Katy Returns to Shetland – Part 2

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.

Last night [Wednesday] we were rehearsing until midnight, and our concert is gradually taking shape. We are enjoying working together with Margaret Scollay and Maurice Henderson and are developing a good relationship in performance. The second half of the concert is the main focus, with our original compositions inspired by the poetry and prose of the sea around these islands. The first half is a more general tour of Scottish traditional music. By now our heads are full of Shetland fiddle music, and I am trying to develop a technique on oboe that takes account of the idioms of the Shetland fiddle.
The landscape is constantly decorated with rainbows. Maurice tells us that there is less rain in Shetland than in Glasgow. A major factor must surely be the wind ushering along the showers. In a strong wind, drops of rain feel like hailstones. Building standards are high here, with structures tied down to survive the severest of winter storms. Maurice talks enthusiastically about the sights and sounds of the Aurora Borealis, which has a keen following in these islands.