Installed in a boathouse, his new work opens on 7 September
A new sound installation by Richard Skelton called Eilean Fuinn will open next month at Scorrybreac Boathouse, Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Commissioned by ATLAS Arts, a contemporary arts production and commissioning body based on the Inner Hebrides island, his piece is part of the year-long project A Work for the North Atlantic exploring singing and the sea. So far the project has included Bethan Huws’s film Singing For The Sea (1993) and school workshops run in collaboration with Aldeburgh Music.
A work of long-duration repetition comprised of four audio channels, Skelton’s Eilean Fuinn was inspired by Huws's work. His installation incorporates four musicians performing traditional songs related to the sea. These are “Cumha Na Cloinne” (“Lament For The Children”) played by Decker Forrest on Highland bagpipes; “Oran Manitoba” by Hector MacInnes on accordion; “Em Tog Orm Mo Phìob” (“Bring Me My Pipes”) and “Am Iomramh Eadar Il’ A’s Uist” (“Rowing From Islay To Uist”) by Ronan Martin on fiddle; and “Braes Of Lochiel” by Frances Wilkins on concertina.
The project, says Skelton, gave him “the rare opportunity to immerse myself in the island culture of Skye, to experience something of its spectacular geography, its natural history, and its musical tradition”. He adds that “working with local musicians, and with the landscape itself, has been a memorable experience”.
The title Eilean Fuinn was inspired by the word fonn, which has multiple meanings including ‘land, earth, plain’ and ‘air, tune, music’.