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Artyness columnist Liza Mulholland highlights the chance a new project from Clàradh san Sgòth (Cloud Recording) in Stornoway offers as an open call for musicians goes out

By Liza Mulholland

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If a reminder was needed as to how invaluable technology has been throughout the pandemic, when in-person interaction has been severely limited, then it came in for me this week when I read of a fantastic new opportunity for musicians.

Those of us who play and teach music for a living have been especially grateful for how tech and the internet have enabled performance, tutoring and sharing of music to continue, and now one man’s innovative idea, and some digital wizardry, offer something very new and exciting.

Keith Morrison.
Keith Morrison.

Keith Morrison of the Wee Studio in Stornoway – the man behind the recordings of top traditional artists including duo Brian O hEadhra and Fionnag NicChoinnich, and the hugely popular Peat and Diesel – has come up with an idea for a remote recording project and has put out an open call for submissions.

Clàradh san Sgòth (Cloud Recording) is looking for 10 Gaelic and traditional musicians in the Highlands and Islands to be recorded remotely over the internet, with equipment being sent out to musicians to use at home, and all under the watchful eyes and ears of Keith – and it’s all free!

Each musician will be fully involved in the recording, editing and mixing of their own tracks, with Keith able to control the laptop (included in the box of gear) from his studio. It will be a rare chance to experience hands-on home recording as well as an introduction to working in a professional studio for those who are new to this.

In addition, musicians will finish up with three professionally recorded songs or pieces of music and have learned a load of useful stuff about recording at home, which with today’s technology, is more straightforward than ever.

Liza Mulholland.
Liza Mulholland.

So, if you or someone you know has some self-penned songs or tunes stored away in a drawer or on a mobile phone, with a burning desire to get them recorded, then this opportunity is not to be missed.

The DIY approach has been embraced for at least two decades in folk music, with musicians releasing albums on their own labels, and this has enabled bands and artistes to control their careers and choose how and what music to record and release, rather than hope to be signed to a label.

However, all of us who have done this know it is a massive amount.

So it is welcome news that another island musician has started up a new record label, No Big Deal Music. Charlie Clark, famously of the band Astrid, hopes to promote the wealth of untapped talent within the Highlands and Islands and this new label can only enhance the musical ‘ecosytem’ necessary for a thriving cultural scene.

Two excellent initiatives by two musicians, so do check them out!

The deadline for Clàradh san Sgòth is October 4. www.claradhsansgoth.co.uk

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