The Call: An Invitation

I’m currently working on a small, experimental sound and sculptural work as part of an upcoming art weekend in Dumfries and Galloway. As part of the work’s development I’m looking to work with demo recordings of traditional Scots song Ca’ the Yowes (made famous variably by Robert Burns, Dougie MacLean and others, although thought to originally be a poem by Ayrshire poet Isabel Pagan).

I’m inviting you, whatever your singing background, from around kitchen tables, at parties, to open mics or in the pub, or around campfires, to make a small recording to be included as part of this new work. I’d like to get a wide range of voices, and not just look to professional vocalists, but to capture a little of the beauty of everyday singing.

To Record

You can use whatever you have to hand – your smart phone will have a recording feature on it and this would do perfectly for this initial test. I’m optimistic that I might be able to do further higher quality recordings in the future if the first sharing of the work is well received. If possible find a quiet space to make your recording, and leave a quiet gap (5 seconds) before and after you speak to help with the editing.

Here’s the snippet I’m looking to record:

and the lyrics:

“Ca’ the yowes tae the knowes
Ca’ them whare the heather grows
Ca’ them whare the burnie rowes
My bonnie dearie”

You are welcome to sing in the same key, or also to sing the song as it is familiar to you or that is best suited to your own comfortable range.

The audio will go through a pretty hefty editing process, so you may not be able to recognise your own voice but I would like to be able to build up a sort of virtual chorus from all of the voices submitted.

I will need to have received all recordings by Saturday 22nd May 2021 to be able to include them in the final work.

I’m sorry not to have been able to invite folk to come and record with me, I’ve been waiting for covid19 restrictions to ease for as long as I can, and the project is limited by time and resources so would like this to work as an early test for a possible larger project in the future.

I will of course be indebted to you if you are able to contribute to this piece, and happy to return any favours I can be of use with, or to repay you a drink or two next time we meet.

Any questions or thoughts, please do get in touch.

Kindest Wishes


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