Mull-inspired musical album released ahead of national tour

Kirsty Findlay and Bethany Tennick perform on the Islander musical album. Photograph by Ali Wright

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With a national autumn 2020 tour postponed, the team behind Islander: A New Musical are instead releasing the original cast album.

The critically acclaimed show, performed by Kirsty Findlay (Olivier Award Nominated, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour) and Bethany Tennick (Stage Debut Award Nominated, Islander at Southwark Playhouse) follows the story of Eilidh who stares out to sea and dreams of a new life beyond her lonely island.

Myth and reality collide when the tide washes a mysterious stranger onto her beach, changing her life forever.

Epic storytelling intimately staged with a contemporary Scottish folk-inspired score – by award-winning composer, writer and singer-songwriter Finn Anderson – Kirsty and Bethany perform a whole host of characters, while weaving, building and layering their voices using looping technology to create an expansive, ethereal soundscape.

Exploring themes of loss, identity, migration and home, Islander: A New Musical was created on Mull and is inspired by the sights, sounds and smells of the wind-beaten and wave-struck Western Isle.

The production had its first – and completely sold out – run in 2019 at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme before a three-week season at London’s Southwark Playhouse last October.

With national touring plans currently on hold, the album – out September 25 – aims to give Islander fans a welcome opportunity to listen to the complete soundtrack anywhere and at any time.

Finn Anderson said: ‘Creating the music for Islander was an exciting challenge.

‘The score draws heavily on Scottish folk traditions, with raw acapella vocals at its heart, but the use of the loop station allowed us to create a vast and fantastical theatrical soundscape with just two female voices.

‘I’m always excited by how we marry tradition and innovation, and how centuries-old music and folk traditions can find new relevance through contemporary narratives and modern technology.’

Islander: A New Musical cast album is available from September 25 through Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and all major online music distributors.