Skerryvore musician joins collaboration for children’s storybook

A STERLING team of Scottish musicians have been recruited to bring a children’s storybook to life as part of an educational project being rolled out across Scotland.

Written by an Ayrshire business consultant for his own children during the lockdown, the book has been turned into a new album and audiobook with music composed by Craig Espie of Skerryvore.

Father himself, Espie said the project was an innovative way to introduce traditional Scottish music to a new generation. Mr Goose – Risk And Reward, also aims to teach the importance of taking risks and developing personal resilience.

Created by Grant Kennedy and illustrated by artist Louise McBride, his teaching was piloted at Doonfoot Primary in South Ayrshire before being rolled out to schools across the region.

Espie created an instrumental song for each character and brought in a host of friends from the Scottish music scene to each portray one, while BBC Radio Scotland broadcaster and musician Gary Innes stepped in to narrate the book. audio.

The accompanying educational resources are aligned with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and are now available to schools across Scotland through the Glow National Learning Platform.

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The album features some of Scotland’s best traditional performers including Scott Wood on bagpipes and whistles, guitarist Anna Massie, Ian Smith of Trail West on accordion, Ciaran Ryan on banjo, Innes White on mandolin, Mohsen Amini de Talisk on concertina, Sarah MacNeil on clarsach and David Foleyon de Rura on flute.

Also on the album are Ronald Jappy on acoustic guitar and keyboards, Martin O’Neil on bodhran and percussion, double bassist James Lindsay on double bass and David Dunsmuir on electric guitar.

Fife singer-songwriter Cameron Barnes delivers the catchy closing track that brings all musicians together to celebrate the book’s overall message.

“Mr. Goose was inspired by the different animals that my children and I saw on our walks in our area,” Kennedy said. “I started to think about my day-to-day business risk work and how it might be relevant for young people.

“I quickly realized that these valuable lessons could be applied and taught in a school environment and Mr. Goose was a fun way to tell this story.”

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ESPIE said he enjoyed bringing the characters to life musically.

“This project is something completely new – a new way of listening to traditional music, looking at composition and presenting the music and instrumentation of our traditions to the next generation,” he said.

“After I brought Mr. Goose home for my kids to read, it became clear to me that each character could have their own instrumental theme that would form an album.

In addition to accompanying the book and teaching material already in place, music could also be an additional teaching resource, teaching the subject of traditional music.

“It was a lot of fun bringing each of Grant’s characters to life musically and I thought it was essential to capture the essence of each person’s individual personality and decision-making processes.

“For example, Little Mouse has the delicate sound and excitement of a mandolin, and The Swans has the beauty and grace of a clarsach.

“Mr. Goose is a great resource for young children and the level of professionalism and quality of the musicians means it is also something the whole family, including traditional music lovers, can appreciate. ”

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The album and audiobook Mr Goose – Risk And Reward were funded by Creative Scotland.

The Mr Goose book is now available for purchase on Amazon. The album will be available for streaming and download on all major digital platforms, including iTunes and Spotify, on Friday, August 20, with an audiobook release expected to follow soon.

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