Air falbh leis na h-eòin – Away with the Birds

Hanna Tuulikki's Complete Audio Diary

28 June 2013

Tighard House Photo by Hanna Tuulikki

Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Voices at Dusk

Compass Hill, Canna. Photo by Hanna Tuulikki


29 May 2013

Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Tracing Lines

19 April 2013

The creation of Air falbh leis na h-eòin: Hanna on tumblr

14 January 2013

Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Meeting Mary

Mary Smith and Hanna Tuulikki. Photo by Suzy Glass


New research suggests birds, like humans, are ‘moved’ by song: read here

23 September 2012 – Air falbh leis na h-eòin/Away with the Birds performed in St Edward’s Chapel, Sanday

Photo by Johnny Lynch (@pictishtrail)

It was quite an amazing piece of music, full of unexpected twists and turns: wild bird calling, mixed with beautiful harmonies, wee touches of humour and a sense of the history of the land and its people. The remoteness of the location, with a bumpy boat ride and winding walk round the bay to such an intriguing building all added to the charm and gave it almost a feeling of a pilgrimage It was a lovely day out, and very exciting glimpse into what looks like being an exceptional project.
(Eva Schonveld, Isle of Eigg)

Thanks for lovely day out. Great boat trip; wonderful to see Canna. Music unusual, interesting and very, very good. Wonderful choice of venue with incredible acoustics.
(Sue Hollands, Neil and Struan Robertson, Isle of Eigg)

It was a great experience to be able to hop onto another island in the Small Isles (and one that is hard to visit for us since the ferry timetable does not allow for day trips to Canna from Eigg) to hear such an amazing piece of vocal music after enjoying the Canna landscape in that superb autumn light. It was truly moving to hear how the nature and wildlife as well as the Gaelic culture of our Hebridean islands could have inspired such a beautiful and original work. It was also great to have succeeded in getting St Edward’s Chapel opened to the public for the performance, as it is such great shame to have had it mothballed since its inauguration, which now seems light years ago. The performance showed the potential of that space as a concert venue and I do hope that NTS on Canna will realise how much they could use this space for the enjoyment of the visiting public. Keep up the good work, and let us know how the show develops! We need more art pieces inspired by our island environment.
(Camille Dressler, Isle of Eigg)

Despite following the project quite carefully, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I wasn’t really sure whether the music would be enjoyed or resonate with my fellow travellers. So with nervous anticipation I made my way to Canna. It could not have been a more inspiring day. The might of the sea and landscape. The hold of the island on the eye, the ear, the heart. And beautiful music, more than music; swooping and swirling sounds in and round my head and imagination, just like the seabirds outside as we walked back to the boat. Karen closed her eyes and was back with her daughter on the cliffs of Shetland. I heard Gaelic words and refrains I’d forgotten existed. As I looked around the beautiful haunted St Edwards I saw smiles, calm contemplation, excitement and wonder. My worries that a contemporary composition comprised of bird song and Gaelic would be somehow distant and alien to me and my fellow islanders ears, vanished. I wanted to hear it again as soon as it had finished. Thank you
(Lucy Conway, Isle of Eigg)

Geoff Sample, Mary Smith on Canna



20 Sept 2012

Listen to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Singing in Spring

19 Sept 2012

Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Learning to speak ‘Bird’

17 Sept 2012

Listen to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Collecting Lore

13 Sept 2012

Listen to an extract from Hanna’s diary: “Glì-ug, glì-ug”, says the Eagle “my son is lord over all”

Listen to White-Tailed eagles, Canna. Recorded by Geoff Sample:

Photo (above) by Olivia Uney / Canna Mouse Photography. See Olivia Uney’s Canna photographs:

1 Aug 2012

Photo by Suzy Glass

Listen to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Evening Light

11 July 2012

Listen to an extract from Hanna’s diary: We walk west, we walk east

5 July 2012


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  1. Esther Juon says:

    Dear Hanna,

    I just had the great pleasure of listening to your first day on Canna and I loved it. You speak so very nicely and I loved all the sound effects too. Can you send me more extracts like this? Just loved it! Esther

  2. Philip Andrews says:

    A beautiful.observant and lyrical spoken diary Hanna. Lets have more!

  3. Amanda from Canna says:

    “Life on an island isn’t easy. It’s full of tensions, both manmade and natural. The people who live on Canna have the elements to contend with and bask in, their relative isolation to battle with and glory in, relationships with one another to cherish and stumble over. There’s at once nowhere to hide, and a whole unpopulated island in which to lose yourself.”
    These words are perfectly poignant to us here on Canna, to those who have remained, those who have tried and left, to those yet to come. Look forward to seeing this project come to fruition and ‘canna’ wait for more…. ahem (it never gets boring!)

  4. Jean related to Duncan Chisholm from Canna says:

    My forebears left Canna during the Clearances, but I have yet to visit -and canna wait! I followed your description of your first day with great interest, so thankyou for painting a picture for me Hanna with your description of the land around you as you walked – perfectly poignant even for someone who realised that I was “seeing” my origins through the eyes of another!! Yes, I must visit and witness for myself the land that my forebears saw and worked – but for these people (amongst others!)I wouldn’t exist!….so very hopefully I will see some record of who stayed where and when! Thankyou once again!

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Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 18.55.32

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Pentland Road shieling

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Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin

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Pentland burn

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Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin

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The Peat Road, on the way to the Shieling village of Cuidhsiadar

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Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin

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Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin

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Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin

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Moorland Discussion - Procreate

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Arts & Ecology Issue, edited by James Brady:


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See the 2013 Expedition site


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Highland Print Studio, Cape Farewell: Year of Natural Scotland 2013.

Sexy Peat

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Book launch 20 August 2013 at Pier Arts Centre, Orkney

Anne Bevan Ammonia Beccarii giclee print from CT scan with Dr Ian Butler & Michael Wolchover 2012

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Air falbh leis na h-eòin – Away with the Birds

Hanna Tuulikki's Complete Audio Diary

Compass Hill, Canna. Photo by Hanna Tuulikki

28 June 2013 Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Voices at Dusk   29 May 2013 Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Tracing Lines 19 April 2013 The creation of Air falbh leis na h-eòin: Hanna on tumblr 14 January 2013 Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Meeting Mary... Read More ›

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Two Screen image of Calum A' Chal and Lighthouse Lens

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