Folk music at its best is the living, beating heart of human experience and you will find few records that encapsulate this idea so beautifully and devastatingly as Hirta Songs, a collaboration between musician Alasdair Roberts and poet Robin Robertson.
“We drowned our dogs with heavy rocks, and gave them up to water’s trust.”
The album is a reflection on the exodus of Hirta, the most westerly island of St Kilda, a remote archipelago of the Outer Hebrides which had been inhabited for two millennia but saw a singular & deeply traditional way of life decimated by religion, disease, the elements and tourism until the evacuation of the last residents in 1930. Roberts poignant vocal delivery, presented in a thick Scottish accent, and sparse arrangements capture the tragedy & mystery of a once proud but now broken people and when combined with Robertson’s deeply compelling, gothic & transportive poetry we are confronted with a body of work that commands reflection on what we perceive as progress and what we have left behind in its wake.
This not-to-be-missed event is presented by the awesome Young Hearts Run Free collective as part of the Dublin Writer’s Festival and takes place this Friday 23rd May in the Dougles Hyde Gallery. Kicks off at 7pm, tickets are €15 and available here.