The Island Tapes
An Emotional Journey of the senses originally created for the Celtic Connections Festival
“The Island Tapes” features contemporary and traditional music to five silent films recorded live on the Scottish Islands of St Kilda, Skye, Orkney, Shetland and Harris in the 1920’s and 30’s. Also featured is the new film “A New Way to a New World” which explores Scottish Emigration to North America. This is a 2 CD/DVD pack.
Robert Dawson Scott
The Island Tapes *****
Specially commissioned scores played live to accompany old silent movies has become, if not a commonplace, at least a regular event. Why not, thought guitarist David Allison, do the same with Celtic music, using the rich catalogue of films in the Scottish Screen archive?
Like all the best ideas, it sounds simple but is a lot less simple to execute.
Allison began on his own with one film about St Kilda at last year’sWest Endfestival. If you’re not familiar with Allison’s particular schtick, “on his own” may be misleading. He has developed techniques of electronically looping his own playing while he’s playing it, building up complex riffs over which he plays even more complicated tunes until he sounds like an entire band.
Now he has taken the film soundtrack idea and added some more layers to that in the form of two more top-class guitarists, the classically trained Allan Neave and Ian Melrose, the brilliant finger-picker.
Add to that the voice and comely presence of Alyth McCormack and three more films and you have a full 90-minute show, and, it transpires, one of the highest quality, brilliantly executed by top-class performers.