A SCOTTISH musician has told how reading an article in The National helped to inspire her latest album.

Hilary de Vries (below), 53 and based on the Black Isle, says that music has “always been a part of her life” and she’s now released her second album The Knockbain Road.

It follows on from her previous album Cherry Blossom After Rain, which brought together influences of Scotland and Japan.

Speaking to the Sunday National, she said: “I had played instruments for years and then I needed an extra tune for a set I was putting together.

The National:

“I know others have said they already have the music in their head but I didn’t really think like that so I always assumed I couldn’t compose.

“But writing that tune opened the floodgates and I’ve been doing it ever since. I recorded my first collection and now I’ve brought my second one out.”

The new collection is a musical journey through woods and fields and was recorded live in nature in the Highlands.

It’s accompanied by the sound of birdsong and the wind across the land and draws on a number of sources for inspiration, including Gaelic poetry.

De Vries explains that this new album was in part inspired by reading an article in The National by Alan Riach which drew her attention to the Gaelic poem The Birlinn Of Clanranald by Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair.

Riach had a translation of the poem - which describes the epic voyage of a ship from South Uist to Northern Ireland - published previously.

A quote from his version appears inside the cover of the new CD.

Explaining her writing process, de Vries said: “I sort of work backwards. It was after writing all the music that I saw the theme.

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“I think it very much reflects the natural world but I couldn’t have told you at the start that’s what it would be about, you just go with the flow and the process and then analyse it all afterwards.”

She added: “I find that I’m often inspired by poetry. Nature is a big part of it as well but poetry has always been something I’ve turned to.”

The Knockbain Road is out now and can be bought via her website HERE.