Iain Fraser’s new release, Kōterana, retells the remarkable story of 800 Scottish Highlanders who followed Reverend Norman McLeod on a journey which lasted almost 40 years and spanned the globe, with Assynt-born McLeod setting off for Nova Scotia from Ullapool in 1817, before sailing to Adelaide in 1850 and finally settling in the village of Waipu, New Zealand in 1854.
Iain’s album of newly composed music was inspired by the incredible landscapes Reverend McLeod and his followers would have left behind, the places they travelled through and by the objects they chose to take with them. He creates a musical thread which joins the four countries in one remarkable story, while incorporating elements of traditional material from the musical traditions of each.
Also playing with Iain on Kōterana are fiddle players Pete Clark, Gordon Gunn, Gillian Boucher, Doug Dorward, Emilia Bartellas and Sarah Wilson. On violas are Bernadette Kellerman and Anne-Marie Forsyth and Seylan Baxter and Wendy Weatherby are on cello. Signy Jakobsdottir is on percussion, Donald Knox on guitar, Lorne MacDougall on pipes, Calum Alex Macmillan on Gaelic song, Freya Rae on flute and whistles, James Ross on piano and Scot Wilson on bass.
4 stars – Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman