Lewis Chessmen in concert, free at the Fringe

The National Museum of Scotland is presenting a month-long programme of music that draws on the Lewis Chessmen for inspiration, with a programme that “stretches from Norway to the shores of Lewis”. In partnership with Live Music Now Scotland, the Museum on Chambers Street in Edinburgh is offering 45-minute lunchtime concerts every day during the Festival. Some of Scotland’s most talented musicians – for free – featuring everything from “fiddles and flutes to ballads and brass”. Each concert takes place at 12:45 and lasts 45 minutes, with the exception of the Fringe Finale, which takes place at 14:00 and lasts for 90 minutes. The below are just a small selection – see the NMS page for the full, and quite incredible, list of 21 Chessmen-inspired concerts.

Monday 9 August and Sunday 22 August
Jennifer Port will perform a selection of Scottish tunes on the clarsach and also sing some songs. Her concert will include a number of Lewis and Western Isles tunes to link in with the origins of the Lewis Chessmen.

Wednesday 11 August
Michael Haywood and Laura Grime give the first performances of Uig Bay, their specially composed new piece of music to celebrate the coming together of the Lewis Chessmen, inspired by the seascape of the Outer Hebrides and the sea crossings which took the chessmen to the sands at Uig.

Sunday 15 August
Emma Versteeg and Fiona Macleod in a concert of vocal music for the chess pieces, tracing a musical journey from Norway to Lewis through songs by Halfdan Kjerulf, Wolf and Faure, plus Hebridean folksongs in arrangements by Marjorie Kennedy Fraser and echoes of kings and queens through the royal sounds of coronation music by Purcell.

Monday 16 August
Skerryvore. Their concert will feature arrangements of Gaelic songs which have been adapted as tunes to perform on bagpipes. Skerryvore will also perform a newly composed piece of music by band member Martin Gillespie entitled Gairm a’chuain which translates as The cry of the sea. The track is very atmospheric and captures the motion and feel of rough seas at night.

Sunday 29 August
Fringe Finale Ceilidh: 14:00 (90 mins). Join popular local ceilidh band the Canongate Cadjers as we round off our annual Fringe programme in traditional style. All are welcome to come and clap along, learn some steps and enjoy a good old shindig!.