Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Music and Landscape

The line of horizon, the way light falls on a summer afternoon, a winding path, the sky at night -- all these things and many others form landscapes to the way we move and think and experience life. Landscape is a bedrock of many sorts of music, too. It has a hand in the ways music connects us to each other, and the way we connect to and understand music.

Whether you’ve spent time in the Western Isles of Scotland or not, whether you under stand Scottish Gaelic or not, you will hear this love, this connection to the land and the people who’ve lived on it and seen the same landscapes in Roderick MacKay’s Moladh Uibhist, a song he made about North Uist. Julie Fowlis, who is also from North Uist, sings it here.


In English, one of the closing verses is

The last glimpse of the sun
After it has circled the whole sky
May be seen from my land
Just before it rises again on it
I must cut short my account for today
Since my time has gone
And even if I lived twelve times as long as a stag
I could not recount all the beauties of Uist

Fowlis recorded the song on her album Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe/As My Heart Is. Most of the songs on that recording are ones Fowlis learned and gathered from North Uist.

What are your favorite pieces of music that speak of landscape?

You may also wish to see
Brave the movie, Julie Fowlis, and music
Archipelago from Fiona J MacKenzie

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Vera Marie said...

What a beautiful video--both to see and to hear. Of course, being from Arizona, I have to select The Grand Canyon Suite as my favorite landscape music.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Kerry Dexter said...

Sorry the landscape film you enjoyed has gone away, Vera. I hope you will still enjoy the song, and I know you are appreciating the fine hand of nature in Arizona.

4:24 PM  

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