A video of Edinburgh Makar Hannah Lavery performing her poem "Edinburgh is a Story" is released at 4pm BST today (see video above) as part of the Edinburgh International Festival's free, online At Home programme.
Lavery read the poem at the start of the much-praised EIF Opening Event, MACRO this past August. The words can be found on the festival website and the video premieres on its YouTube channel.
The work is one of a series of five, commissioned short films (also entitled "Edinburgh Is A Story") being released in November. Produced by Glasgow-based Forest of Black, each is filmed in an iconic Edinburgh location and portrays an artist featured in this year’s Festival programme.
Other subjects include Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska and the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, British pianist and conductor Wayne Marshall, Australian didgeridoo virtuoso William Barton and a new Scottish Ballet commission choreographed by Nicholas Shoesmith.
The videos are shot in a range of Edinburgh locations from Old Town wynds leading to the Scottish Parliament Building to the wild Salisbury Crags of Holyrood Park and Palace of Holyroodhouse.
At Home, which is sponsored by financial brand abrdn, also includes two full-length concerts performed at the 2022 International Festival, a series of six intimate music sessions, and a behind-the-scenes video that includes artist interviews.
The At Home programme kicked off last Thursday with a recording of Arab Strap performing their song ‘The Turning of Our Bones’, which was recorded onstage before their festival performance at Leith Theatre.
The At Home programme continues until 1 December with three, free digital releases per week, each at 4pm.
The EIF's Closing Concert will be posted on 23rd November. The recording is of Sir Andrew Davis conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra performing Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius from the Usher Hall. It features the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
The other full performance features British harpsichordist and conductor Richard Egarr as he leads a hand-picked ensemble of period musicians performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.
Francesca Hegyi, Chief Executive, Edinburgh International Festival said “It was so encouraging to see our audiences return to the city’s concert halls and theatres in our 75th year, the anticipation of this year’s Festival was high and the artists delivered.
“Not everyone can make it to our live performances, however, and the At Home programme gives a taste of what we have on offer at the International Festival. We couldn’t do this without the support of abrdn, so it’s with great appreciation to them that we unveil this programme.
“It’s available for free and from anywhere in the world, so wherever you are this November you can transport yourself to Edinburgh in August.”
EIF At Home Release Schedule
Hannah Lavery – Edinburgh is a Story
Release Date: 1 November, 4pm
Description: The first film from Forest of Black’s Edinburgh is a Story series features a performance of Makar Hannah Lavery’s titular poem. The special commissioned piece was also performed at the International Festival’s Opening Event, MACRO, at BT Murrayfield this year.
Behind-the-scenes – Edinburgh is a Story
Release Date: 2 November, 4pm
Description: Behind-the-scenes look at the making of At Home, featuring interviews with Oscar Sansom (Director), Beth Allan (Producer), Hannah Lavery, William Barton, Wayne Marshall, Sian.
Jordi Savall – Music Session
Release Date: 3 November, 4pm
Description: Jordi Savall performs with an ensemble of musicians from Hespèrion XXI from the stage of the Queen’s Hall.
William Barton – Edinburgh is a Story
Release Date: 8 November, 4pm
Description: The second part of the Edinburgh is a Story series features Australian digeridoo player William Barton as he performs ‘The Rising of Mother Country’ from the Salisbury Crags.
Brandenburg Concertos – Full Concert
Release Date: 9 November, 4pm
Description: The first full concert recording from the 2022 Edinburgh International Festival features Richard Egarr leading The Brandenburg Concertos, a collection of Bach’s iconic compositions filmed as live at the Queen’s Hall.
Brighde Campbell – Music Session
Release Date: 10 November, 4pm
Description: Brighde Campbell who featured in MACRO is a leading contemporary performer of Celtic music and plays a rendition of ‘Clann Ulaidh’ backstage at Leith Theatre.
Wayne Marshall – Edinburgh is a Story
Release Date: 15 November, 4pm
Description: Edinburgh is a Story continues as audiences join Wayne Marshall in a unique and intimate performance from the Great Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Saul – Highlights
Release Date: 16 November, 4pm
Description: Filmed highlights of The English Concert’s performance of Handel’s Saul at the Usher Hall as part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, conducted by John Butt and featuring Neal Davies in the title role
Aref Ghorbani – Music Session
Release Date: 17 November, 4pm
Description: Aref Ghorbani performs the Persian folk song recorded ahead of Vocal, part of 2022’s Refuge series, in partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council.
Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra – Edinburgh is a Story
Release Date: 22 November, 4pm
Description: The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson and featuring soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, perform ‘Abscheulicher, komm Hoffnung’ from Beethoven’s Fidelio in a historic performance at the Scottish Parliament Building, reflecting Edinburgh’s position as a twinned city of Kyiv.
The Closing Concert – Full Concert
Release Date: 23 November, 4pm
Description: The closing concert of the 2022 Festival, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius marks the final full performance recording, a grand spectacle performed by the RSNO led Sir Andrew Davis and featuring the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
Sian – Music Session
Release Date: 24 November, 4pm
Description: Gaelic vocal trio Sian performs ‘Na Gamhna Geala’ outside of Leith Theatre before their performance in Niteworks: Comann which closed the 2022 Edinburgh International Festival.
Scottish Ballet – Edinburgh is a Story
Release Date: 29 November, 4pm
Description: An exclusive commission choreographed by Nicholas Shoesmith features dancer James Garrington concluding the singular releases of the Edinburgh is a Story series.
Edinburgh is a Story – Full Film
Release Date: 30 November, 4pm
Description: Audiences across the world are encouraged to gather and celebrate Scotland on St Andrews Day by watching Edinburgh is a Story in full. The film will take the viewer on a beautiful journey across the city of Edinburgh as world class artists perform in wild and stunning locations.
Takacz Quartet – Music Session
Release Date: 1 December, 4pm
Description: The final Music Session features the Takacz Quartet performance of the first movement of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's ‘Five Fantasiestucke Op 5’.
On 30th November audiences are invited to join the International Festival on YouTube and celebrate St Andrew’s Day by watching "a beautiful journey across Edinburgh as world class artists perform in stunning locations".