Reel Life Foundation supports the passion, creativity and commitment to the unique and distinctive musical traditions of Orkney.
We run "Slow music sessions" to encourage people of all ages to participate in traditional music and we have a large bank of instruments which can be lent free of charge to people anywhere in Orkney.
Our tutors travel throughout Orkney, including to some of the smaller and more remote islands and communities and we run concerts to publicise our charity.
Using surveys and face to face contacts, we have asked what additional things people would like us to do and a very popular suggestion is for us to provide laptop computers and music composition software along with training in the use of the software so that local musicians can write new music in the traditional style or other genres of music or adapt and modify existing tunes.
It is important to involve as many people as possible in the culture of these islands. Teaching individuals how to use the music composing software is essential in order to enable them to get the best out of it. This proposal will encourage original composition,allow for lifelong learning, improve self-confidence and give a sense of achievement, encourage social integrations, inter-generational mix and the remove economic barriers to access. Music of all genres provides an important essential cornerstone to these fragile communities, even more so in the more isolated islands. In these places, community cohesion is of overwhelming importance and concerts, ceilidhs and dances are an important part in maintaining this cohesion. It is well accepted that music has great therapeutic properties. The evidence base is well established and accepted.The sense of pride and achievement that can be achieved when an individual produces a new piece of music is immense, it helps with an individual’s confidence, well-being and mindfulness, allows for friendships and informal networks to be formed. It helps to maintain inter-generational and general connectivity in the community.