Wednesday, February 04, 2009

"Grace Notes" on BBC Scotland

"I'm not finished learning about our church music. In my ignorance I didn't know about the Covenanters. There wasn't much Scottish history taught in my school. It was all Henry VIII and Good Queen Bess."

So says Scottish folk music icon Phil Cunningham, during an interview to promote a two-part tv series he's presenting called "Grace Notes", which starts on BBC2 on 14 Feb. It's a short history of Scottish religious music.

Let's see if the Prods and Presbyterians get a fair crack of the whip - I'll be surprised and delighted if any of the many Scots language evangelical hymnwriters like Seth Sykes or Alexander Halliday get a mention.



Philbox said...

Hi Mark,
Sorry, sadly the writers you mentioned didn't come up.. I wish they had! I would love to find out more, on a personal level. This wee mini series has driven me mad with the desire to delve a bit deeper.
I will forward your blog details to the researchers and writers I worked with, they are good folks and they'll value your info for sure... as do I!
Many thanks

Phil C.

Mark Thompson said...

Hello Phil - thanks for your post! Sadly there's a lot of great music that's well below the radar of researchers, both here in the UK and in the US as well. The religious/gospel traditions tend to be either ignored completely, or are stereotyped.

I'm genuinely looking forward to Grace Notes, I'm sure we can get it across the water here on one of the BBC digital channels. If you're ever interested in this whole genre, drop me a line - I've got shedloads of the stuff gathering up, some of which I've put online on my Sacred Scotch Solos blog.

There's also an exhibition about Seth Sykes to be held in Glasgow later this year - again, if you're interested I can put you in touch with the folk who are involved in it.