Ragadawn performance to take place on roof of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

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Artist, writer and performer Caroline Bergvall will welcome dawn over the Sound of Sleat this month with a unique vocal performance.

Presented by Portree-based visual arts organisation ATLAS Arts, Caroline will deliver her critically-acclaimed Ragadawn (An t-EileanSgitheanach, 57.5º T) on the rooftop of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Sleat, on the morning of Saturday August 25.

Ragadawn is a free multi-sensory composition from the last hours of night until the break of dawn, ending with a communal breakfast.

Atlas Arts director Emma Nicolson says the team has been working with Caroline for two years on the idea.

Caroline Bergvall. NO F33 Bergvall 01

She said: ‘I first saw Caroline’s work in Tasmania. She is of French-Norwegian origin and works with minority languages such as Sami, Faroese, Catalan and Punjabi.

‘She performed an adaptation of Ragadawn to full houses at Geneva’s Festival de la Batie and Southend’s Estuary Festival in 2016 and last year I invited her to Skye to host one of her language stations.’

Caroline has been working with Gaelic speakers on the island and colleagues at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig connecting music, texts and voices from the likes of piper Decker Forrest, singer Rhona Coogan and poets Rody Gorman and Morag Henriksen.

Emma added: ‘Imagine arriving at night and being handed a warming cup of tea and a blanket before being led up to the rooftop in silence.

‘I was fortunate enough to experience the rehearsal piece at the South Bank and it was extraordinary.’

The performance begins at 5.14am and lasts 55 minutes. Following the performance, there will be a communal breakfast for the audience to enjoy using locally-sourced ingredients.

‘The communal breakfast is an integral part of the performance,’ said Atlas Arts producer Shona Cameron.

‘The wider concept of the work is dawn can be a difficult and lonely time for some and a happy time for others. It is about sharing the experience.’

The event is free but booking is essential. For more information and to reserve your seat visitatlasarts.org.uk.

There is a free bus going to and from the event leaving Portree’s Bayfield car park at 3.30am and returning at 8am. People can be picked up en route. Anyone wishing to use the bus should contact Atlas Arts on 01478 611143.