Alice Western 2019

Goldsmiths, University of London for ‘Working and Waulking Music in the Scottish Outer Hebrides’


I am a third-year popular music student at Goldsmiths, with a strong interest in folk and traditional music and the social political contexts Working and Waulking Music in the Scottish Outer Hebrides that surround them.  For my project, I will be taking a trip to the isle of Skye in Scotland to learn more about the traditional working music of the Outer Hebrides. I aim to immerse myself in as much traditional culture as I can, as well as speak to people with knowledge or experience or traditional work practices in the Outer Hebrides. I will be mainly researching the traditional work practice of Waulking – part of the creation of tweed material, which involves a group of women sitting around a table and singing as they beat the cloth. Since there are groups that still practice Waulking to preserve the tradition I am going to try and speak to some of them, and hopefully conduct some field recordings of Waulking and Waulking songs being performed.

Thank you so, so much for this award, I am incredibly grateful.

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