Renowned musicians and songwriters in the Scottish and trad music scenes have joined forces for Flit – an intriguing marriage of music and animation that comes to Mareel next Wednesday, drawing on the theme of migration around the world.
Sheffield-born Martin Green, member of folk big-hitters Lau has pulled in an array of vocalists and writers to bring the idea to life, fuelling the project from first-hand stories of human movement across the globe.
Becky Unthank (The Unthanks), Dominic Aitchison (Mogwai), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Adam Holmes perform the music.
The work comprises instrumentals and songs, with Karine Polwart, Aidan Moffat, Sandy Wright and Anaïs Mitchell on lyric writing duties.
Bafta award-winning animators whiterobot have also contributed origami-style animations, that run alongside Green’s accordion underpinnings and pepperings of electronic textures, including an instrument Holmes plays that is fashioned from saw blades.
Green, who has Shetland connections with his wife Inge Thomson hailing from the isles, said he was excited for the gig.
“We finish the tour in Shetland and we’ve been really looking forward to coming,” he said.
“It’s hard to get anywhere else quickly afterwards. I think it’s really great Mareel is there so we can do the show.”
Garnering ideas for Flit, he took inspiration from Fair Isle too.
“Shetland was an interesting one because a lot of conversations were with people that had moved from Scotland on the whole,” said Green.
“The conversations I had about Shetland were about the point Fair Isle was nearly deserted and about the huge number of people that went to Canada, which is kind of at the opposite end of it.
“I think what’s fascinating about Shetland is there’s people that have a very strong sense of place, which is an important part of it.”
With migration, Green agreed there is a curiosity of wanting to know what lies further away from home.
During his search for stories he was told a Ghanaian proverb: “If you’ve never been to anybody else’s house you can’t say your mum’s soup is the best,” he said.
• More in Friday’s Music Matters