SCOTTISH Gaelic burial rite songs are to be performed live to immersive audiovisual artwork in a UK premiere.

The unique collaboration between celebrated Isle of Skye Gaelic singer Anne Martin and pioneering musician Roly Porter and band MFO will open this year’s Sonica Festival in Glasgow.

It will mark the 10th anniversary edition of Sonica, one of the world’s largest celebrations of sonic art. Produced by Glasgow-based Cryptic, the festival will showcase 200 events, installations, screenings and talks from more than 85 artists from 10 countries, at venues across the city and beyond from March 10-20.

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Porter, who visited Martin on Skye to adapt his work to Scottish Gaelic, said the landscape had a “profound and powerful” effect: “The landscape was a constant surprise; in some ways similar to places I knew well or felt familiar, but of another scale or a different time. The wind and the sea are a constant soundtrack and reminder of peoples’ lives over many centuries.”

The audio-visual work Kistvaen, was originally inspired by the lives and rituals of the people buried on Dartmoor. He said each landscape had “a very different feel, a different sense of scale and a different way of making you feel – often small, vulnerable and alone”.

He added: “When I visited Skye, I knew in advance that we would be making changes to the music. We would take traditional song, that Anne specialises in, and find ways to adapt it to the sound world of Kistvaen, but I didn’t expect the landscape to have such a profound and powerful effect; it demanded and challenged me to change the sound as well.”

Martin said anyone who wanted to work with Gaelic song and poetry should “walk in the mountains and feel the cold wind from the west on their face”: “I love to share the history, stories, culture and ways of life and see a recognition, in the eyes of those who listen, to the importance of the connection between the land, the language and the people.”

Roly Porter and MFO will open Sonica at Tramway Glasgow on March 10-11 at 7pm.