Helensburgh Advertiser

Loch ‘n’ roll music

- Emma Reilly

A band of refugees and asylum-seeking musicians paid a visit to Loch Lomond to gain inspiratio­n for their upcoming show.

Glaswegian group Musicians in Exile visited Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park on Tuesday, February 6 to learn about the impact of the climate emergency on Scottish nature and prepare for a concert with Gaelic folk rock group DLÙ in March.

Musicians in Exile members are part of the Govan based orchestra, The Glasgow Barons, and have been displaced from countries including Ukraine and Iran with little experience of Scotland outside of Glasgow.

Artistic director of The Glasgow Barons, Paul MacAlindin, said: “Musicians in Exile have been sharing their musical voices across Scotland’s communitie­s over five years and sang about our climate crisis at COP26.

“Now, for the first time, we’re connecting directly with Scotland’s natural heritage to see firsthand how the world is changing on our doorstep.”

National Park Rangers guided the group along forest trails from Balmaha, demonstrat­ing the importance of Scotland’s forests while capturing sounds and colours of their environmen­t for inspiratio­n enroute.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park’s were delighted to welcome the musicians as they aim to be a place where people from all background­s can benefit from experienci­ng nature.

Chief Executive of the park, Gordon Watson, said: “It is always hugely rewarding to see people enjoying, valuing, and helping us look after the national park, and particular­ly in this instance where it’s something the group haven’t had a chance to experience before.

“Removing barriers to help people from all background­s to connect with nature within the national park is a key objective in our National Park Partnershi­p Plan.

“Seeing this group reap the benefits, while also helping them to talk about the impacts of the climate emergency on nature with their community, has been a brilliant project to be involved in.”

Other initiative­s to increase access to the park include a travel grant for people on low incomes while last year £5,000 was given to groups to enable visits to learn about the park.

Free engagement sessions with rangers are also available year-round, allowing groups to learn about and connect with nature and improve their wellbeing.

Since 2018, the Glasgow Barons has seen over 60 musicians participat­e in the Musicians in Exile project.

Their upcoming performanc­e - inspired by their visit to the National Park will take place on Saturday, March 16 at 7.30pm in Edmiston House for the Govan Music Festival.

 ?? ?? Members of Musicians in Exile with National Park Rangers at Milarrochy Bay, Loch Lomond. Image: Chris Watt
Members of Musicians in Exile with National Park Rangers at Milarrochy Bay, Loch Lomond. Image: Chris Watt
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