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New award for FIMETI - Da Fishing Hands
11 February 2013

                 lise sinclair and inge thomson, fair isle composers.

FIMETI is pleased to announce that it is a recipient of a prestigious national Award. It is one of 14 projects, funded as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013¸ which engage with natural surroundings in innovative and exciting ways.

The Award recognises the work of FIMETI in seeking “to ensure the waters surrounding the isle are used sustainably”. FIMETI will work with talented Fair Isle composers, Inge Thomson and Lise Sinclair, to create Da Fishing Hands, a project featuring music and song inspired by documentation about Fair Isle’s fishing grounds and their changing use since 1900.

The Fair Isle community would not have persisted these last 2000 years or more without looking after its resources. This has not changed. The community’s aspirations for a sustainable marine environment will be show-cased in this project. Da Fishing Hands is an innovative fusion of Fair Isle’s cultural and environmental values. 

More about the award (taken from the Awards press release)

Supported by Creative Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage the funding was announced on Monday 28 January, 2013, on the eve of the world premiere of Infinite Scotland at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness – a multi-media production celebrating Scotland’s fascinating natural diversity and artistic life and featuring Blythe Duff and Kenny Taylor.

Taking place right across the country from an urban wetland park in the west to a remote stretch of land north of Aberdeen and the environment around Dunbar in the east that inspired the great conservationist John Muir, the fourteen extraordinary projects will bring together community groups, individual artists and the wider community in projects.

Composer Inge Thomson said: “We are delighted to have been awarded support for our project “Da Fishing Hands”.  The Sea represents life, in the very deepest sense, to islanders. As artists we seek to confirm this and raise awareness of the importance of nurturing our marine resources.”

Islander Jimmy Stout commented: “Environmentally, the sea has always been part of Fair Isle; it is now linked more closely to our culture as well, as people become more aware of socio-economic problems. This funding is good news, as it will brighten our star for what we are trying to achieve.”

Creative Scotland is the national agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.
The Year of Natural Scotland is part of a series of Winning Years designated by the Scottish Government.  It is led by EventScotland, with Scottish Natural Heritage as lead partner.
To find out more about the Year of Natural Scotland Awards visit:

Reporting the news locally

The following report, entitled Fair Isle composers to create music based on fish stocks, gives further detail about the project and its objectives. The report is taken from The Shetland Times for Friday, 8th February 2013 (page 18):-

Composers Inge Thomson and Lise Sinclair have been asked to create a new body of music inspired by the fishing grounds and fluctuating fish stocks around Fair Isle.
The work, entitled Da Fishing Hands, has been commissioned by the Fair Isle Marine Environment and Tourism Initiative (FIMETI). It has been awarded funding from Creative Scotland as part of the Year of Natural Scotland, and the idea is to raise awareness of FIMETI’s work towards protecting Fair Isle’s marine resources.

Inge said the plan was for a premiere – the first of three shows – to take place later this year. It is possible that one of the performances will be made into a live recording. She said “an amazing” band was being put together, but she cannot give out the names until they are confirmed.

“I had the idea for creating a piece of music using the Fishing Hands of Fair Isle map as an inspiration, but also in part as a graphic score,” Inge said. “The map itself is a thing of beauty, which was put together by Emma Perring (my sister-in-law) with the help of the experienced sea folks of the isle, including my father.

“It shows the fishing grounds around Fair Isle and how to find them by use of landmarks, cliffs and sea stacks. Up until these data were correlated, the whereabouts of fishing hands were passed down orally.”

FIMETI has recently applied for marine protected status for Fair Isle and Inge hopes this project will help “underline the cultural implications of the changes in the seas”.
She added “It made the most sense to have Lise as lyricist, as she is tremendous at creative response to nature and the elements and I was keen to work with her again after her great project
A Time to Keep”.

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