Castle of Stone and Sea: The Life, Songs, and Stories of a Nineteenth-Century Breton Woman
In partnership with the Scottish Storytelling Centre
Linklater Rooms – Free Admission
One of Brittany’s most acclaimed voices, Marthe Vassallo, shares emotions and awe as she retraces, via a treasure trove of documents, the life, song, and personality of an ‘obscure’ 19th-century woman, Maryvonne Le Flem. A story of poverty, pride, and mysterious islands, celebrating the power of speech and song.
Maryvonne would be a forgotten name in a registry, were it not for her encounter with Breton writer and folklorist, Anatole Le Braz, and musician Maurice Duhamel: the former collected pages and pages of her traditional songs and her stories, and gradually became a true friend of hers; the latter published over 60 of her tunes in his vast collection of traditional Breton music. It took Marthe Vassallo's curiosity, one century later, to find that all this corpus, as well as a portrait she had found, depicted the same person – and a fiercely interesting person at that.
Marthe Vassallo is hailed as one of the greatest voices in today's Breton music. A versatile artist, whose interests range from opera to many kinds of stage performance, she remains true to Breton traditional singing, collaborating with singers and musicians such as Gilles Le Bigot and Jean-Michel Veillon, the Bagad Kemper, Annie Ebrel, Nolùen Le Buhé, Philippe Ollivier and dance music band Loened Fall. In the past few years she has also become more visible as a writer. Her book+ CD Les Chants du Livre Bleu was distinguished in 2016 by the prestigious Académie Charles Cros.
Scottish International Storytelling Festival - Aberdeen Event
This event is co-sponsored by the Elphinstone Institute and the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and is part of the 2017 Scottish International Storytelling Festival, 'Open Word–Open World'.
A continuing collaboration between Pakistani singer Sara Kazmi and Scotland-based musician Sarah Hayes joins an exchange of stories and poems between Pakistani poet Shazea Quraishi and Scottish storyteller Ian Stephen. Enjoy a lively journey in music, song, story, and poetry from the Isle of Lewis to Lahore.
Sara Kazmihails from Lahore, Punjab in Pakistan. She is a student of Indian classical music, and has been training as a vocalist for the past seven years in dhrupad and khayal singing. She has also been extensively involved with Punjabi street theatre, an experience that heavily inspired her use of folk forms in her performance. Sara enjoys singing the Punjabi kafi, a popular poetic form that draws on the oral tradition of the region.
Sarah Hayes is a flute player and singer from Northumberland. Based in Glasgow since 2005, she leads a busy and varied musical life performing, writing and recording with Admiral Fallow, Rachel Newton Band, Wildings, Alistair Anderson & Northlands, Sara Kazmi, Inge Thomson and more. Sarah’s debut album Woven – a studio reimagining of her Celtic Connections New Voices commission – has received widespread acclaim since its release in November 2015.
Shazea Quraishi is a Pakistani-born Canadian poet, playwright and translator based in London. Her poems have been published in the UK and US in publications including The Financial Times, Poetry Review and Modern Poetry in Translation. Her collection, The Art of Scratching, was published by Bloodaxe Books in May 2015 and she is developing a play based on her poetry chapbook 'The Courtesans Reply'. Shazea teaches with English PEN, Translators in Schools and The Poetry School.
Ian Stephen is from Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and still lives there though he travels widely as a sailor as well as a performer, author and tutor. A graduate of Aberdeen University, Ian is a writer and storyteller as well as a volunteer skipper with traditional boat trusts on Lewis. His storytelling is indebted to his connections with the maritime world, developed during a Creative Scotland project to navigate through Scotland’s sea stories. He now passes on Lewis stories, some previously unrecorded and researches and revives Hebridean stories. He is the author of Western Isles Folk Tales, (The History Press, 2015), illustrated by Christine Morrison who also collaborated on his current book, Waypoints - Seascapes and Stories of Scotland's West Coast, (Adlard Coles Nautical/Bloomsbury, 2017). His poetry and fiction is published in many countries. A selected poems, Maritime, is published by Saraband, who also published his novel, A Book of Death and Fish.
- 2012 - 2016
2016 – Diaries of the Forest: Storytelling from the Amazon – Brazilian anthropologist and storyteller Betty Mindlin shares stories of her fieldwork and some of the myths of the Suruí Paiter from Rondônia in western Brazil.
2015 – If Stones Could Speak: Irish Tales from Liz Weir – Renowned storyteller Liz Weir comes to Aberdeen to share stories from her native Northern Ireland.
2014 – Stories and their Stories – Two of Scotland’s most celebrated storytellers, Lawrence Tulloch (Shetland) and Tom Muir (Orkney), in a night of exceptional stories from the Northern Isles.
2013 – Never-Ending Tales – An evening of traditional Traveller tales from the talented Aberdeen-born storyteller Tony Robertson.
2012 – Stories and Songs of Poland – Two of Poland’s most celebrated storytellers, Małgorzata Litwinowicz and Michał Malinowski, tell traditional stories from Poland and other countries.