Research Project: Seinn Coisrigte anns a’ Ghaidhealtachd an Iar agus ‘sna h-Eileanan Siar | Sacred Singing in the West Highlands and Western Isles
Frances with Dina Rankin, Catherine Budge and
Staffin, Isle of Skye November 2019
In September 2019, Frances started working on her latest research project, exploring the sacred singing traditions of the West Highlands and Western Isles. Putting ethnographic fieldwork at the heart of the project, Frances has been interviewing and recording singers from a variety of backgrounds across the region, and will be continue her research throughout 2022 and 2023. The research has been made possible with the award of a Research incentive Grant from the Carnegie Trust and more recently a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.
To read more about her fieldwork and the people she has met, and to hear some of the singing she has recorded, visit her blog Here
Research Project: The Cree Fiddlers of James Bay
Moose Factory 2011
Since 2011, Frances has been working on a research project exploring Eeyou music and dance traditions in the James Bay region and their historical and musical connections to Scotland via connections with the Hudson's Bay Company from the late 1600s. She has visited and conducted fieldwork in the region in Wemindji, Waskaganish, Mistissini, Ouje-Bougoumou, Moose Factory and Moosonee. The research has been funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the United Kingdom, Wemindji Cultural Department, and the University of Aberdeen.
Read her research blog Here
Research Project: Discovering the Sacred Traditions of North East Scotland
Peter and Jean Drysdale, Fraserburgh, 2007. From September 2005 until February 2009, Frances worked as a full-time researcher of sacred music traditions of North-East and Northern Isles coastal communities, supervised by Dr Ian Russell at the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen.
She travelled extensively throughout North-East Scotland making audio recordings of musical events and conducting interviews. The research culminated in a numerous conference papers, articles, and the publication of her first full-length monograph by Routledge, Singing the Gospel along Scotland's North-East Coast, 1859-2009 in 2018.
Research Project: Funeralscapes
Isle of Eigg, August 2014
Funeralscapes is a unique and exciting interplay between landscape, music and emotion. Combining fieldwork at ancient burial sites in Scotland with public engagement activities, this project aims to reconnect the landscape with its sonic environment.
By re-experiencing and re-interpreting the sonic environment of burial and funerals, we hope to learn more about why people choose specific burial locations, their acoustic qualities, and the roles of music and sound during the burial process. Read more
Research Project: Soundscapes Rostock
Student Daniel Wilkie, left, with Rostock street musician, 2010. In 2010-11, Frances spent one semester working as a Eurolecturer, funded by the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung Foundation, at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock. She worked with ethnomusicologist, Dr Barbara Alge to develop teaching modules and research. During that time she and Barbara worked with music students on a Soundscapes field research project in Rostock. This culminated in a body of material, which can be found on the Soundscapes Rostock website and presented in the form of a public exhibition in Rostock in March 2011.