Congratulations to The Black Isle Correspondent who has been nominated in Trad Music in the Media sponsored by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2020. Vote now!
We asked Anna Massie of The Black Isle Correspondent the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
The week before lockdown began, I had gone north to visit my parents and play a gig with Bruce MacGregor. When lockdown was announced, I decided to stay north rather than heading back to Glasgow. After a busy couple of months, a three week break up at home would be lovely…
“The daily updates you can’t make up” began as wee inserts for Live at Five on the MacGregor’s Bars Facebook page.
From Mum’s quest for the perfect pancake to Dad keenly cultivating the tattie patch; from informative field trips within a 5-mile radius to training sessions with Sunny and MacPhail (the black labs who were the real stars of the show), these short videos shared the goings-on in our house and in the village. There was music, baking, dungarees, haricuts, dog walks….dad fell in a bucket of water, I power-hosed the wheelie bins, mum made strawberry gin, the dogs’ sausage-catching didn’t improve…
All the while, folk watched and got involved and invested (mainly with the baking and dogs) and a really lovely sense of community grew around the BIC. I was surprised and touched by the response to these wee films. The theme song (yes, I wrote a theme song for it) says “if you’re feeling grumpy, you’ll find some comp’ny here…” Well, that proved to be more true than I could have imagined. What began as a wee project to fill some time for me became the focus of my days, and there were 104 continuous episodes throughout lockdown, and they continue sporadically, as and when suitable content arises!
They are a joy to make, and it as heartening that they in turn bring joy to others.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
There was a wee bit of music involved in the BIC, but it was by no means a vehicle for tunes or performance. I enjoyed writing some music for a few episodes – a couple of tunes and songs featured over the course of it. The largest musical impact the series had was the my mum has gained a whole following of fans of her spoons playing!
Any particular career highlights?
There are a few highlights: the wheelie bin trilogy, episode 30 where dad falls in a bucket of water, Miles the puppy next door, the Sunday sesh where I wrote a wee rap and it took all afternoon to learn how to recite it…
But seriously, it was a real thrill when I was asked to do some Black Isle Correspondence for BBC Alba’s Belladrum special in the summer.
The main highlight of the BIC has been hearing how much enjoyment people have gained from watching our day-to-day carry on!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently waiting for Hollywood’s call…
The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, Na Trads 2020, will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on 12th December 2020 at 9pm where the award winners will be announced along with specially recorded music performances. During the day on Saturday the 12th, you will be able to watch from 1pm til 9pm a day of live Scottish trad music including Kinnaris Quintet, Dallahan, Inyal, Paul McKenna Band, Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth and many more here https://youtu.be/amByvVzxl5E. Keep up to date with all the latest information by joining the Hands Up for Trad newsletter at https://handsup.link/Newsletter or use the hashtags #natrads #HUFTonline.
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