Lockdown songs unleash stories of wisdom and wonder

24th June 2021

Captivating songs created during lockdown – which celebrate the rich experience of older people’s lives – are to be showcased in a virtual concert.

New work by Fife singer-songwriter David Latto has been inspired by conversations he held with four senior Fifers as part of an online artist’s residency.

The project, hosted by culture charity OnFife, was one of three residencies that sought to encourage people take part in creative ventures despite the pandemic.

Its aim, says David, has been to help brighten the lives of people whose ability to get out and socialise has been significantly hampered by Covid restrictions.

What emerged during the four-week process is a series of songs that capture not just compelling life stories but the wisdom and insights that these have produced.

The focus has not so much been on the biographical details of people’s lives – interesting as these are – but the deeper themes that emerged during the conversations. It is, says David, a kind of folk music journalism rather than simple retelling of the facts.

The concert will feature songs inspired by local foodbank volunteer Thelma Duncan, globetrotting cabinet-maker Danny Arnott, wandering minstrel Tam ‘The Hat’ Frame and 93-year-old Margaret Lawrence, who taught in the Deep South.

Says David: “The project’s made me realise how so often we’re missing that vital connection to the oldest members of our community, who have all this wisdom they can give to people. It’s something that’s maybe not appreciated in society in the way it should be.”

Tickets for the concert – which is on Tuesday 6 July at 7pm – are free and can be booked online. The songs can also be downloaded for £5 with the proceeds going to Kirkcaldy Foodbank and Care and Share Companionship.

The Scottish Government-backed residency was supported by the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, which helps arts organisations unable to promote their regular activities because of Covid.

Find out more about the Fife Song Project.

There is also a video clip available of David talking about the project – you can view the video here.

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