Thirteen of us converged on New Lanark last Thursday to take part in Hands Up for Trad’s annual Distil Residential weekend. Our residential is a weekend for professional musicians who get the opportunity to work with workshop leaders from other musical fields. This year our workshop leaders were: Errollyn Wallen (composer), Paul Rogers (improviser) and Julien Cartonnet (French bagpiper).
Paul Rogers got us started on Thursday afternoon with a group improvising session. The results were really impressive! After this everything got into swing with 1-1s, writing music and discussion on musical topics. Each workshop leader presents 2 group (plenary) sessions and a 1-1 session with each of the participants.
Distil is a unique event where musicians get to take time out of their busy schedules and are encouraged to learn new skills about composition, improvising and other musical cultures. There’s plenty of time for sessions as well. In the evenings the musicians all get together for a session often with the workshop leaders experiencing their first foray in Scottish traditional music!
We are already looking forward to our 2017 event! Thanks to Creative Scotland for their continued support in making this event happen.