The Songs for Scotland 2 project will be a celebration of pro independence Scottish musical genius; a reaffirmation of Scotland’s drive to become an independent nation within the EU; and an homage to Scotland’s magus and a leading European cultural figure, our own Alasdair Gray.
We are raising funds to create a downloadable album of Scottish songs on the theme of Alasdair’s dictum (which characteristically, he credits to someone else): ‘Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation’. With another independence referendum soon upon us, our distinctive culture should be a driving force in our quest for a free, independent and equitable Scotland. In darker days our pipers led British troops into the slaughter of imperial wars. Today, Scotland’s vibrant musical culture can help each and all of us to imagine and to build a better, fairer, more equitable, peaceable, free and independent nation.
In 2014, in support of the Yes campaign, we produced the Songs for Scotland Project in partnership with Bella Caledonia. That pioneering enterprise included a downloadable album of Scottish songs featuring a range of Scottish artists, from icons like Dick Gaughan and the Proclaimers, to a range of others, some unknown but all incredibly talented. ‘Bella Caledonia: Songs for Scotland the Album’ is a mashup of musical genres, including folk/trad, Hip hop and pop; and with songs in the Scots, Gaelic and English languages. It is available online, and even achieved an international following.
This project will create a sequel album, ‘Native Musicians: Songs for Scotland 2’ with all new tracks, many by the same artists and featuring new artists as well. It too will be a melange of stirring songs, this time including also classical passages, reggae and even a west African track in the Wolof language! — each and every one a Scottish song. The common denominator will be love for our Scotland: a deeply moving statement in music of our drive to make this country an independent, outward looking, cosmopolitan and progressive polity within Europe.
- ‘Native Musicians: Songs for Scotland 2’, will be a downloadable compilation album of Scottish songs, guaranteed to give listeners endless hours of pleasure (and available as a perk!).
- With the funds we raise we will also be providing seed capital for an Alasdair Gray Musical Scholarship Trust, to be administered by Hands up for Trad, a registered charity that will use the funds to award scholarships to promising young musicians. We will also be applying to various charitable trusts to bulk up this fund — your small donation can help us to leverage large donations elsewhere.
- If our fundraising is successful and we reach our target, we will stage another Songs for Scotland Festival in the Oran Mor auditorium (beneath Alasdair’s ceiling murals in Scotland’s own Sistine Chapel) in November. We hope that Alasdair will be able to attend the event and award the first scholarship.
Project sponsors include The National, Scotland’s only pro indy daily newspaper; and Alasdair himself, who has taken a warm, personal interest. He has provided both the amazing artwork for our album cover, ‘Native Musicians’; and as well, has contributed a group of signed silkscreen prints as perks, including the fantastic, ‘Is Scotland a Possible Nation?’