Off the back of my recent trip to The Glenrothes Distillery, we were gifted with a lovely bottle of 1985 Vintage, which, as it says on the label, has rich, creamy, dried fruits as a significant characteristic. Clutch says Garibaldis, but as that’s not a biscuit I’m familiar with, he might as well have said Geronimos or Galaxians, and I’d have been none the wiser.
But we’re not here just to taste the delicious treats from previous escapades. We have also met to plan a major project coming up on the Isle of Jura.
At the end of this month, Clutch and I will be spending a week on Jura to work on a project that weaves together music, whisky and the internet.
As you may know, Clutch is something of a composer. In fact, he’d downplay it, but he’s actually a really accomplished composer across a range of genres – from contemporary classical music to hard rock. He’s been raved about in the NME as a frontman for the band (x) is greater than (y), and he’s worked on theatre productions, film soundtracks and remixes alike.
He’s been commissioned to be composer-in-residence at Jura Lodge, write and record some music that involves the input of the islanders themselves, and the idea is to release that music online in order to raise money to support the ferry service to the mainland, which is facing funding cuts.
My bit is to report on that process online, and facilitate the internet side of things. It’s the way we work: Clutch does the work, and I blog about Clutch doing the work. The thing that makes that agreeable to Clutch is that quite often the work involves tasting lovely whiskies.
We’ve started doing some video interviews – talking to people for whom Jura holds a special place – and, importantly, a special musical place. The project’s getting its own website, and we’ll point you in its direction once it’s up and running – but rest assured that if you’re remotely interested in the island, the whisky, the people, the sounds and the stories of Jura, it’s going to be something really special.
For me, this is a research project as much as anything else. I’m fascinated in the intersection between culture, music and the internet. Studying this stuff is what I do for a living. It’s a perfect meeting of my ‘professional’ life and my ‘whisky blogger by night’ alter-ego.
And it’ll be entertaining as well. Possibly even hilarious. We’re documenting the whole experience as it happens, so you’ll be along for the ride. And as you may have picked up by reading this blog in the past, our adventures often include what we experience at the time as embarrassing mishaps – or worse. But, as we like to say – ordeals beget treats. There’s always a dram to calm our nerves after an inadvisable bike ride, a golfing fiasco, or being picked up by the police.
And then there’s a story to tell. Which is why we do what we do.
Tonight we’re working out the logistics. There’s too much recording equipment, microphone stands, and so on for a train trip, so we’re going to be hiring a car. It’ll be an early start, a drive up to Kennacraig, a ferry to Islay, and another ferry to Jura.
We love Jura. We’ve been before. The place is really special to us. But this trip is going to be something else again – and there will, we promise, be some really special music and some great stories that come out of it.
Hope you’ll join us for that.