George Monbiot and Ewan McLennan – Breaking the Spell of Loneliness
About a year ago, author and journalist George Monbiot wrote an article for The Guardian on the personal and social effects of loneliness that quickly went viral. His first inclination, to write a book on the subject, soon gave way to the idea that the topic might be better conveyed through song. With this in mind he approached folk singer and songwriter Ewan McLennan and suggested a collaboration.
They began to send back and forth narrative sketches that touched on the themes and stories behind loneliness and social isolation, the politics that underpin it and the ways people and communities overcome it. From these sketches Ewan began to craft lyrics, melodies and finally, as the end goal, songs.
The project, entitled Breaking the Spell of Loneliness, has resulted in Ewan arranging and recording an album of original songs that have grown out of the initial sketches. The recording went hand in hand with notes from George that describe the stories and themes behind the songs and discuss the topic in general.
To coincide with the release of the album George Monbiot and Ewan McLennan will be performing a limited number of live dates including this one at The Reid Concert Hall, in which together they will showcase the various facets of the project. Singing ‘a cappella’ and accompanying himself on guitar and banjo, Ewan will perform each of the songs that appear on the album, which will be interspersed with George’s depiction of the human stories behind the songs and discussion of the broader subject. Expect a unique and one-off interplay of songs and stories that will be at once poignant and rousing.
Tickets: £14 each + BF
Date: Saturday 4 February 2017
Doors open: 7.30pm | Show starts: 8pm
Location: The Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square, Edinburgh EH8 9AG