Event: Woodwind meets verse on Loch Duichside, music and poetry reading, Kintail Lodge Hotel
Verdict by Duncan Ferguson, 61, Achmore: 3 stars (at least)
Lochan, the Lochalsh Arts Network, promotes arts events throughout this scenic area of the West Highlands so the Kintail Lodge Hotel was the pleasant setting on Friday night (4th April) for an unusual combination of bassoon and clarinets, by a duo from the the woodwind trio Cuillin Sound.
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Alongside were selected readings of poetry from the Anglo-Saxon 'The Seafarer', Oscar Wilde, Wordsworth and, of more local relevance, Sorley MacLean (in his own translation of his poem 'Screapadail', a cleared township on his native Raasay) with his forceful denunciation of landlordism and anti-war sentiments. In this powerful piece, a solo bass clarinet composition accompaniment caught the mood in a quaint drawing room performance way; while not quite the same as employing traditional music played on the bagpipe, fiddle or other instruments more commonly heard in these Gaelic parts.
Nevertheless, this was a reminder that the full spectrum of the arts, and in this instance with an artistic twist, can be offered throughout our nation as should indeed be the case; and, if only for that, the local promoters and the two performers, Sarah Watts and Laurence Perkins, can take a well deserved bow.