Celtic Connections – Pilgrimer

Delighted to be doing the string arrangements for this with a fantastic line-up of players!

PILGRIMER: A Re-imagining of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Hejira’

One of several concerts at Celtic Connections 2016 reflecting the currently hot-button topic of migration – a human phenomenon as old as the race, and indispensible to our cultural evolution – Pilgrimer reimagines Joni Mitchell’s classic 1976 album Hejira, whose Arabic title denotes both the prophet Muhammad’s flight from Mecca to Medina in 622, to escape persecution, and any flight from danger or hostility. Largely written while driving home solo from Maine to LA, Hejira meditates profoundly on what one track calls ‘The Refuge of the Road’, with its flipsides of freedom and loneliness.

Pilgrimer, by the novelist, poet and Scots language champion James Robertson – who’s long drawn inspiration from Mitchell’s canon – audaciously adapts the album into both Scots and a Scottish setting. It’s premièred here by a stellar cast including Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Olivia Chaney and Annie Grace, plus Grammy-winning US guitarist Larry Carlton, who played on Hejira itself.

A glittering cast will perform Joni Mitchell’s greatest hits in the second half of the concert including Karine Polwart, Rod Paterson, SAY award winner Kathryn Joseph, Annie Grace and Julie Fowlis. Musical Directors for the evening are Karine and Steven Polwart with specially commissioned string arrangements from award-winning composer Pippa Murphy.

Please note: this concert will take place in the Main Auditorium.