Lau bring their jubilant Lau-Land festival back to Edinburgh’s Summerhall and The Queen’s Hall on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October for another open-hearted celebration of music, community and the artists who inspire them. This year’s programme features sessions, performances and a family ceilidh, with special guests including Kathryn Joseph, Rachel Sermanni and Ciaran Ryan.
Saturday begins with a morning of workshops in Summerhall led by Lau and friends, catering to all levels of experience. Kris Drever welcomes fellow guitarists to share technique and conversation on subjects ranging from fingerpicking and flatpicking to harmonies, accompanying songs, trad music and songwriting: it’s up to the participants to determine the direction of the session.
Aidan O’Rourke offers tips on phrasing, rhythm, ornamentation and bowing to help fiddlers at an intermediate to advanced level find their own style; and Martin Green reveals how Lau arrange traditional songs and create new ones in a hands-on workshop suitable for any instruments (this workshop is aimed at players with at least three years’ experience).
For those a bit earlier on in their musical journey, the cellist, poet and performing artist Simone Seales guides an improvisation workshop for beginners, exploring soundscapes, noisemaking, the importance of listening with the whole body and what it means to make sound in a group. Whether you’ve improvised before or are terrified of doing so, Simone strives to create a space for joyful play and experimentation for anyone, regardless of their musical background or skills.
Fiddle player and teacher Amy Geddes gives a lesson in simple tunes for players who have a basic knowledge but wish to delve further into Scottish music. Tunes will be taught by ear, but sheet music will be provided for those who would like it.
At 2.30pm there’s a chance to put the morning’s learning into practice with the Lau-Land Instant Experimental Orchestra for Everyone. Composer, producer, educator and leader of the 16-piece band Surge, Sid Peacock brings together a genuinely spontaneous and unrepeatable experience, promising 90 minutes of unbridled creativity for players of any instrument, age and ability.
At 4pm, banjo player and Shooglenifty multi-instrumentalist Ciaran Ryan leads an informal traditional music session with an invitation to share a few tunes over a drink – and join in if you know them. For those in search of a more restful experience, Simone Seales returns to collaborate with acclaimed singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni in a Yoga Nidrã and improvised music session offering creativity, deep rest and ‘listening-in’. This workshop will bring people together in a creative space to explore the innate ability to create using simple, playful and invigorating exercises.
At 8pm, Lau will take to The Queen’s Hall stage for a new collaboration with singer-songwriter Kathryn Joseph. Availability for the show is extremely limited, but there’s a further chance to catch the band and friends at the legendary Lau-Land Late Club in Summerhall’s Dissection Room from 10pm into the wee hours. BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Gemma Cairney brings her sensational multi-genre party set to the dancefloor; eclectic trombonist Anoushka Nanguy marshals the best of Glasgow’s nu-jazz players in NooVision; Edinburgh’s finest up-tempo folksters are led by Ciaran Ryan; and BBC Introducing’s hot pick Queen of Harps graces the stage en route to world domination with her unique combination of spoken word, rap & harp.
On Sunday, Lau-Land winds down with a gentle participatory family ceilidh and trad music session lead by fiddle and pipe duo Sarah Hoy and Fin Moore. 11.30am to 4pm at Summerhall.
“This is the first Lau-Land since lockdown, and we’ve been craving it. It seems fitting that the first one back is in our hometown of Edinburgh. It’s about learning, sharing, listening and welcoming everyone into the joyous world of traditional music. More music for more people more of the time.’
Lau-Land takes place at Summerhall and The Queen’s Hall on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October 2023. For tickets to workshops, sessions and Lau-Land Late, visit https://www.summerhall.co.uk/
The last remaining tickets to Lau and Kathryn Joseph concert on Saturday 14 October are available via https://www.thequeenshall.net/whats-on/lau-plus-special-guest-kathryn-joseph
Artists’ website: https://www.lau-music.co.uk/
Workshops: Saturday 14 October, Summerhall
11:00-12:30 – Kris Dever: Guitar Workshop
11:00-12:30 – Aidan O’Rourke: Intermediate to Advanced Fiddle
11:00-12:30 – Martin Green: Arranging Traditional Tunes
11:00-12:30 – Simone Seales: Improvisation for Beginners
11:00-12:30 – Amy Geddes: Beginners Fiddle
14:30-16:00 – Lau-Land Instant Experimental Orchestra for Everyone with Sid Peacock
16:30-18:00 – Learn Your First Folk Tune with Amy Geddes
16:30-18:30 – Traditional Music Session with Ciaran Ryan
16:30-18:00 – Rachel Sermanni with Simone Seales. Yoga Nidrã and improvised music
20:00-22:00 – Lau and Kathryn Joseph: The Queen’s Hall
22:00-03:00 – Lau-Land Late Night Club: Summerhall
Sunday 15 October: Summerhall
11.30– 16.00 – Family-friendly ceilidh and trad music session with Sarah Hoy and Fin Moore