From the bleak expanses of The Lecht in the Cairngorms, to the dramatic Banffshire coast, the songs combine Fiona’s original electronica arrangements and mesmerising vocals with re-imaginings of traditional ballads, archive material, field recordings and traditional instrumentation, enveloping the listener in an immersive and unsettling re-imagining of ancient stories.
Each song isalso presented via a series of outdoor geo-located sound walks in the Echoes mobile app; using smart-phones and headphones, the audio is triggered by GPS, enabling audiences to experience the music in the environments which provided it’s inspiration.
Each walk is accompanied by text detailing the local folklore that inspired it and practical information on how to get to each location.
The ballad of Maggie Machlin recounts the sad story of a local domestic servant who worked in service for the Manse at Boyndie. According to the song and regional folklore poor Maggie, once favoured by those she worked for, was cast out when she became pregnant by a local dignitary – ‘a Boyndie man of high degree.’ Sadly for Maggie the man of high degree also rejected her and in despair one evening she walked down the water’s edge at Inverboyndie Beach. Here she sat down on a rock and stared out to sea. The ballad tells us that the rock Maggie sat on was bare and covered with spray from the sea. But here Maggie sat from evening until dawn. Sadly, Maggie didn’t survive the cold night in this wild, windy spot on the edge of the North Sea and was found dead of exposure the next morning.
Inverboyndie Beach Walk
Don’t let the sad tale of Maggie Machlin deter you from a walk along this wild bonnie beach situated west of Banff in Boyndie Bay. The sands and sea at Inverboynie are a popular spot for local walkers, surfers, and swimmers who all gravitate here to take in wide views of the North Sea and surrounding gorse covered cliffs. The car park adjacent to the Banff Links Caravan Park is a favourite place to park and from here it’s a short walk to the beach’s golden sands past a large children’s play park. The voices of playing children meet with the sounds of the sea and wind enroute to the beach and form a poignant echo to Maggie’s sad story. Alternatively, park at the east end of the beach and head down to the coastal pathway that leads through a wide expanse of grassland on the edge of the shoreline. The walk from either end of the beach is filled with the smells of grass and seaweed and lined with picnic tables and jaunty beach shelters with striking blue roofs. The far east side of the beach is the more remote spot to find a bare rock to sit on, stare out to sea and remember poor Maggie. From here the coast path carries onto Banff to the east or, from the other end of the beach, along the coast to Whitehalls – a favourite local dolphin watching spot.
Inverboyndie is situated north off the A98 to the west of Banff. A windswept local road leads off the A98 just east of the junction with the B9038. Follow this road as it heads towards the sea and take the right had turn signposted to the caravan park. This will lead to sea front parking. Those travelling on public transport to Inverboyndie can hop aboard one of a number of bus services that run from Banff, Macduff and Fraserburgh.
Toilets & Refreshments
The facilities at the Banff Links Caravan Park (open seasonally from the end of March to early January) include a small shop and public toilets. For a sit down meal head west to The Gallery at Whitehalls, a café and fish restaurant on the edge of the marina, or east to Banff which has a number of places to eat and stay.
Much of the walk along the edge of the beach is accessible by wheelchair.
Each walk is written and researched by Lesley Anne Rose.
You purchase Sand, Silt, Flint via Fiona’s Band Camp site.
Image credit: Isla Goldie
We are not responsible for the maintenance of the pathways and tracks described in each walk. The responsibility lies with the landowner or public body that manages the land. Walks have been researched and written based on the conditions of the track or pathway when we undertook each one. We strongly recommend wearing appropriate walking shoes or boots and outdoor clothing for each walk.
Dogs should be kept on a lead during lambing season (April to July) and be careful to check for ticks when returning from walks between March and October which can cause Lyme Disease. For more information, see: https://forestryandland.gov.scot/visit/activities/walking/check-for-ticks