A Carrying Stream

A coble sits on the shore of a river bank

“Maker, ye maun sing them...
Tomorrow, songs

Will flow free again, and new voices
Be borne on the carrying stream.”

Hamish Henderson (1919–2002)
Poet, songwriter and political activist
Lecturer and Research Fellow at the School of Scottish Studies

Traditions ebb and flow. They wind their way through time and space, shaped by the people and places they encounter, constantly evolving yet deeply rooted. Hamish Henderson's ‘carrying stream’ encapsulates this fluidity and dynamism, reminding us that traditions are always in motion.

This exhibition, first shown in the Main Library Exhibition Gallery in 2023, draws on the sound collection of the School of Scottish Studies Archives and explores creative reuse of fieldwork recordings over the past 70 years. Through new commissions by Blair Coron, Fraser MacBeath, and Carla Sayer, visitors embark on a sensory journey through Scotland's urban, rural, and coastal landscapes, experiencing the sounds of its people and places.

Take a moment to sit comfortably, perhaps even close your eyes. Listen deeply and let the rich tapestry of sounds transport you to another time and place, carrying you along the stream.