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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What is ARTocracy about? What is ARTocracy about?

Aidan O'Rourke

Imprint / Abandon


The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilisation...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A suite of music inspired by abandoned human settlements in North East Aberdeenshire.

In December of 2015, renowned Scottish fiddler Aidan O'Rourke  released his new suite of music reflecting issues around landownership and access from the neolithic days till now.

For almost 10,000 years we have lived and formed communities on the land around us. But the human populace has an ever evolving and kinetic structure. People move around. In Neolithic times through the middle ages communities moved on for political reasons, for safety or to better climates where food production and cattle raising was easier. Sadly there has always been people seeking asylum or in exile, while people also move on seeking new employment, better education or new experiences. War has taken its toll on the land around us from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the World Wars of the 20th. In the Cabrach we can see many tumbledown crofts, empty schools and churches and much of this was caused by the huge proportion of young men who went to war in 1914 and didn't return. Many communities were forced to leave their land through the Clearances which began in the 18th century and has continued in more muted fashion until present day. The music is a meditation on these abandoned imprints. 


In his residency at Deveron Projects, composer and musician Aidan O'Rourke walked among these abandoned settlements and spent time with historians, archeologists and local enthusiasts. He wrote music inspired by these experiences, assembled a world-class band of musician/composers to further these ideas, and made a recording of the musical meditations.

The band:

Aidan O'Rourke - fiddle
Anna Meredith - clarinet, laptop
Tom Rogerson - piano, synths
John Blease - drums, percussion

Creative Scotland Lottery Funded Aberdeenshire Council

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