Katy Returns to Shetland – Part 4

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.
Our Friday concert was some 30 miles from Lerwick, in Busta House – a 16th century Scottish mansion with a long, low-ceilinged drawing room. In this rather intimate setting, we felt a direct connection with the audience.
Our Saturday concert was in the glorious Boat Hall of Lerwick Museum and Archives, surrounded by Shetland history and culture, and alongside the last surviving sixareen – an open six-oared fishing boat which was once key to Shetland's deep sea fishing industry and is of poignant relevance to items in our programme. Behind us, through an impressive wall of glass, was the small boat harbour of Hay's Dock. In this setting Spondrift – our specially written music interspersed with poetry and prose of the sea – could hardly fail to make its mark, and it was clear from the faces of the audience that they were following us closely. Long and enthusiastic applause confirmed the success of the project, and we retired to The Lounge, where fiddles and guitar (taken down from pegs on the wall) and oboe and piano entertained the Saturday night drinkers with foot stompin' reels until well after midnight. Despite this, I am pleased to report that I was up early on Sunday for a two hour run on the hills (others will confirm), before setting off at 09:45 for our flight back to Edinburgh.
We were very sorry to leave. Shetland is a special place, suffused with music, and it is in the nature of the people to keep their music very much alive.