The Great Tapestry of Scotland is the brainchild of one of Scotland’s best-known writers, Alexander McCall Smith. McCall Smith, together with historian Alistair Moffat, and the artistic talents of artist Andrew Crummy, form a team with Scottish stitchers who will produce the world’s longest tapestry through one of the biggest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland. The creation of the tapestry is a unique opportunity to tell the nation’s history and to involve as many people as possible in the telling. The aim is to create a series of over one hundred and twenty panels that tell the key stories in Scottish history – everything from Duns Scotus to Dolly the Sheep.
The project will use a range of embroidery skills and over 30 miles of woollen yarn to translate Andrew Crummy’s descriptive artwork into a colourful, skillful and textured depiction of the history of Scotland. To date there are stitchers in practically every area of Scotland committed to taking part, all of whom share a passion for Scottish history and some pretty impressive sewing skills. The volunteers will work together for over 400 hours per panel to help make Andrew Crummy’s artistic vision a reality, and gift The Great Tapestry of Scotland to the nation.
Greentrax Recordings Ltd has been invited to release a companion double CD of songs and music to reflect many of the subjects of the panels of the tapestry. It will comprise some 40 tracks and will include many items from the Greentrax back-catalogue, as well as tracks licensed from other companies and individuals. Examples of tracks being included are: The Proclaimers’ ‘Letters From America’, representing the Scottish Pop Boom; The Scottish National Orchestra’s ‘Fingal’s Cave’ the launch of The Edinburgh International Festival; Eric Bogle’s now universally sung ‘No Man’s Land’ evokes the First World War panel and The McCalman’s ‘Who Pays The Piper’ represents North Sea Oil.
Seventy-five children from Prestonpans Infants School have recorded local singer-songwriter Alex Hodgson’s song ‘The Toun o’ Prestonpans’ to partner the panel The Scottish Reformation – A School in Every Parish.
Greentrax Recordings has also come up with a song-writing competition with a £1,000.00 prize to whoever writes the best song to reflect one of the tapestry images as yet unmatched to an existing song. The winning song will also be recorded for inclusion on the album. Entries will be judged by a panel including singer and songwriter Ian McCalman, as well as McCall Smith, Moffat, Crummy and Greentrax boss Ian Green. Entrants must choose one of the following panel subjects to base their song upon: The General Strike 1926; Scotland in South Africa; James Watt and The Steam Engine; Robert Louis Stevenson; and Scotland at the Movies. This competition was launched in The Scotsman on 14th June and entries will close on 14th August. Competition rules and entry forms can be found on the Greentrax website and Scotland's Tapestry's website or by contacting Greentrax Recordings.
In 2010 Greentrax released the album ‘The Battle of Prestonpans 1745’ (CDTRAX356) as a companion to the ‘The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry’.
Greentrax Recordings hope the double CD compilation, ‘Music and Song of The Great Tapestry of Scotland’ will be released before the end of 2012.