The Scottish Storytelling Centre is a very big deal here in Edinburgh. The country is full of storytellers after all. In fact, the Centre is located in the heart of the Royal Mile on High Street - a most venerated location! I was eager to get involved both because of my background and because of the project I've taken on for my MFA Thesis about Tricksters - those clever characters who exist in most cultural storytelling histories. (More on that soon.)
Recently, Stan and I bought tickets to go see the most famous storyteller in Scotland, David Campbell, in an attempt to bring these stories back into our lives. (I blogged about David HERE.)
But then we got sick and couldn't go. PAH!
But THEN, a few days later when I was feeling much better, lo' and behold, I ran into David in the mall of all places!
"YOU'RE THE STORYTELLER!" I blurted and nearly accosted him. He was so kind. We had a brief, yet lovely conversation while holding up foot traffic in the perfume isle. I offered to buy him lunch (and to quiz him about Tricksters) and David kindly shared his contact information. First, he had to go tell stories in Ireland, but two weeks later I emailed him as "The strange lady from the mall." I was able to make good on my promise. Which led to...
A local documentary cinematographer and director, Leo Bruges, was wanting to shoot three of the nation's top storytellers all telling the same story, which he would later loop together. The storytellers are David Campbell, Duncan Williamson's widow Linda Williamson, and apprenticing storyteller, Joshua Bryant. (He's all of 18 and very, very good. And just like Duncan took David under his wing, so has David taken Joshua under his wing.)
Wednesday! I wasn't able to go to school anyhow as our finals are in and are being evaluated - the studio is off limits to students as they grade. So the timing worked out perfectly for the documentary to be filmed at our flat. Stan and I were completely honored to have the renowned storytellers being recorded for posterity in our home!
The filmakers, Leo Bruges and Sandy Harris arrived about an hour early to start setting up. Our flat went from normal looking to soundstage in no time.
It's a heart-breaking story of two sisters in love with the same man and how one sister's jealousy changes everything.
Linda spread her shawl like a bird, looking just like the cormorant from the story, and sang the Gaelic enchantment song - which enchanted us all.
Meanwhile, Stan and I got to sit back and watch our flat transformed into a magical arena of storytelling history recorded for archives and future generations. (It will also be on YouTube - I'll share the link when it goes live.)
Just like Leo (right) and Sandy (left),
And now for our next get-together... David, Joshua and I will have lunch next week at the best Indian restaurant in town. I told you I'd made friends - oh, what lovely friends!