Musicians performing 'Yatra' in Stornoway. Photograph  courtesy An Lanntair.

23 January 2018

Multi-disciplinary arts centre An Lanntair in Stornoway is celebrating the success of Purvai, its Festival of South Asian Art and Culture, by travelling to India for a series of special events and live performances.

Originally inspired by the life and collection of Stornoway-born Colonel Colin Mackenzie, first Surveyor General of India, the festival has engaged audiences with the rich history and cultural heritage that exists between India and Scotland.

Now the signature concert from the festival, which tells the journey of Mackenzie from the Hebrides to India through Gaelic vocal traditions and Indian Rag, will be performed to audiences at the Queen Elizabeth Cup Reception and The India Museum.

The latter is particularly fitting for the project, as Colin Mackenzie life’s work and collection was dedicated to documenting, sharing and understanding the ancient art and cultures of India.

Musicians taking part include:

  • Dalbir Singh Rattan, lead composer and tabla
  • Kathleen MacIness, vocals
  • Aziz Ibrahim, guitar
  • Kaviraj Singh, vocals and santoor
  • Jane Hepburn, violin
  • Neil Johnstone, cello
  • Rhona Johnstone, violin

Purvai has also extended its New Passages Project in partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival, and with support from the British Council’s UK/India season. Scottish writers Nalini Paul and Abir Mukhrjee travelled to the Hebrides to view the Mackenzie collection and write in response to their discoveries.

Then in collaboration with Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival in Kolkata, the writers carried out a week-long residency in collaboration with their Indian counterparts Sandip Roy and Sampurna Chattarji.

External links