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CoHERE Folk Oratorio ‘Rivers of our being’ and Heritage Festival

October 31, 2018 - December 1, 2018

Structured as a heritage festival, this series of performances, roundtables and more formal talks, running throughout November in Edinburgh, Scotland, will culminate in an oratorio specifically created for the festival, and premiered at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on 30th November 2018. This event will involve partners Heriot-Watt University, the Latvian Academy of Culture, Newcastle University and the Storytelling Centre collaborating for a unique celebration of European heritage and identity.

The concept of this event is developed in partnership between researchers from Heriot-Watt University, the Latvian Academy of Culture and Newcastle University and relates to the research work for the Horizon 2020 project CoHERE: Critical Heritages – Performing and Representing European Identities. The bespoke composition is being prepared by the award-winning Latvian composer and academician Prof. Valdis Muktupavels, and students of the Music section of Newcastle University will perform the oratorio.

‘Rivers of our being’ takes its inspiration from the rivers of Europe, crossing different countries, bringing together cultures across the continent. Moreover, it takes its cue from the work of the famous Scottish ethnologist Hamish Henderson, who compared tradition to a „carrying stream“. A parallel is drawn between the flow of rivers carrying people and heritages from one area to another, with different musical traditions across the wide European space, that have intersected over time and mutually influenced one another in a similar manner. Traditional instruments from across Europe, different languages, and themes derived from the rich heritage of European countries are harmoniously integrated in the oratorio.

The premier of this event will take place on a symbolic day, St Andrew‘s Day, celebrating the patron saint of Scotland, a saint who is shared by, and thus brings together, different countries across Europe. In this sense, St Andrew‘s brings together countries and traditions in a similar manner in which the oratorio musically brings together the different traditions of Europe. The annual multicultural event held by the Storytelling Centre on St Andrew’s day has now become a tradition in itself. Additional performances will be programmed for Newcastle and Inverness. Additional performances are scheduled for November 1st (Newcastle University) and December 1st (Inverness Cathedral).

(This project has already been awarded the European Year of Cultural Heritage label from the European Commission)


October 31, 2018
December 1, 2018
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Intercultural Research Centre – Heriot-Watt University
+44(0) 131 451 3656