Forgotten songs from the Hebridean island of St Kilda, which was evacuated in 1930, have been resurrected on an album featuring composers including James MacMillan.
The album is based on a recording by an elderly man called Trevor Morrison, who had been taught the piano by a former resident of St Kilda. He learned the songs by placing his hands over his piano teacher’s, then recorded the pieces decades later, on a £3 microphone provided by his care home.
Trevor died in 2012, but the recordings were passed to Decca Records, which commissioned several composers to orchestrate the tunes and perform them with the Scottish Festival Orchestra.
To celebrate the launch of The Lost Songs of St Kilda, James MacMillan undertook the punishing eight-hour boat journey across the Atlantic Ocean to perform a special piano concert on the island – the first time music had been heard on St Kilda since its evacuation. The piano, transported flatpacked in a storm-force vessel, was also the first ever to be taken to the island.
To find out more about the trip, check out the videos below.