Saturday 27 August

Saturday 27 August

Early start for the new travel plan, and farewells in the beautiful morning light. 0730 Good Shepherd from Fair Isle North Haven to Grutness, so wonderfully looked after by the crew, (rapid cab to Sumburgh just round corner) 1230 plane from Sumburgh to Edinburgh (tram to close by Waverley, lunch) then 1700 train to Kings Cross. London feels too noisy, smelly and slightly overwhelming when we arrive... and why don't we know everyone's names?? 

The Fair Isle way of being lingers with us. It was a week of life lived from the heart - creatively, collaboratively, well... a huge thank you to all those Fair Islers and visitors who took part!

Friday 26 August

Friday 26 August

Travel day. Except fog prevented the plane from arriving. So - a reorganisation of travel for the next day (fortunately the Good Shepherd heading out to Grutness) and a free day. 

We go to the school and receive gifts from the children - and farewell hugs. We wander, Kerry swims again, we take photos of the ever-changing sky.

Thursday 25 August

Thursday 25 August

For our last scheduled day on the isle, Kerry started with the chldren composing duets on the musicians along with the recorded sounds of the isle the children had made at the beginning of the week

Then outside for more composing live on musicians in the isle's stunning places - in a field by Malcolm's Head and on the beach. Here we also jammed with Jack (from Foula) on his mandolin. 

On the way we paused to play happy birthday to Robert in his shed!

A glorious afternoon of sunshine, so Zack moved his bird-making workshop into the school playground where more adults who had missed the first one joined in

A breathtaking sunset that evening - the late part of which we gathered to celebrate Robert's birthday with Ian bringing fresh mussels off the boat and Eton Mess with Kenaby plums whipped up by Stu. A huge thank you to our hosts Florrie and Jimmy Stout, Fiona and Robert Mitchell, Stuart and Catriona Thomson and family Best.

Wednesday 24 August

Wednesday 24 August

Kerry teaches the art of sound drawing - composing live on musicians, taking everyone through the different gestures and how the musician will respond to them. The children make visual scores of Messaien Quartet For The End of Time mvt 1 (birdsong), giving a line to each of the instruments. Then they use this new skill for composing with the sounds they had collected, creating visual scores of island sounds for musicians to play. They create wonderful sound pictures of the island which we decide should be played at the concert later.

In the afternoon Zack teaches how to make feathers out of paper and create wings. He shows his chart system for aligning the feathers - this can be used to make accurate wings for all types of birds.

Evening - concert, with everyone on the isle attending - featuring the compositions of the Fair Isle children based on the sounds of the isle; Kerry with her loopstation singing folk songs from her You Are Wolf project; a talk from Roderick on the history and music of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, prior to it being played by Roderick, Stuart, Daniel and Clare.

After the concert, an island social in the hall, with some peeling away to help with the ringing of the Storm Petrels up at the Bird Observatory.

Tuesday 23 August

Tuesday 23 August

Kerry works with the children on fine-tuning their sound maps. Then she gives them a session on how to work a loop station - they all sing beautifully and get hold of the technique really quickly. 
Meanwhile Roderick, Stuart, Daniel and Clare are rehearsing the Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time in the hall - so happy to be together in their music. Zack sits in to listen, and towards lunchtime, Kerry brings the children in and they too have a little listen, and are introduced to the instruments.

In the afternoon Zack takes the group (now with added adults) down to the Kro Stack to search for things to sculpt with and then tutors them in how to sculpt with wire and found objects.

Monday 22 August

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Fog - but Roderick and Daniel have made it to the Snolda and are on their way. 

Morning at the Bird Observatory, led by Kerry - listening and drawing of visual score (which we were then able to sing), then walking and collecting sounds, making field recordings using zoom recorders, and marking these sounds on the map. The fog is perfect for recordings as the wind has dropped, and there is something of an echo chamber created by the surrounding mists.

Afternoon at the school, with Zack teaching how to sculpt with wire - first our names, then tackling birds. 
Roderick and Daniel arrive from the boat - team Half-Island Half-Bird is all together, finally!

Sunday 21 August

More exploring the isle, and a wonderful lunch with our hosts.

The weather forecast comes in looking very foggy for tomorrow - Daniel has arrived in Lerwick safely from his Edinburgh Festival gig, and joined Roderick - but likelihood of planes very poor. Ian rings a skipper friend and books them both in on the Snolda, leaving West Burrafirth for Fair Isle early in the morning. It's a 5-6 hour trip, and not one for poor sailors! But it is a definite bit of transport versus a very indefinite one - so Roderick and Daniel agree to brave it.

Saturday 20 August

We gather at Kenaby to make a plan for the week, then set off to explore the isle for sounds, birds, materials to use ...

Fog has prevented flights arriving from the mainland, so we are still without Roderick - he is stuck in Lerwick, and exploring!

Friday 19 August

Travel day - 0700 flight from London City to Edinburgh, then Edinburgh to Sumburgh. Some time to catch up with old friends Lowri and Alice Best in Lerwick, then islander plane from Tingwall to Fair Isle

Kitchen table catch-ups, then straight out into the field to help with the hay-baling

Evening walks around the southern end of the isle.