Saturday 23 October @ 2pm - 6.30pm - Featuring Aidan Moodie
Apple Weekender at the Barn – a musical coming together.
Over the weekend of 22-24 October, the Barn’s outdoor and indoor spaces will become a creative playground of music, imagination and apple harvesting.
Partnering with trailblazing musical eco-warriors the Nest Collective we’ll present some of the finest folk and roots music, storytelling, apple pressing, crafts and games.
Together at the Barn’s rural hideaway we will experience some amazing music – with some performers playing outdoors unamplified and around a campfire – the old way – come join us for an up close, joyful sonic experience in our charming world of community, music and nature.
More detail about each event…
Friday 22 October @ 7pm - 10pm
Singer and harpist Rachel Newton draws on poems and ballads that are hundreds of years old, working them into her contemporary compositional style to create a rich sound that is ambitious, original and unique. In addition to her solo work, Rachel is a skilled collaborator and founder member of The Shee, The Furrow Collective and The Lost Words: Spell Songs. She has worked across various platforms including theatre and storytelling.
To The Awe, Rachel’s ambitious new album, places women at the centre of the narrative, at various stages of life and often marking a coming of age and an acquisition of power. The record is a tribute to the women who have inspired Rachel and is influenced by her recent work around the representation of women in the music industry.
Project Smok is the neo-trad trio of Ali Levack, Ewan Baird and Pablo Lafuente, whose nonconformist and progressive Scottish traditional music has set them apart since their formation in 2017.
Known for their ability to effortlessly blend trad music with contemporary new-age pop influences, Project Smok are at their most comfortable pushing boundaries, making listeners stop and re-evaluate their musical expectations. They do away with any perceived limits of genre from the first note.
The close-knit group meld naturally between the innovative, explosive and emotive, drawing outside inspiration from indie pop acts like The 1975, LANY and Bon Iver, to more time-honoured, West Coast styles of playing.
With tunes built around the distinctive piping of BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2020 Ali Levack, paired with Ewan Baird’s skilled bodhran playing and Pablo Lafuente’s nuanced guitar, electric guitar and production, the trio manage to naturally bring together an array of musical aspects. Throw in instrumental virtuosity, blistering drive, infectious rhythm and a delicate sensitivity and you have Project Smok’s thirst-quenching sound.
It’s little wonder they have fast become a recognised and household name in the traditional music scene. They boast nominations for ‘Best Up and Coming Artist’ at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018 and the ‘Belhaven Bursary for Innovation’ at the same awards in 2019, not to mention an unforgettable collaboration with 2019 Scottish Album of the Year nominee Edwyn Collins on their 2020 debut album, ‘Bayview’.
Written as a follow up to their 2017 EP ‘Horizons’, the record was brought to life in Edwyn Collins’ famous Clashnarrow Studio in Helmsdale on Scotland’s north east coast, using a treasure trove of special analogue and vintage equipment to showcase their truly refreshing sound. It was premiered in spectacular fashion at Celtic Connections 2020 in Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket to a sell-out crowd.
Project Smok’s debut album has cemented their place as a young band at the forefront of the traditional music scene who have great intensions and crave innovation.
They offer an unconventional, idiosyncratic, energetic synergism that defies expectation.
Saturday 23 October @ 2pm - 6.30pm
Playing live, outdoors and unamplified on Saturday is Aidan Moodie, also known as one quarter of band Gnoss. Moodie is one of the newest in a long line of talented young musicians to come from Orkney’s thriving traditional music scene.
Alongside this programme of curated music and storytelling, you can enjoy an array of participatory workshops and talks. Learn how to create cider and press apples with our on-site apple press and join medicinal Herbalist Natasha Lloyd on a demonstration and foraging walk in the Barn’s Wild Garden.
Plus, come along to be guided by Micheal Wiedermann on how to collect wildflower seeds from the Barn Walled Garden, see the various plant shapes, marvel at nature’s Autumn display and prepare for your own little bit of flower colour and nectar for insects for the coming year.
Saturday 23 October @ 7pm - 10pm
Findlay Napier is one of the most highly-regarded performers and creative forces on the Scottish music scene, thoroughly active and truly energised with a heart-warming zing.
He made his name touring and recording with multi-award winning traditional Scottish folk band Back of the Moon. In his more recent projects “Queen Anne’s Revenge” and “The Bar Room Mountaineers” his song-writing took centre stage and was described by The Sunday Herald as “Genuine songcraft and wit following in the Difford & Tilbrook tradition”. Findlay is also well known as the host of Celtic Connections’ Late Night Sessions and for his Hazy Recollections concert series which showcases the very best in new roots music.
Gnoss’ signature sound is a rich tapestry of acoustic layers; outstanding musicianship, deep traditional roots and contemporary compositional flair combine to create songs and tunes brimming with character.
Formed by the award-winning Orkney duo of fiddler/mandolinist Graham Rorieand singer-guitarist Aidan Moodie – with Connor Sinclair (flute/whistles) and Craig Baxter (bodhran/stomp) – the Glasgow-based quartet combine livewire instrumental sets with richly stirring song arrangement.
Double BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards nominees, the young quartet have garnered a loyal following with their high-spirited, forward-thinking take on traditional music coupled with the unique warmth of their live shows. With just an average age of 22, Gnoss already have two back-to-back sellout appearances at Glasgow’s world-famous Celtic Connections festival – in 2019 as hosts and musical directors of Orkney Folk: The Gathering, then at their headline debut the following year.
Their 2019 release, Drawn From Deep Water, was met with widespread praise (“a refreshing blast” – RnR) for its exemplary interplay, nakedly emotional playing, and well chosen material. The record brought Gnoss to audiences across France, Italy, Denmark, and Russia, not to mention the length and breadth of the UK.
With their hotly anticipated follow-up, The Light of the Moon released in May 2021, Gnoss are firmly at the fore contemporary Scottish folk.
Sunday 24 October @ 12pm - 4pm
Sunday has more of a family focus.
Playing outdoors on Sunday we introduce the exquisite Hannah Read. Hannah’s music straddles both sides of the Atlantic. She is a versatile collaborator and forges her own singular musical landscape that draws from American and Scottish folk traditions as well as from contemporary indie-pop and rock. Read has opened for artists such as Darlingside, Kris Drever and John Smith. Her animating principles of curiosity and adventurousness run through all her work, and she continues to interweave these varied musical experiences from Scotland to New York and back again.
Also playing is Alasdair Roberts, a Glasgow-based musician – primarily a songwriter, singer, guitarist and interpreter of traditional songs. Acclaimed by Folk Radio UK as 'one of our most talented, important and relevant songwriters and song-adapters', he has released several critically acclaimed albums of his music via Drag City Records over the past two decades, featuring both self-written material and interpretations of the traditional song of Scotland and beyond. He enjoys a wide range of collaborations and has toured extensively both in the UK and worldwide both solo and with various musical companions. His most recent album is The Old Fabled River, recorded in collaboration with the Norwegian group Völvur.
Get inspired and engage with the Barn’s natural surroundings through music, storytelling, talks and creative activities. Join artist Fenneke Wolters-Sinke for a paper folding workshop inspired by her current exhibition “Paper Contemplations” which explores our impact on our environment. Illustrator and maker Helen Greensmith will be on hand to assist both young and old printing using foraged greenery found around our Wild Garden.
Friday and Saturday evenings are indoor evening performances, seated cabaret style for the comfort and safety of everyone.
Saturday and Sunday day are outdoor events with various craft activities and outdoor live music performances.