Arts and Culture

Writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry and acclaimed novelist Philip Pullman have been named as two of the judging panel for this year’s Dundee International Book Prize.

They will be joining forces with the new star of the Scottish literary scene, Alan Bissett, and renowned literary agent Jenny Brown.  The panel will judge submissions in this, the 8th year of the prize, which has grown in international importance.

The end of February sees the second grass roots celebration of Scotland’s literary and musical talent.

This festival has no public funding and seeks to make arts accessible and affordable this year with what promises to be an event to hold in the memory.

by Stuart McHardy

As the political scene heats up over the proposed referendum, it is noticeable that the political establishment in Westminster and the mainstream media are missing the point. What matters is the sovereign will of the Scottish people, no more, no less. And in the current debate there are some who are focussing on the future. This means thinking about what Scottish governance should be like in a post-independence state and what kind of constitution we should have.

Planxty – ‘Planxty’  (1973)
The Irish band Planxty – four of the finest Irish musicians ever – recorded ‘Planxty’, their début album in 1976 (sometimes referred to as “the Black Album” because of its dark cover). 

This iconic group of Irishman profoundly captures the Emerald Isle – you can touch, smell, see and hear Ireland and the Irish in this album.  Planxty’s musicianship is stunningly tight – they didn’t have computers to correct mistakes, they didn’t need them.   The quintessential sound of traditional Irish music.

January 2012 sees the launch of The Mackendrick Film Fund, an innovative international film fund based in Scotland – aimed at making films with a Scottish emphasis, bringing film investors together to fill a ‘gap’ in the market for Scottish films.

Glasgow-based producer producer Claire Mundell, who identified the gap in the film finance market in late 2010 for a Scottish branded film fund, brought investors together to form Mackendrick.  The need for the fund has been intensified following the prominence of US feature films shooting in Scotland.

By a Newsnet reporter
The positive power of social networking is being shown close to home where it is helping to provide musical instruments for the children of Islay.
The children had received funding for accordion lessons in traditional Scottish music.  The funding was to cover the cost of the lessons which were being organised by Feis Ile (Islay Feis).

Politicians are backing the sound of young Scotland by pressing the BBC to resist scrapping an important music show which gives performers vital exposure to a radio audience.
A cross-party group of MSPs supported a motion in the Scottish Parliament today which calls for Radio One to guarantee the future of Introducing in Scotland, a Glasgow-based radio show that aims to find the best unsigned talent north of the border.