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Sea Changes Our Big Gig Extra, Musselburgh, East Lothian

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Sea Changes – songs and stories of the Sea, a series of six workshops, has brought a tidal wave of people from across East Lothian. Our stunning coastline, combined with a rich cultural history of herring industry, fishwives, tales and songs of love, loss, work and play, meant that this topic was going to be a big hit in the area.

Led by Martine Robertson, and Eileen Penman, both wellknown singers, and community activists, and supported by a great team of local volunteers, there is a  positive sense of enjoyment and connection in the workshops, with everyone contributing their bit. 3 of the volunteers are skilled musicians, who have been arranging instrumentation for the songs, and we’ve discovered some great storytellers in amongst the participants. Many have a tale to tell, or a family member connected to the fishing industry or coastal life. And for many, these workshops are a very healing experience . Merely singing makes you happy! Here’s what some of our singers said:   

 I’ve got M.E and my head goes to sleep, so I learn slowly, but I am really enjoying it.

 I can hardly believe this is happening for me, I love it

The songs are catchy, and I remember them all from last week.

It’s really lifted me, it makes you forget about pain.

My brain hurts from learning all the Scots words, I’m from London, but I’ve been here 40 years.

We’ll be holding our final workshop as an open performance at The Brunton Halls, Musselburgh on June 25th and looking forward to sharing the songs and stories we’ve learnt and celebrating just how much can be achieved in terms of building a musical project in  a matter of weeks. Watch this space for future Sea Change developments!


Gica Loening

Scotland Superact Manager