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HARK! Soundwalk

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Announcing a new collaboration between Earth in Common and Deborah Shaw (Aurora Engine), supported by the National Lottery Community Fund’s Together for Our Planet Fund.

Highlight recordings include environmental songs from Karine Polwart,

works from Tinderbox Sparks Orchestra,

stories from Edinburgh’s Gaelic community and Scottish International Storytelling Centre,

poems from Ash Dickinson and Alec Finlay, folksong from Kirsty Law,

sonic works from Siôn Parkinson and Aurora Engine

1. ‘Earth In Common’ Karine Polwart 

Karine Polwart is a singer, songwriter and storyteller who lives in Midlothian. 

‘I wrote this in tribute to the Croft and Earth in Common for a singing workshop I ran in the garden in 2023. It’s written under a Creative Commons license, so feel free to sing it and share it for your own non-commercial use.’ 

2. ‘Fox Fishing’ Ash Dickinson 

In a poem about declining wildlife, due to lack of green space in an increasingly urbanised world, Dickinson imagines fishing a fox out of a bush on his nightly walk home 

Ash Dickinson is a full-time poet and multiple slam champion. His three collections are published by Burning Eye, the most recent ’Instructions for Outlaws’. Ash is in great demand to run writing workshops in schools, galleries, museums, prisons and with writing groups. 

3. ‘Segodar’ The Other 

A traditional Persian song written so long ago the composer/writer is unknown. Introduced to ‘The Other’ by Aref Ghorbani, who is the vocalist on the track. 

‘The Other’ are a collaborative music project, comprised of musicians from Scotland plus those from a lived experience of displacement and immigration.  

4. ‘Drone’ Aurora Engine


Drone is a sonic work from curator Deborah Shaw (Aurora Engine). Drawn to the intriguing sounds and communal habits of bees, Deborah recorded a variety of hive sounds from Edinburgh University’s Apiary. Drunk on smoke, jumping, shouting and of course, buzzing, the bees make different sounds depending on their mood, surroundings and time of year. 

5. ‘Ice’ Tinderbox Sparks Orchestra 

‘ICE’ was composed in response to the ice installation at Dynamic Earth. The piece was developed by the ensemble using a mixture of improvisation exercises and interacting with the ice. 

Tinderbox SPARKS is a composition ensemble for players aged 10 - 18 who can play 5 or more notes on their instrument currently Orchestra in Residence at Dynamic Earth. 

6. ‘Keenia’ Aurora Engine 

A song about childhood, connection, and isolation told in a story about an imaginary friend. Magical childhood explorative adventures happening in green spaces, freedoms often denied children in the 21st C 


Aurora Engine is a composer, pianist, harpist and sonic artist living in Leith. Fusing real instruments, voice and progressive electronica, her work encapsulates a singular and striking sonic landscape. 

7. ‘Earth’s Lament’ Earth in Common Climate Choir 

A choral piece which imagines the earth’s response to treatment and exploitation from its human inhabitants. A song about ownership, land rights and shared spaces, looking back to the Highland Clearances. 

Earth In Common’s climate choir meets weekly, singing for change, singing for joy, celebrating and noticing the natural world, bringing attention to climate related issues through song. The choir performs at environmental events and festivals in the region.

8. ‘Pastoral Blah’ Siôn Parkinson  

Recorded in spring 2019 when Siôn was musician in residence at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath. Featuring Siôn Parkinson on pedal harp, harpsichord, percussion on corrugated steel plus field recording. Additional sounds on modular synthesiser by Fife-based electronic musician Sam Annand. 


Siôn: "The bucolic sounds of buzzing insects and birdsong quickly give way to something more strange, threatening, and eventually disgusting. This is the image of the pastoral I wanted to get at. Socially rich and superficially beautiful, but when you look closer it reveals a process hard at work, of animal and vegetal life in a constant cycle of rot and rebirth."

9. ‘Home’

An electronic infused vocal piece about the importance of home, roots and connection, and the threat of this from government policies and external factors such as surges in rent and short term lets within Edinburgh. Collaboration between Deborah Shaw, and local communities.

10. ‘Gaidhlig Nàdur Cèol Is Sienn’

Collaboration between Earth in Common, Ann Patterson, Petrea Cooney, Marai Callan, Deborah Shaw, Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, Edinburgh’s Gaelic community and students from James Gillespie's High School Supported by Bòrd na Gàidlaigh in summer 2022 members of Edinburgh’s Gaelic community gathered on Leith Community Croft and as part of a multi-generational project exploring Gaelic, Nature and Music. Participants created a series of poems and songs about nature as well as recording and collecting sounds. The full composition can be heard on the Earth in Common Website

11. ‘Nettle and Dock’ Kirsty Law

A song inspired by the Scottish rural queer experience written in response to toxic anti-LGBT+ rhetoric arising within our own Scottish elected representatives. Kirsty Law is an innovative Scots song maker and singer based in Edinburgh. Working primarily in Scots language, Law pairs bold contemporary narratives and sounds with traditional material, with a special interest in expressing that which previously in the tradition has gone unsung - sensitive stories of queer love.

12. ‘Manifesto For Urban Crofts’ Alec Finlay


Commissioned by Push the Boat Out Festival, reflecting on the importance of urban green space in the context of the pandemic – in terms of the political, cultural, and healing – with specific reference to the inspirational concept of the urban croft in Leith, Edinburgh. Alec Finlay (Scotland, 1966-) is an artist & poet whose work crosses a range of media and forms. Finlay's work considers how we relate to landscape and ecology, including place-awareness, hutopianism, rewilding, and disability access. He is currently artist in residence with Paths for All. 

13. ‘The King of the East and the King of the West’ Donald Smith

A traditional fable about gardens, which Smith heard the Scottish Traveller storyteller, Duncan Williamson tell round an autumn bonfire. Donald is a storyteller, writer and urban crofter, founder of the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. Among his most popular books are Wee Folk Tales in Scots, Folk tales from the Garden and A Pilgrim Guide to Scotland. 

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