Hands Up for Trad’s Ignition Award is an award for musicians and bands who put the charge into the tradition. At Hands Up for Trad we like to celebrate innovation so we have brought forward this award to celebrate those musicians who take chances and in doing so make Scottish trad music an exciting place to be. Twelfth Day are an amazing duo who are never short of innovative new ideas and never conform to the normal. They are always looking for original ways to present their music and you never know what is going to happen next. So keep watching this video to the end…
We asked Twelfth Day the following questions.
When did you first start playing music?
We both started playing music around the ages of 5 or 6. The first time we ever played together was when Catriona went to St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh for her last two school years, where Esther was already a pupil. One school concert they were a piece short, so we cobbled together Massenet’s Meditation last minute. Our proper jams started happening when we went to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and shared a flat.
Did you make a conscious decision to be innovative with your music?
The reason we started having those initial jams in college halls was because we realised we had a similar attitude towards music, and a desire to create new music using the sounds we’d grown up around as a starting point. We are always searching for new ways of using our instruments and ways to develop our playing and musicianship, together and individually. But although we are passionate about being innovative and pushing boundaries, I think that innovation needs musical soul and honesty in equal measure if it’s going to speak to people. We are always aiming for both.
What are your main influences?
We were both lucky to have amazing teachers growing up. Douglas Montgomery, Savourna Stevenson and Catriona McKay to name a few. They were certainly huge influences on us. We try to listen to as much music as we can to keep on broadening our horizons. Some of our influences include: Bach, Björk, Lau, Patti Smith, Chris Wood, Stravinsky, Punch Brothers, Ravel, Brad Mehldau, Radiohead, Schubert, all the music we heard in Malawi, Brazil, Quebec and Mongolia for our Routes to Roots project.. The list goes on and on…..
Watch their acceptance video!
What music excites you that we should be listening to?
Some of our current listening includes: Björk, The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, Gogo Penguin’s new album, The Bad Plus, Radiohead, Ravel.
What are your plans for the future?
To keep on learning, and to keep creating music and developing our sound. We are pretty confident that we’ll still be making albums together when we’re 80….
How will you celebrate receiving Hands Up for Trad’s Ignition Award?
Do another clothes wash. We’ve been on tour for four and a half weeks now…. Smelling innovative is not as good a plan as sounding innovative.
Contact Twelfth Day