About Songs Of Separation
A fully fledged ensemble, Songs of Separation comprises ten of the most talented, diverse female folk musicians hailing from the U.K. The collaborative project features celebrated vocalists Karine Polwart and Eliza Carthy; Hazel Askew, Rowan Rheingans, and Hannah James from the award-winning English group Lady Maisery; Scottish vocalists and instrumentalists Kate Young and Mary Macmaster; backline musicians Jenny Hill and Jenn Butterworth, and Hannah Read, a New York-born U.K.-based musician.
Hailing from various locations in England and Scotland, the group situated themselves upon the Isle of Eigg -- a community within the Scottish Inner Hebrides, fittingly home to the legend of the Pictish Warrior Women, more commonly known as the “Big Women of Eigg” -- and began their collaborative project by conceiving and building a self-titled album that focused on the theme of separation, explored within the context of a post-independence referendum society, while lyrically and musically focusing on the celebration of history, culture, linguistics, and how these tie in with separation as a concept.
The group spent most of June 2015 recording and rehearsing the album on the island, as well as visiting two historical sites related to the aforementioned legend of the “Big Women of Eigg,” using the location for field recordings also included on the release. Describing the recording process and journey from mainland to the isle as the perfect opportunity to allow themselves “a sense of space and time to really immerse themselves in exceptional music making,” the ensemble also decided to keep in touch with their respective fan bases by documenting the recording process through a series of short films. Musically, the ensemble incorporated many traditional folk aspects into the album while also merging them with bold, fresh, and original ideas, with each member delivering her own unique sound to the record, prompting the listener to ponder the concept of separation and how this occurs in everyone’s lives. The group followed the album up with a nationwide promotional tour in 2016. ~ Rob Wacey
- June, 2015