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Review: Music

Aa the Airts:

Project Wish Tree

Teviot Hall, Edinburgh

Rob Adams

Project Wish Tree has been devised by National Collective, the open, non-party campaign for Scottish independence and while the audience at this presentation of music, poetry and film, held as part of Edinburgh's Tradfest, were encouraged to vote whichever way an informed decision told them to come September 18, the general mood was, unsurprisingly, for going our own way.

There is an actual tree of wishes, which ranges from the hopeful - a midge-free Scotland - to the more seriously political, and some of the songs presented, such as mandolinist-guitarist Iain MacLeod's rambunctious We've Got Everything We Need added to it. Others, including the gentle nu-folk originals and charming take on Michael Jackson's Billie Jean by a young trio just out of school, avoided politics.

Bagpipes, big and small, featured courtesy of Gary West's fine tribute to Gordon Duncan and Ewan Campbell's duet with MacLeod, and the fiddle and låtmandola duo of Rona Wilkie and Marit Fält introduced an international flavour with Scandinavian folksong and dance tunes as well as accompanying promising Borders singer Kirsty Law.

Andy Summers and Ross Aitchison's film, soundtracked live by harpist Rachel Newton, made the case for Scotland's self-sufficiency with nicely judged wit and persuasive statistics but the ultimate highlight was a musical one, the trio of fiddler Adam Sutherland, fiddler-guitarist Innes Watson and flautist-keyboards player-singer Hamish Napier.

Working under the "Nae Plans" banner, they produced a spontaneously chosen set that packed heat, skill, dynamics, fun, a tender country ballad and impromptu interaction into an allotted span that called for and was observed with precision timing.

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