LISMORE – For more information on Scottish rural music visit www.sgtrm.co.uk
The Isle of Lismore is a beautiful small island off the west coast of Scotland, accessible by ferry in just under an hour from the shore of Oban. Despite only having a population of around 170 people, it is said to be one of Scotland’s ‘hidden gems’ as it provides an escape for writers, musicians and poets to come and express their creativity by encapsulating the local scenery and community, in which music is an integral part of the area.
Lismore is a key example of a rural scene that experience and display how music can be so influential for an area in terms of uniting a small community from their love of performing, sharing and promoting music in the area. From this passion of the locals and with the stunning scenery, Lismore is a hotspot attraction for devoted musicians in which many come to have a creative retreat to write music that is inspired by not only the area, but the characteristics of the local people and the artistic talent they have towards music.
One of the major events in the calendar year for Lismore that attracts musicians to the area is the ‘Taproot Festival’ held at the local Gaelic Heritage Centre. This 4-day event is host to a diverse range of music and literature based experiences that celebrate sound, word and film by many artists and authors who gather together to share this creative occasion. The festival will be back in 2021 and more information can be found at:
Although the number of residents on the island is fairly small, there is a surprising abundance of musical talent in the area from local musicians. In 2019 an album was compiled of over 20 local artists, including the renowned artist Mairi Campbell, to tell the stories of Lismore through song. There is over 2 hours of music on the “Sounds of the Great Garden” album and it showcases the great artistry of the musicians in the rural area and the enthusiasm for promoting their community culture through songs. It was recorded entirely on the islands own recording studio, Tirlaggan Studio, run by local songwriter and producer Davy Clincart who also featured on the album. For more content on the album, it can be found on his website at:
To support the artists who wish to go to Lismore for creative writing, well known songwriter Mairi Campbell hosts a number of retreats throughout the year offering musicians the opportunity to create and share music with others. The retreat for musicians focuses on a wide range of music abilities including; soundscape through music, movement/story and voice/fiddle courses. The retreat is a fantastic experience for any musician wishing to explore their own music talent and express it with others. Full information on the retreats and workshops can be found at:
The Isle of Lismore is definitely a rural area that is perfect for musicians who seek inspiration in their writing and composing. It is places like Lismore that make rural music within Scotland so desirable for tourists. It promotes the heritage and culture of the small area by conveying the togetherness that the community show through the love of music, and is one of many reasons why local people to their towns and villages in Scotland have a strong passion for creativeness.