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Living in the Cairngorms

People work hard and are inventive in finding ways to stay here. We also have pride in our traditional skills and culture.

Over the last few years I have focussed more on the area I live in, nature and the sounds that emanate from my surroundings. I was involved in an amazing project called Our Living Rivers and Glens’ and through this experience heard a recording of a moving glacier. I loved this recording so much I started thinking about how previous ice ages had carved and shaped hard solid rock into the Cairngorm Mountains. This inspired me to write a piece of music that spans tens of thousands of years, capturing the elements, from frozen wilderness to storms and then the massive melts and spates that have followed. The final scene is the arrival of Man, and of course an inevitable meeting on a battlefield. In this case it is the battle of Dun Nechtain between the Picts and the Northumbrians in 685.

To end the whole soundscape I decided to be optimistic and get back to nature, and finish with the calming sounds of the river.

I am constantly surprised about how little I know about this area. From Gaelic names in maps of the Cairngorms to my own families residence here over many generations.

Charlie McKerron