Scottish musicians are being called to band together to perform a Summer Solstice version of Auld Lang Syne.

Make Music Day, an annual global grassroots music festival, will see thousands of musicians in 120 countries and over 1,000 cities taking part. Make Music Day originally launched in France in 1982, as Fête de la Musique.

The festival’s open invitation is intended to bring people together as a community via the power of music, with the current lockdown and social distancing meaning its reach and its power to unite being more important than ever.

The Auld Lang Syne project invites musicians and singers of all ages, skill levels, and musical tastes to join together to perform and record the traditional folk song whose lyrics come from a Robert Burns poem dating back to 1788.

Make Music Day UK has commissioned musician and composer Hamish Napier and former Honeyblood and Mogwai drummer Cat Myers (currently with KT Tunstall’s band) to create a special arrangement of the song for the project.

Hamish Napier said of the project: “I’ve been singing (Auld Lang Syne) for as long as I can remember at ceilidhs, weddings and other public gatherings. It only has 5 chords in it: G, A minor, C, D and E minor. You can join in by singing, playing the melody, the chords, drums or bass line. Or get the pots and pans out, dance or juggle.

“The most important things is to enjoy getting involved, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the song come to life in the final project video.”

Organisers say that most cameraphones will be suitable for anyone to record their part – details on how to participate can be obtained from Make Music Day UK, along with sheet music, lyrics and recording tips.

The deadline for submissions is 5:00pm on Friday 5th June.

Videos will be stitched together into a musical collage, to be premiered on June 21st – the summer solstice.

The livestream will also include a live performance by Napier along with cellist and musical saw player Sua-Lee.

Alison Reeves, the Scotland development project manager for Make Music Day UK, said: “We decided early on in lockdown to divert all our efforts into supporting people to take part online.

“There has been a huge outpouring of Scottish music making on social media over the past months, and the Auld Lang Syne project will capture the wealth and diversity of people playing and singing together from their own homes. The song is sung across the world and the message of friendship is perfect for celebrating how music connects us across our community, nationally and globally.”

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