Katy Returns to Shetland – Part 1

Associate Principal Oboe Katy MacKintosh continues her collaboration with Shetland musicians this weekend, following Orchestra’s successful visit to Shetland last March. She will perform two concerts with acclaimed Shetland musicians Maurice Henderson and Margaret Scollay, as well as her father, pianist Graeme MacKintosh. Katy sent us this blog.

A 30-seater bus arrived at the house to take me to the airport. It seemed like overkill – perhaps they thought that all the orchestra were going, as before.
Our flight left on time, or slightly early. A higher tone was attached to this flight, something of a feeling of community. A great view of the Forth Bridges as we left behind the drizzle and flew into clearer conditions. With a backing wind, we reached Sumburgh 20 mins early and used that time on the drive north to visit the 12th century St Ninian's Kirk at Bigton. Here a local schoolboy unearthed the remains of a wooden box containing 28 pieces of Pictish silver. All that we discovered was an odd small pile of bones on an ancient grave, covering a 5p coin and commemorating a superstitious visitor. Some stunning scenery here – I am glad I brought my camera.
Just time for a quick food shop and a bowl of pasta, then on to a highly productive rehearsal. This was the first time that we had put together the efforts of both groups. Initially we had no idea what would come of it but at the end of four hours we were all in agreement that it had been a productive and stimulating evening. The basis of a good concert. This was my first time composing – a Reel entitled "Steamin' Oot" and a "Psalm" written for oboe, two fiddles and piano.
Water and wind are ever present. We are rarely out of view of the sea. The rain showers are ushered along in a strong southerly wind. Our accommodation is high on a moor above Lerwick and a wind turbine adjacent to the house provides our electricity. Whether this will continue to be the case remains to be seen, as it was in the process of being dismantled and repaired on Tuesday morning...