As Celtic Connections celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this year, we brought together a group of Scottish and Iranian musicians to explore the rich piping traditions of the two countries. Members of Ney Anban (Iran) and Assynt (Scotland) performed at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 3 February to a packed audience, and it wasn’t long before folk were dancing in the aisles.
As an extra treat we managed to capture a pre-show rehearsal and speak to the musicians about their experience of coming together across cultures to explore their musical connections.
The roots of the performance go back to Celtic Connections 2017, when we welcomed a delegation from the Iranian Ministry of Culture as part of Showcase Scotland. It was wonderful to see the outcome of that engagement result in the concert. It's exactly the kind of compelling work that cultural relations can make happen.
Scotland has an impressive record for enabling intercultural exchange, as this project shows. Work is now taking place to see how we and our partners can support further cultural connections with Iran. So watch this space, as well as the video!