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Hamish Henderson Centenary

October 10, 2019 @ 5:00 pm


October 10, 2019
5:00 pm


Hardiman Research Building Room G011


Emma Brinton

The Department of Music at NUI Galway welcomes Fred Freeman, Professor of Traditional Music at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and former Moore Visiting Fellow who will play tribute to Hamish Henderson with a lecture in this, the centenary of his birth. Thursday, 10th October 2019, THB-G011 Seminar Room, 5.00 pm
Drawing song and verse examples from his C D tribute album, Fred considers one of the outstanding figures of the 20th-century: a man who accepted the surrender of Italy during
WW II; won the Somerset Maugham Prize for his war elegies (which bear comparison with Siegfried Sassoon or Wilfred Owen); was a prime mover for the founding The School of
Scottish Studies; influenced, quite directly, the course of 20th-century history.

His songs (like BALLAD OF THE D-DAY DODGERS, BANKS OF SICILY, RIVONIA & THE FREEDOM COME ALL YE) were sung by British soldiers and Italian partisans in the field of battle during WW II and by the freedom fighters of S. Africa throughout the 1960s. Moreover, his theories of art and the artist (which can be seen as an extension of the ideas of Antonio Gramsci) make him somewhat unique in the history of 20th-century literature in Britain. His achievement has been fully acknowledged by Nelson Mandela, Montale, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, E. P. Thomson and others. Currently, Professor of Scottish Music at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Fred Freeman is a graduate of Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities and was Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford for two years. He is author of numerous books and articles on Scottish literature, Scots language, folk music and history; was formally recognised by the ASLS with a lifetime Honorary Fellowship in 2014. Over the past decade, he has drawn upon his extensive musical background, producing over 47 (internationally acclaimed) CDs, including the only ever recorded “COMPLETE SONGS OF ROBERT BURNS” (Linn Records) and a Hamish Henderson tribute album, “A’ the bairns o Adam”.