Wounded Knee and Daniel Padden collaboration And Blithely Spend the Gowden Day set for 2014 Edinburgh Fringe

Song cycle inspired by Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills

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This article is from 2014.

Wounded Knee and Daniel Padden collaboration And Blithely Spend the Gowden Day set for 2014 Edinburgh Fringe

Inspired by Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills, And Blithely Spend the Gowden Day is a seasonal song cycle from baritone bard Drew Wright, aka Wounded Knee, and Daniel Padden of The One Ensemble.

'I have been going to the Pentlands for about ten years,' says Wright. 'I've written many songs directly about those hills but also the act of getting there, of walking there at all times of year. It fuels my creativity. You find out about yourself and your relationship with the earth, the city, the world.'

However, Wright is keen to point out that the show isn't all 'bucolic reverie'. To reflect Edinburgh life, extracts from Robert Fergusson's Auld Reekie are threaded throughout. 'The poem was written in the late-18th century but some of the things he wrote about still ring true today: the street traders and lawyers bustling about on the High Street, for example.'

Gowden Day reflects Wright's developing relationship with folk song. 'I'm guided by some of Hamish Henderson's key ideas,' says Wright. 'He embraced the idea of old songs being reborn, and borne, on the carrying stream.'

In the show, original compositions and traditional folk songs are reborn through Padden's inventive arrangements which draw on jazz, African guitar and avant-garde music.

'My own arrangements tend to be dead simple: built around a drone or a couple of chords on twa-string guitar,' says Wright. 'It's been a thrill to hear what Daniel has written for them.'

Padden adds: 'I wasn't so interested in writing accompanying “Scottish folk music” but more placing these songs within a more ambiguous non-traditional sound world. Folk music is at once very specific and universal, as it's basically about people – in our case the words are about a specific place but the music isn't.'

Scottish Storytelling Centre, 556 9579, 12–14 Aug, 5pm, £8.

This article is from 2014.

Daniel Padden and Wounded Knee: And Blithely Spend the Gowden Day

  • 4 stars

A song cycle celebrating the seasons, inspired by Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills. The musicians draw on diverse influences including African guitar minimalism, cosmic jazz and folk traditions.

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