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An immersive film and sound installation exploring oral traditions and languages in Scotland through folk songs found within the archives.

When and Where:

27th-31st October 2022

French Institute, Edinburgh

W Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF

Schedule of Events:

27th – Launch plus Live Folk Session at 6pm and 8pm

28th-31st Exhibition (free and donation-based admission) from 10am -5pm

28th – Talks with the creators at 2pm and 3pm

27th-31st October from 10am-5pm
Live film & folk session

27th October 6pm & 8pm

28th October 2pm and 3pm

Cinetopia presents I Ken Whaur I’m Gaun (I Know Where I’m Going), an immersive film and music installation that explores oral traditions and languages in Scotland through folk songs recordings and moving image material found within the country’s archives. Working with folk-music duo Dowally and visual artist, Yulia Kovanova, this project will blend both mediums, sound and visual, to create a multi-sensory experience while showcasing this long standing tradition of storytelling through song.

Through archival film and folk song I Ken Whaur I’m Gaun invites audiences to immerse themselves into the sounds and visions of the unique culture, land and people of Scotland. The film/audio installtion will run continuously on a 12-minute loop and feature scenes and rare recordings from across Scotland from the country’s archives, including recordings by Hamish Henderson during the folk song revival of the fifties. Among the songs featured are ‘I Ken Whaur I’m Gaun’ by Jeannie Robertson and ‘A Pair of Nicky Tams’ by Jimmy MacBeath.

Different eras of archival film and diverse folk song traditions are brought into one space through a 12-minute multi-screen installation, which presents a meeting of different communities in Scotland. Those living and working close to the land, across time and place, are liked through folk song, carrying the unique character of their local culture and ways of life.

Edinburgh-based artist Yulia Kovanova, worked together with film editor, Kieran Gosney, and video projection designer, Mettje Hunneman, to create a unique rendering of some of the rich material found within National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive. They reconfigure Scotland’s people and land, bridging different places and times into a singular experience. The very surface of the screens themselves, emerge out of the land and its people – sails, wool, aprons – as a way to bring tactility to the fabric of film.

Edinburgh duo Dowally dove into the rich archives of Scottish traditional music recordings to discover beautiful and rare songs in both Gaelic and Scots. With the help of traditional singer Scott Gardiner and Gaelic specialist/singer Rona Wilkie, they curated a small selection of songs to use in the film. These songs are steeped in history, character and emotion, sparking creative musical responses from the duo; ranging from sampling sounds from the recordings, adding some ‘modern day’ accompaniment on the fiddle or guitar, inspiring totally new musical ideas, or just playing the archive recordings as they are.

I Ken Whaur I’m Gaun is produced by Cinetopia with Amanda Rogers as Creative Producer.

The installation is open from 10am until 5pm daily in the Jacques Tati Room on the ground floor of the French Institute (enter via George IV Bridge) from the 28th to 31st October. Free entry, but donations are welcome. Capacity per screening is limited. Book your slot if you want to view at a specific time. Otherwise, please feel free to stop by during opening hours.

I Ken Whaur I’m Gaun (I Know Where I’m Going) is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network with National Lottery funding as part of Changing Times: Curious.