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Musician Finn Anderson from Fife will debut new single Skin live at Under Canvas in Inverness on Thursday

By Margaret Chrystall

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The cover of new single Skin by Finn Anderson.
The cover of new single Skin by Finn Anderson.

GETTING back into nature after being cooped up in the house, is just one of the sensations captured in Skin, the new single from Scottish musician and composer Finn Anderson.

It’s a feeling everyone who has been through lockdown life can appreciate.

But in a song that captures the sensation of immersing yourself in the great outdoors, there is also a feeling of sensual intimacy as the lyrics describe time with a loved one, possibly in the past:

‘And your words leave me naked

as into the river you dive,

and I begin to remember

what it feels like to be alive’

Skin is a song Finn wrote during lockdown last summer,

And as he prepares to come north from his home in Fife for a gig in Inverness at Eden Court’s Under Canvas, he has one of life’s strange little quirks to share.

“I always write down the dates I write my songs, and I wrote Skin exactly the same day I’ll be playing it in Inverness, my first live gig since last year.

Next Thursday at 4pm and 8pm, Finn will play with fiddler Laura Wilkie and Pedro Cameron of Man Of The Minch, as part of the Bogha-frois strand that runs for five days Under Canvas from Wednesday to Sunday (July 14-18).

Bogha-frois (rainbow) is a community of queer and LGBT+ folk musicians that aims to encourage creativity and collaboration which reflects the queer experience.

Finn said: “Pedro Cameron started it as quite an informal collective just to see if there were other people out there on the folk music scene. There were – many of us! And it led to a big gig at Celtic Connections in 2019. Then we did it again in 2020 with double the number of musicians.

“It’s a project that aims to tell the stories of queer and LGBT+ people through folk music which is a medium that tells so many wonderful stories, but it’s very hard to find those other stories, certainly, in the traditional canon.

“It’s been such a special project to be part of.

“I’ve met so many great musicians through it and actually my last gig in a hall with real people was the Bogha-fois gig at Celtic Connections in 2020, so this will be really nice to return to.

“It’s a curated five days within Under Canvas and with two acts part of that every night, brilliant musicians and singers.

“Pedro and me have a very special guest joining us, though I can’t give anything away yet!”

'I’m always really drawn to Scotland’s natural places'

Skin is from Finn’s second album which will be out later this year.

As well as his solo music, Finn has created music for circus, dance, film, theatre and art projects throughout the UK and internationally, working with National Theatre of Scotland, BBC, Sky Arts, Paines Plough, Scottish Dance Theatre, Upswing Aerial Circus, Citizens Theatre, Dundee Rep Theatre, Imaginate, American Music Theatre Project, Bush Theatre, Barn Theatre, and video artist Rachel Maclean for Tate Galleries, National Galleries Scotland and Venice Biennale.

There has been news this week that Islander, composed by Finn, and a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, will be presented at Eden Court in a collaborative film production with Dundee Rep. Islander is a contemporary folktale written for two female voices and looping technology. It won Musical Theatre Review’s best musical award before a transfer to London, where it was nominated for the Off West End Award for best new musical. It was later adapted for BBC Radio 4.

And Finn won the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Award, which means from 2022 he will undertake a residency at The Lowry and Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, projects including developing a new musical.

Piano is where Finn writes his music, first taught to him by his dad.

“The piano is the place I go to tell all my secrets!

“When I was writing Skin, we were coming out of lockdown. There was a real heightened awareness of being in a natural place that wasn’t my bedroom and really paying attention to the sights and sounds.

“I’m always really drawn to Scotland’s natural places. When you are in the middle of a woodland or nature, you feel both a part of it and you can observe it, I guess.

“Often, when I write songs I’m conjuring up all the images that for me I remember from that moment when I was there and I’m seeing it like a movie in my head.

“So there is something about that, being very alive and in the moment, but then that moment is gone.

“But I’m sitting at my piano re-feeling it all again for a second time. So it’s all very present when I’m writing."

You can play Skin online: https://Finn-Anderson.lnk.to/ZyXNvxPa

Finn is performing with Pedro Cameron (Man Of The Minch) and fiddler Laura Wilkie at Under Canvas, Eden Court, on Thursday July 15, part of a curated five-day strand of Bogha-frois (Rainbow) a group that features queer and LGBT+ musicians in folk. Under Canvas details: https://eden-court.co.uk/under-canvas

And it is Finn’s music and lyrics that feature on the film collaboration between Eden Court and Dundee Rep of Islander by Amy Draper which will have a red carpet premiere at Eden Court on August 26.

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