Musician in Residence

Our new musician in residence, Kate Young, of Kate in the Kettle is spending time with the physic garden plants this summer.  Her new project explores herbs and she partook in our foundation in plant medicine course in 2014, where her monograph on betony, a lesser scientifically studied plant, but fairly revered in traditional medical herbalism, took her to perform a piece on the betony herb in its bed at the physic garden.

Since then, Kate has undergone a large commission of music composition from Celtic Connections where she wrote a new repertoire of music – songs and string quintet arrangement entirely inspired by medicinal plants, and the folkloric history which surrounds them. She dug deep into texts of different herbalists, stories and accounts of plant uses in Scotland, and wove in her own experiences with the herbs.

She performed this live in Celtic Connections (New Voices concert) in Glasgow Royal Concert Halls in January 2016, and then again in Sweden with a string-only line-up.  Some of this music is sampled here

(@kateyoungmeaw) (review in Scotsman)

Interview about the commission in The Herald

Kate Young 7Biography

Kate Young is a Scottish musician and composer. She currently performs in the all-female fiddle-singers band Carthy, Hardy, Farrell and Young  (***** Songlines for ‘Laylam’), and Moulettes.  She has recently released her debut album as Kate in the Kettle – Swimmings of the Head which encompasses an array of songs and tune sets – many of which combine different traditional music sources with self-penned works (**** The Guardian:; **** “enthralling” MOJO Magazine).

Kate explores the combination of voice with her fiddle-playing whilst applying knowledge of world traditions with her own compositions. She was brought up immersed in the folk music scene in Edinburgh, learning about Scottish traditional music, later going on to graduate from Newcastle University’s BMus in Folk and Traditional Music Honors Degree with a First in Voice and Fiddle performance. As part of world-music band, Ethno in Transit, she has toured across Europe and Australia. She enjoys composing for string quartets and has worked with Mr McFall’s Chamber and Northern Sinfonia Quartet.