I included Emily Scott in my post about ukuleles at the Edinburgh Fringe mostly because I was intrigued by the idea of combining ukulele with a string quartet. After that, she got in touch and was kind enough to send a copy of her album, i write letters i never send, and I was blown away by it. The strings aren’t just ballooning away in the background, they’re beautifully arranged. I highly recommend getting your hands on it.
Here’s my favourite track from the album.
And here’s an interview I did with her.
How was your Edinburgh Fringe? What did you get up to?
It was great! Unusually busy for us; often I panic at the amount of stuff on then miss it all. We put in a couple of appearances at Lach’s Antihoot, did an in-store at Avalanche Records, and sold out our full band show, which is cool to be able to say. They give you a wee logo and everything, but we kind of owe our friends and family now.
How did you first pick up the ukulele? And what keeps you playing it?
My brother was learning, and got one for me as a surprise gift from my local music shop, called me and told me to go pick it up. It came at the perfect time, as I had reached a slight stumbling block playing double bass, which is my first instrument, in terms of hoofing it around and the sheer physicality of playing it. What keeps me playing the uke is the desire to really explore it; I like the upside-down feeling of my quite low voice and a relatively high instrument, and a band who believe in me, who do silly things like come on tour when there’s little prospect of fame and fortune, and I need not go on about how great it is to skip to gigs with the smallest instrument in the band for a change.
How do you go about combining ukulele with a string quartet?
It’s amazing. I finally feel like I’m doing something that I can do like no-one else can, that’s really and truly me. I’m using what I learned at college, which I never thought I would; it’s like when you actually use the maths you hated at school in real life, and have a total a-ha moment. The band is great, I feel lucky to have found them; they play through stuff like a marvellous string machine, and it’s easy for me to hear how to progress. It’s been a major learning curve but I want to just keep doing it. I tell them I want them to live in my living room and they think I’m joking.
You’ve obviously got big ambitions for your sound. Where do you see your music going in the future?
Hmm, so hard to say. I can’t believe that the kind of job that I want, where I gig all the time, and record forever, really exists any more, we’re just going to see how it goes. Booking this tour has been an eye-opener for me, but luckily we’ve managed to find a handful of intimate and unusual venues that really suit our music, and the kind of DIY promoters that are into it for the music not the money. You can’t ask for more than that.
Where can people pick up your music?
From my blog, at EmilyScottMusic.com.