The best of Shetland music will be heard in homes around the globe next month on a CD given away with an influential world music magazine.
Songlines gives its readers a free Top of the World compilation CD with each edition, showcasing the best new tracks from around the world. From time to time it also includes a second bonus CD of music from a particular country. Previous ones have included the music of Portugal, Hungary and Korea.
The January/February edition, due out on 10th December, will include a cover-mounted Shetland sampler CD. The fiddle-laden track-listing includes Aly Bain, Fiddlers’ Bid, Catriona Macdonald, Astrid Williamson, Jenna and Bethany Reid, Hom Bru, Bryan Gear and Violet Tulloch, Chris Stout and Catriona McKay, Steven Spence, Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson, Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag, Rock, Salt and Nails and Malachy Tallack.
The 18-track CD has been put together for Promote Shetland by local impresario Davie Gardner of Atlantic Edge Music Services with help from studio engineer Marvin Smith.
Songlines has a global readership of around 40,000 with about a quarter of copies going abroad. It sells in music and magazines stores on the mainland. For this issue Clive’s Record Shop is to stock it.
The album came about while Songlines was trying to organise holiday trips to the Shetland Folk Festival as part of its escorted travel promotions to musical hotspots around the world. Promote Shetland decided to do a sampler CD, which is paid for as an advertorial promotion.
Speaking today, Misa Hay of Promote Shetland said she was excited about the venture. “We’re trying to promote Shetland in many different ways and music is such a big part of Shetland that we thought it would be great to actually do something for the Shetland musicians because it is a good platform for them.”
Songlines publisher Paul Geoghegan in London said he thought the Shetland sampler would be a fascinating compilation. “Readers want to be introduced to new music and they’re not that familiar with Shetland folk music,” he told The Shetland Times.
“When we ran a Shetland Folk Festival profile in Songlines we got a lot of feedback from so many different subscribers saying how interesting it was and that it was an element of British Isles folk music which they would like to know more about.”
The next issue is an important one for Songlines as well as for Shetland music because it will be promoted at the MIDEM music industry trade fair in Cannes in January, attended by over 7,500 delegates and journalists. It will also feature at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow the same month.
As a result of the contact with Shetland there is be a Songlines travel group to next year’s folk festival, placing Shetland up alongside the experiences offered to readers of holidays to tango in Buenos Aires, experience fado in Lisbon or hear Balkan brass in Serbia.