Kistvaen, Roly Porter, MFO, Anne Martin


Kistvaen – Roly Porter, MFO and Anne Martin open Sonica Glasgow 2022 with an immersive, monumental audio-visual work accompanied with pagan, ritual burial songs.

What inspired you to create this work? 

“In preparation for this performance of Kistvaen, I was invited by Cryptic to spend time with the Gaelic singer, Anne Martin, on a residency near her home on Skye. The original inspiration for Kistvaen came from time spent on Dartmoor and imagining the lives and rituals of the people buried there. For all they share, each landscape has a very different feel, a different sense of scale and a different way of making you feel – often small, vulnerable and alone.  When I visited Skye, I knew in advance that we would be making changes to the music. We would take traditional song, that Anne specialises in, and find ways to adapt it to the sound world of Kistvaen, but I didn’t expect the landscape to have such a profound and powerful effect; it demanded and challenged me to change the sound as well. The landscape was a constant surprise, in some ways similar to places I knew well or felt familiar, but of another scale or a different time. The wind and the sea a constant soundtrack and reminder of peoples’ lives over many centuries.  Why do the wind and sea in one place sound so different to another? This remains a mystery, but that is what I have endeavoured to reflect in this musical response. I look forward to presenting this work at Sonica Glasgow” Roly Porter 

Kistvaen contrasts primordial motifs – elements and seasons, sun and moon, gods and magic – with those of 21st century life, exploring the links between our pagan roots and technology-driven present. Roly Porter has released music through Subtext and Tri Angle and was one half of legendary dubstep duo Vex’d; his music encompasses field recording, folk instrumentation and digital sound processing. As MFO, Marcel Weber – known for his collaborations with Ben Frost, Liz Harris (Grouper/Nivhek), Tim Hecker and others – blends subliminal stage and lighting effects with cinematic imagery to evoke timeless feelings and subconscious images. They are joined by Anne Martin, the celebrated Gaelic singer from the Isle of Skye, singing ritual burial songs. Together, the trio connects the ancient past and the near future in one captivating performance. TICKETS

Anne Martin

Born and raised in Trotternish on the Isle of Skye, Anne has sung and researched Gaelic song from an early age, learning about tradition and Gaelic culture from older neighbours and relatives around the kitchen table and at local ceilidhs. She has toured throughout the US, Australia, Europe and Asia performing at large festivals, concert halls, and small and intimate village halls. She is a sought-after tutor of Gaelic song, having run workshops in a wide variety of places from downtown Philadelphia colleges to small Scottish island schools. 

“If anyone wants to work with Gaelic song and poetry, I think they need to walk in the mountains and feel the cold wind from the west on their face, and that’s what I suggested to Roly to ‘come to Skye and see where I’m from. I love to share the history, stories, culture and ways of life and see a recognition, in the eyes of those who listen, to the importance of the connection between the land, the language and the people. With the support of Cryptic, Roly did make that trip which has enabled him to seamlessly interweave the music of Trotternish with Kistvaen. This understanding doesn’t come from a book or social media, and I hope that through this project we give a taste to inspire our audience to experience and explore more!” Anne Martin

“Ma tha duine sam bi airson a bhi g’obair le orain is bardachd nan gaidheal channainn gu bheil aca coiseachd sna beanntan agus a faireachdainn gaoth fuar bho’n iar air aodan agus ‘s e sin a thubhairt mi ri Roly ‘Thig dh’an eilean agus chi co as a tha mi. Le taic bho Cryptic rinn e sinn airson ceòl an sgire Throdairnis a ceangal a stigh gu Kistvaen. ‘Se bhi g’innse sgeulachdan mun eachdraidh, cùltar agus doigh beath na sgire a tha toirt toileachas mor dhomh. ‘s a faicinn tromh suilean na luchd eisteachd nuair a tha iad a tuigs an ciall eadar canan, an duthcha, ‘sna daoine. Cha tig sinn a mach a leabhar no bho na meadhanan sòcialta agus tha mi’n dochas tromh’n phroseact seo leis a bhlasaid bheag gum bi feoghainn dh’an luchd eisteachd airson barrachd a chluinntean mu ceòl ‘s nan Gaidheal” Anne Martin

THURSDAY 10 & FRIDAY 11 MARCH 2022  // TRAMWAY // 19.00 // £20/£10 Concessions + TRANSACTION FEE