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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Music - Orkney Symphony of the Magnetic North

Star rating – 7/10

Whilst trying to preserve the exhilarating soulfulness of my recent Highland adventures, I came across this beautifully evocative CD by The Magnetic North, which is a hymn to another Scottish isle – Orkney. It’s the work of ex Verve member Simon Tong, along with Hannah Peel, and Erland Cooper, whose hails from this remote part of the British Isles.

And the music reflects the windswept landscapes in a wonderful way. The album is dedicated to Betty Corrigall, a young woman who killed herself in the late eighteenth century after her lover deserted her after she became pregnant, and who was not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground for her sin. It’s a very sad story, and a delicate eponymous song, with gentle guitar and mournful lyrics. Read more about her at:  

 My favourite track, Bay of Skaill bemoans the lack of opportunities for work on the distant island, and has beautiful vocals and a strong drum beat. All the songs are very evocative, and the delicate vocals, in places with added depth by the accompaniment of a local pub choir, are just right.

The lovely music is just the thing to take you right back to the wild yet peaceful remote islands around our shores. I feel another trip coming on...

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