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This August Hanna Tuulikki's heartfelt re-weaving of Gaelic song will be performed live on the Isle of Canna.
This August Hanna Tuulikki's heartfelt re-weaving of Gaelic song will be performed live on the Isle of Canna.
175 backers pledged £6,221 to help bring this project to life.

About

Air falbh leis na h-eòin | Away with the Birds on Canna project video thumbnail
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£6,221

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Photograph by Alex Boyd for Away With the Birds.
Photograph by Alex Boyd for Away With the Birds.

Away with the Birds will be performed by a female vocal ensemble in the beautiful harbour of the Isle of Canna, where the music reverberates with the bird-calls and the ebb of the tide.

Hanna Tuulikki is a Glasgow-based artist and composer.  Away with the Birds is her most ambitious work to date.  Selecting Gaelic song from historical archives, she has sought out extracts and fragments which imitate birdsong and rewoven them into an extraordinary soundscape. Each of the five movements represents a different habitat and bird community – wader, sea-bird, wildfowl, corvid, and cuckoo. 

Hanna on Canna!
Hanna on Canna!

Away with the Birds was conceived for and inspired by the Isle of Canna. Hanna’s longstanding relationship with its ecology, birdlife, and history has seen her form a strong bond with the community. The archive of songs and tales assembled by the folklorists John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw, and kept in Canna House, has been one of the main sources for her composition. 

Early staging tests, Canna harbour.
Early staging tests, Canna harbour.

Experiencing Away with the Birds on Canna

Hanna explains: ‘The setting itself is so important to the piece. The Small Isles are a magical place and, to me, the performance begins as soon as people climb on-board the ferry-boat to make the crossing – the experience of voyaging and crossing over is the heart of the project.’

On the ferry out to Canna, people might be lucky enough to see dolphins, whales, or basking sharks, as well as a myriad bird species.

Arriving into Canna by ferry
Arriving into Canna by ferry

Shoreside Setting 

The Isle of Canna is steeped in Gaelic tradition and the audience will be welcomed with Hebridean hospitality on the lawn of Canna House before taking their seats down by the shore. 

Then, as the tide comes in, the blending together of haunting music, the natural surroundings, the culture of Canna and the islands of the Hebrides beyond will begin.

Sunset over Canna Bay, the setting for Away with the Birds.
Sunset over Canna Bay, the setting for Away with the Birds.

Why YOU are important

Without your support, the vital parts of Away with the Birds on Canna that we've listed below simply won't happen and the experience for those who make the journey to this special island, whether audience or performer, will be diminished.  

To create a brilliant experience we're trying to raise £5,950 for:

Beds for cast and crew – bringing 25 people onto a tiny island is a huge challenge. We need ten inflatable beds for the house the Canna community are kindly providing.  They will remain on Canna, to be used by the community for other visiting theatre and music groups and for Feis Cannaidh. Each bed costs £90 - total £900 - and bedding (duvet, pillow, sheet, cover & pillowslip) a further £500.

Waterproof, warm costumes – the vocalists will be performing in the sea, so they need new waterproof, warm costumes made especially for the performances on Canna. Made of neoprene, these cost £200 each. For 9 singers plus an understudy, that's £2,000.

To keep the technical team warm and dry during rehearsals and performances we need breathable waterproofs - total £300. We also need to weatherproof the sound equipment - total £500.

Seating -  we will be providing the audience with a waterproof cushion or a fold up chair. 30 Waterproof Cushions costing £15 each comes to £450, while 30 collapsible chairs costing £25, another £750. Both the cushions and chairs will stay on Canna for the community's future use.

Lastly, it's not glamorous, but it's vital! For those who want to stay over and camp we need to provide an extra loo at a cost of £550.

Singing in the sea!
Singing in the sea!

Get your own Red-shanks 

Please support us if you can.  Our range of rewards from the modest to the sublime all aim to reflect different elements of what makes this project so special.   From red socks to rehearsals, from prints to guided walks and performance plus pampering at Tighard, Canna's luxury guesthouse.  We hope there's something for everyone to love. 

This is a 30-day all or nothing campaign. So if we don't raise our target  we don't get any funds that have been pledged. So if you can, support us early, share and shout about Away with the Birds on Canna. 

You can help by sharing this campaign with your friends and family.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and help Away with the Birds really fly this summer. 

Redshank wool sock reward.
Redshank wool sock reward.

The Canna Community & their tradition of welcome

The Isle of Canna has always provided a welcome for artists and musicians from around the world, most famously when John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw lived in Canna House from 1938 to 2004. 

Everyone on this small gem of an island is involved with Hanna’s project in some way, helping with the research, contributing knowledge, or sharing the Gaelic names and traditions of the island. This summer, members of the community will take their place in the production team, and provide hospitality and accommodation.

We invite YOU to become a part of Away with the Birds, by supporting Hanna and the community on the magical Isle of Canna in this crowd-funding campaign.  

We look forward to welcoming you to Canna this summer.

Thank You.

Gate into Canna House Garden.
Gate into Canna House Garden.

Hanna Tuulikki & Creative Team

Away with the Birds is a collaborative project created by an inter-disciplinary team:

Composer, vocalist, artistic director - Hanna Tuulikki 

Producer - Suzy Glass

Vocalists - Anna Sheard, Judith Williams, Kirsty Law, Lucy Duncombe, Megan Henderson, Kim Carnie, Mischa Macpherson, Nerea Bello, Nichola Scrutton

Field recordings – Geoff Sample

Costumes – Deirdre Nelson

Dramaturg – Nic Green

Gaelic mentor – Mary Smith

Film-maker – Daniel Warren 

Photographer – Alex Boyd

Song/Poem/Score Translations – David Wheatley and Alec Finlay 

Sound engineer – Iain Thompson

Assistant producer – Emmie McKay

Project Manager – Nick Millar

Site Manager – Lucy Conway

A ticket for a performance on the 29th and 30th August is included in some of our rewards.  You can also buy them through our website.

