director, Donald Smith states:
‘This year’s Storytelling Festival is about wellbeing. Across the nation, we aim to bring many streams into a flowing current of hope and renewal.’
‘Our online programme will see the return of SISF favourites like our evening gatherings around the Open Hearth, as well as Global Lab, the workshop series that brings together performers, educators and activists to discuss international environmental creativity.’
‘We’ll also be premiering Voyage, a brand-new series of work developed by storytellers and musicians, including interpretations of the slave passage across the Atlantic and Scotland’s part in it, the colonisation of Iceland, James VI’s ‘Hamlet’ voyage to Elsinore, Johnson and Boswell’s Tour to the Hebrides and the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition.’
The programme details for the Festival are yet to be released but you can keep up to date and informed by signing up for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival newsletter HERE.
For more information on the Scottish International Storytelling Festival see the website at www.sisf.org.uk
Anna MacDonald is a talented multi-instrumentalist originally from Glasgow. Anna has released music in both Gaelic and English and possesses a beautiful voice and wonderful gift for song writing. Anna does great work with Play For Progress and the Association of Exiled Scots.
John Condron is a singer songwriter from Glasgow who has performed all over Scotland and in New York too! His latest single ‘Hello Mama’ was recently played on the American Scottish Foundation Scots In US Podcast and is a beautiful and touching dedication to his mother.
Meredith McCrindle is a wonderful harpist, songwriter and all round talent. Originally hailing from Texas, Merdith now lives in Ayr Scotland and is the driving force behind the brilliant Tamfest which celebrates Robert Burns famous poem Tam O’Shanter and is a must see event if in Scotland!
Starsky is a brilliant singer songwriter from Scotland who has a great gift for melody, song writing and performance. It’s an absolute pleasure to have Starsky with us who has performed throughout Scotland including the famous Hampden and Murrayfield Stadiums as an invited musical guest for the Scotland football and rugby teams!
Our music ambassador Jamie McGeechan caught up with them for a quick Q&A all about Kodak Ghosts!
How would you describe the Kodak Ghosts sound?
Sabrina: “Our music revolves around spreading joy and happiness. The idea of creating a community is important to us, we want people to feel included and uplifted when listening to us.”
Erin: “Our main goal is to create a space where people can join us, let their hair down and be a bit wacky for a while. Things today are hard, especially due to Covid, we want to be a respite from that stress and give people a place where they can relax and enjoy. With the video we made for Till the Morning Comes we were portraying this concept in a very literal way – we want people to come join us in our world.”
What influences your songwriting and what artists are you a fan of?
Sabrina: “We take inspiration from artists from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (Blondie, ABBA, Cher, Dolly Parton) and combine it with our love of modern music (mine being Jorga Smith and Dua Lipa whereas Erin listens to MARINA and Florence & the Machine).”
Erin: “Our own personal artistic backgrounds (Sabrina’s in acting, mine in art) means our influences also come from the worlds of theatre, film, fine art and dance. Anything and everything is an influence and I think that allows us to keep coming up with new and fun ideas. We write with producer and songwriter Derek Fleming, and due to the collaborative nature of our writing it becomes a melting pot of positivity. Over the years we have mastered who we are as a team and the writing and recording process just gets more and more exciting.”
As brilliant Scottish talents with a fantastic future ahead of you what are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Sab: “World Domination. But in all seriousness we want to hear our music played all over the world and spread good vibes. I’m also excited to see the evolution of the performance field in general, lockdown has encouraged artists to think outside the box, explore different platforms of creativity and alternative ways of expression. I’m here for all of it!
Erin: “You’re too lovely saying that! You know what Cindy Lauper says ‘Girls just want to have fun’. We want to spread positivity as far as we can, and get the world dancing. Once Covid has settled down a bit I think it would be great to start gigging again, but who knows what that will look like in the next few years. As actors and artists we want to create an experience and have people from all walks of life together feeling the joy of Kodak Ghosts.”
Erin: “Absolutely. We were recently compared to new wave/pop duo Strawberry Switchblade from the 80’s as Jill Bryson studied at GSA. That GSA environment of being surrounded by other creatives, many also musicians, really pushes and motivates you. Because of this, quite a lot of bands have some sort of Art School background. John Lennon was a student at Liverpool College of Art, and although he never completed the course it still counts.”
Sabrina what has been your most enjoyable experience so far?
Sabrina: “For me the most enjoyable experience in our Kodak Ghosts journey so far has been filming the music video for Till the Morning Comes. As an actress it’s always interesting to encounter different platforms of performing that combine both music and acting. So even though I was playing myself in the video, it was an exaggerated version of myself and it was interesting to discover this new yet familiar person. Sort of like Beyonce has Sasha fierce as her alter ego for when she’s performing, I’ve found mine. Name pending.”
How does Scotland influence the Kodak Ghosts Sound?
Sabrina: “I am dual nationality – Congolese and Scottish – and I wear them both proudly on my sleeve. Within Kodak Ghosts I try to inject both my Congolese and Scottish culture into our aesthetic. For the video we really focused on the image of a tenement building, a longstanding symbol of Glasgow, and how we could twist that in our own colourful, quirky way.”
Erin: “We are always authentically ourselves and part of that is our Scottish heritage and culture. We draw inspiration from the Scottish bands of the 70’s and 80’s as well as the bands that surround us today. I personally have always had a love for Scottish folk music, and of course the unicorn. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that the unicorn is our national animal. It is important to be proud of where you come from and we are proud Scots, waving the Saltire for all to see.”
Each month the American Scottish Foundation presents a monthly online concert under our Sounds From Scotland banner.
The Sounds From Scotland online monthly concerts are brand new platform from which we showcase and celebrate wonderful live music direct from Scotland! The concerts take place live on our Facebook platform at www.facebook.com/americanscottish on the third Sunday of each month from 3pm – 5pm EST.
We were thrilled to joined by Whisky Kiss, Chris Andreucci, Matt Scott and Paul McGranaghan for our August Sounds From Scotland. You can see the performances as well as previous Sounds From Scotland performances on our dedicated ASF Magazine page here.