An isles musician’s attempt to spread joy over social media during the Covid-19 pandemic has snowballed into a collaboration between folk players across the world.
Peter Wood, 50, said he had been amazed by the response to his videos, which he began sharing on Facebook a few weeks ago – and have now been viewed more than 250,000 times.
Initially the videos only featured Wood on his accordion but after one of his musician friends, Martin MacLeod, got involved it took on a new dimension.
MacLeod recruited his son, also called Martin, to devise a way for other musicians to record themselves performing the same piece, resulting in collaborations of almost a dozen players.
Videos of the collaborations have been updated on their specially created Tunes in the Hoose Facebook page, which has more than 4,000 followers.
Wood, 50, who lives in Hoswick with his wife and three children, said the collaborators had come from many countries including Italy, Spain and even India.
“I’ve been receiving messages from all over the world,” he said.
“All I wanted to do was to make people smile.
“These are hard times so any music that makes people feel a bit better is great.”
Wood, who is also a school accordion instructor, chose traditional Scottish folk songs for the initial collaborations, but as the project has developed other musicians have made their own suggestions.
After the first track is recorded, other musicians add their part by listening on one device through headphones while recording via another.
MacLeod junior, 23, then edits the pieces together, syncing the audio, using professional video production software from his house in Pitlochry, Perthshire, before posting the final videos to the Facebook page.
He said the process was incredibly time consuming as it meant responding to hundreds of messages every day, as well as producing each video.
Speaking on Tuesday, he added: “We’ve only been running for eight days, so there are plenty more tunes to come.
“We’ll just have to see what the future holds and hope that I’ll be able to sustain things when the situation blows over. Perhaps a Tunes in the Hoose festival.”
His father said the response had been “staggering”.
“I’ve been friends with Peter for ages but haven’t seen him in person for about 25 years so this all started on social media,” he added.
“The whole Covid-19 thing hit the folk in Shetland hard to begin with, so Peter seemed to be stuck at home putting up some of his stuff online as Tunes in the
“I was quite taken with it and listened with my son, who has his own film production business and, as he’s notdoing much work at the moment due to Covid-19, said that if I played along he could put it together,
“We tried it out, with me playing along to Peter, to see if there was any interest and the response was fantastic.”
Around 60 videos have now been posted to the page, with performances including waltzes, polkas and reels.
Some of the notable collaborations include Scottish nurses performing with health workers in New Zealand; a young Shetland boy performing with a host of musicians after his school concert was cancelled and a virtual ceilidh for folk to dance to on Friday night.
The videos have attracted scores of appreciative comments praising those behind the initiative for bringing like-minded musicians together and fostering new friendships.
“It’s a welcome relief amongst all the negative news,” said one fan.
“It’s been really lovely and definitely lifted the boredom associated with self-isolation,” added another.
MacLeod senior said it seemed to have struck a chord with the many musicians stuck at home as a result of Covid-19.
“It’s amazing how quickly the idea has spread,” he added.
Visit @TunesInTheHoose on Facebook to watch the videos.