Gallery, videos, music and more ...

Oystercatcher pencil and ink drawing by Hanna Tuulikki
Oystercatcher pencil and ink drawing by Hanna Tuulikki
Red legs in rehearsal
Red legs in rehearsal
Field recordist Geoff Sample and Hanna Tuulikki birdwatching on Canna
Field recordist Geoff Sample and Hanna Tuulikki birdwatching on Canna
Tighard nestled on the hill above the bay
Tighard nestled on the hill above the bay
Canna House
Canna House

Video - Away with the Birds, a taster

Video - Away With The Birds, an exclusive film of Hanna Tuulikki at work during a residency at Glasgow's Tramway. Filmed by Daniel Warren.

Video - Flying above and around the coast line of The Isles of Canna and Sandy

Video - Canna - An Island Story: ‪An Island Story

Audio - Extract from Away With the Birds performance at Tectonics in Glasgow in 2013:

Risks and challenges

We feel we have most of the risks and challenges facing this project under control. Of course, the one thing we can't take charge of is the weather. So we're making sure we provide lots of cover and warmth for audience members: proper highland hospitality. If the worst does happen and it rains or blows, there will be places for people to shelter, plus tea and cake available on tap.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.32

    A donation - Perhaps you want to help us with Away with the Birds and don't need a reward - other than knowing we really appreciate your generosity and faith in the project.
    If this is you, thank you. Anything you can contribute is hugely appreciated.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    A set of six exclusive postcards drawn by Hanna Tuulikki, featuring birds from the piece. These are limited edition sets.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $26

    Exclusive digital download recording of the Away with the Birds performance on the Isle of Canna. We'll also send you a set of six exclusive limited edition postcards designed by Hanna Tuulikki.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $39

    A pair of your very own redshank red wool socks featuring the redshank's "pill-il-iu pill-il-iu" call embroidered on the ankle, keeping you cosy and intriguing those who gaze at your ankles. Gift wrapped, with a personalised thank you from Hanna. We'll also send you a set of six exclusive limited edition postcards designed by Hanna Tuulikki.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $53

    As well as all that's offered in the £30 reward, we will add an exclusive digital download of a recording of an Away with the Birds performance from the Isle of Canna.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $66

    An extended vocal workshop with Hanna Tuuliiki. To take place in Glasgow, the two hour workshop will explore vocal techniques and bird mimesis as used in the Away With the Birds performance.
    This reward also includes an exclusive digital download of a recording of an Away with the Birds performance from the Isle of Canna and six limited edition postcards designed by Hanna Tuulikki.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $66

    An 8 x 10 gift-wrapped unframed print of a photograph by Alex Boyd, an award winning Scottish photographer based in the West Coast of Scotland whose work has won critical acclaim from legendary figures such as Thomas Joshua Cooper and Harry Benson – who called his work “stunning”. The print is from a set of photographs taken with Hanna Tuulikki - the image of Hanna at the top of this page is an example. This reward also includes an exclusive digital download of a recording of an Away with the Birds performance from the Isle of Canna and six limited edition postcards designed by Hanna Tuulikki.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $99

    Exclusive behind the scenes access to rehearsals; find out how a score for voice and birdsong is staged, choreographed and developed through exclusive access to the rehearsal process. This three hour session will be followed by a coffee, cake and chat with the director and production team. Rehearsals will take place in Glasgow in August and all those taking up this reward will attend on the same day.
    This reward includes an exclusive digital download of a recording of an Away with the Birds performance from the Isle of Canna and six limited edition postcards by Hanna Tuulikki.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $132

    An unframed print by Hanna Tuulikki of Oystercatchers on the Isle of Canna, birds that live on Canna and whose song is represented in Away With the Birds.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £120 or more About $158

    One ticket for a performance of Away with the Birds on Canna, plus these awards listed above - access to rehearsals, exclusive digital download, gift-wrapped redshank wool socks and six limited edition postcards and a personal thank you from Hanna.
    (Please note, the reward does not include the ferry ticket, which must be purchased separately)

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    Pledge £135 or more About $178

    An unframed Oystercatcher print by Hanna Tuulikki, a pair of gift-wrapped redshank wool socks, exclusive digital download of the Canna performance and six limited edition postcards and a personal thank you from Hanna.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $197

    One ticket for a performance of Away with the Birds on Canna and a two hour guided bird walk & lunch with Geoff Sample, author of the best-selling Collins Field Guide to Bird Songs and Calls and part of the Away with the Birds creative team. The walk will finish with lunch with Geoff at Cafe Canna.
    This reward also includes a pair of gift-wrapped wool redshank socks, an exclusive digital download, six limited edition postcards and a personal thank you from Hanna.
    (please note, the reward does not include the ferry ticket, which must be purchased separately)

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $658

    THIS REWARD IS FOR TWO PEOPLE. Two tickets for a performance of Away with the Birds on Canna plus one night's dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation for two people (shared room) at Tighard, Canna's luxury guesthouse. This reward experience includes a two hour guided bird walk & lunch with Geoff Sample, author of the best-selling Collins Field Guide to Bird Songs and Calls, and part of the Away with the Birds creative team. The walk will finish with lunch with Geoff at Cafe Canna. This reward also includes two pairs of gift-wrapped wool redshank socks, an exclusive digital download, six limited edition postcards and a personal thank you from Hanna. (please note, the reward does not include the ferry ticket, which must be purchased separately). Two of the four rewards are available for the performance on Friday 29th, the other two for the performance on Saturday 30th August.

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Funding period

- (30 days)