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22 September 2021

Watch Scotland come to light with new film for Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters

Light Waves is a multilingual short film by Historic Environment Scotland which showcases Scotland’s coasts and waters and its links to Gaelic and Scots culture

Light display on a wall

Audiences will see history light up like never before as an immersive new film narrated in English, Gaelic and Scots is screened for the first time as part of Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 2020/21.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will premiere Light Waves – a 10-minute film celebrating Gaelic and Scots culture, heritage and tradition and its association with coasts and waters - at 7pm on Sunday 17 October via live-stream.

This one-of-a-kind film is set against the backdrop of some of Scotland's most iconic locations including Historic Scotland properties Blackness Castle, Iona Abbey and Urquhart Castle which are managed by HES. The film also features dramatic projections including artwork of St. Columba and animated archive imagery of Herring girls, fishermen and historic maps to showcase the heritage and traditions of Scotland’s coasts and waters.

A projection of a bright blue rectangular shape, perhaps a picture frame, on the rocky shore of a loch

Produced by Double Take Projections, Light Waves is accompanied by a specially commissioned soundtrack by the Scottish band Niteworks and multilingual poetic narration.

Three Scottish poets were asked to create poems in English, Gaelic and Scots in response to the provocation of the Gaelic word 'Aiseag' which can mean 'sea vessel' 'crossing', 'journey' or act of deliverance and restitution in English.

The film begins with Colin Bramwell who reflects on the importance of our past connections with coasts and waters and how they have shaped communities with his poem Caledonian Canal, narrated in English. Following this, Pàdraig Macaoidh explores Scotland's long-standing connection to the seas, coasts and lochs through myth and folklore with his Gaelic poem Mìorbhailean (Wonders). The film then reaches a crescendo with award-winning poet Roseanne Watt who considers our past, present and future relationship with, and our responsibility in looking after, our coasts and waters with her poem narrated in Shetlandic Scots.

A Celtic cross standing in front of an abbey, upon which a dazzling blue pattern has been projected

Light Waves is supported by EventScotland through Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21.

Gillian Urquhart, Events Manager at HES, said:

With dramatic and immersive displays which have been projected onto historic sites located near Scotland's shores, and powerful soundscapes of the multilingual poetic narration and emotive music, viewers will be taken on a journey to see Scotland’s history light up like never before.

"Aiseag is a fascinating word that has many meanings that correlate to the narrative and themes explored in Light Waves which not only celebrates our love of Scotland's coasts and waters but showcases the important link with Gaelic and Scots culture and traditions, and the impact that Scotland's waterways have had on communities throughout the country."

A blue rectangle being projected onto a doorway within the dark ruins of castle

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

"We are pleased to be supporting Light Waves as part of Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21. Scotland offers the perfect stage to explore our natural environment and built heritage, and this film provides a great opportunity to celebrate the best of our Gaelic and Scots culture, heritage and our beautiful coasts and waters."

Light Waves will premiere at 7pm on Sunday 17 October on the Historic Scotland Facebook and HES YouTube accounts and is free to watch.

View the trailer for Light Waves:

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Leugh sa Ghàidhlig

About Year of Coasts & Waters 2020/21

The Year of Coasts and Waters (#YCW2021) led by VisitScotland, will be showcased throughout 2021 and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors. The programme of activities, events and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink - whisky.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland | @VisitHistoricScotland

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For further information, please contact:

Stacey Dent
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962