Musicians invited to take inspiration from nature

View over Scot's pines and Loch Maree from the mountain trail, Beinn Eighe ©Lorne Gill/SNH

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Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Fèis Rois have teamed up to inspire people to connect with nature through music.

In Tune With Nature is calling on musicians of all genres – whether rock, rap, folk, classical or anything in between – to show their love of nature by writing music inspired by the coasts and waters of Scotland’s beautiful nature reserves.

Entrants are invited to compose a piece of music inspired by one of 10 national nature reserves, including Beinn Eighe, Creag Meagaidh and the Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve, across Scotland.

The competition will be judged by a panel of well-known faces from the Scottish music industry – including Julie Fowlis, Vic Galloway, Gill Maxwell and Karine Polwart – and is part of the celebrations for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

Winners will receive a £500 cash prize, as well as the opportunity to take part in live performances throughout the year. Each winner will also make a film on the nature reserve which inspired their music with a professional film-maker.

Entries can be in any style of music, and may or may not include lyrics. References to local culture, language and tradition are encouraged. New Gaelic songs are particularly encouraged in the Beinn Eighe and Creag Meagaidh areas, as are songs written in Scots and regional dialects in other areas.

Ian Sargeant, SNH’s Natural Nature Reserve manager for North and West Scotland, said: ‘There’s so much to be inspired by on our nature reserves, particularly during the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

‘We have such an amazing variety of marine wildlife and seabirds in Scotland, as well as stunning beaches, lochs and rivers. It’s hard not to be inspired by such beauty.

‘Music and nature have so much in common – they’re both moving and give us so much pleasure. We can’t wait to hear what people come up with to make us see these special places in a new light.’

Fiona Dalgetty, Chief Executive of Fèis Rois, added: ‘We are thrilled to be collaborating on this new project with SNH to encourage musicians to create new work inspired by our beautiful landscapes in Scotland.

‘We also believe that musicians have an invitation here to make a creative response to the climate challenge affecting our natural heritage in Scotland today. We look forward to receiving entries from all genres of musician.’

The contest closes on May 31, with winners announced on June 26 and is one of several special SNH events and projects to celebrate Scotland’s Coasts and Waters and their wildlife during the themed year as well as raising awareness of the importance of healthy freshwater and seas.

For more information about the contest and the NNRs involved, as well as how to enter, visit https://bit.ly/353RN4Q