Message from the Skies

1 January - 25 January 2019

Message from the Skies returns to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on Tuesday 1 January with a selection of love letters written to Europe. 

The words of six internationally celebrated writers - Billy Letford, Chitra Ramaswamy, Kapka Kassabova, Louise Welsh, Stef Smith and William Dalrymple - will illuminate and animate buildings around the city during the first month of 2019. 

Message from the Skies runs until Friday 25 January 2019 and is commissioned and presented by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Produced by Underbelly, in partnership with Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Developed with support from Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Herald

 "This is about the devastating emptiness a parting leaves on any level, and the need to fill it in the desperate shadows of the unforeseen emptiness left behind" 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Scotsman

“these Love Letters to Europe represent a rich harvest of reflection about ourselves and our continent, at  this historic turning point”

 

Custom House, Leith

Writer: Chitra Ramaswamy

Music: Emma Pollock

Artist: Daniel Warren

Guardian columnist and author, Chitra writes a comment piece about her childhood in London, holidaying in Spain, moving to Edinburgh as an adult, discussing her identity as a second-generation immigrant in the UK and in Europe.

Daniel Warren will work with archive and live action footage to tell Chitra’s story; the film will have an accompanying track composed and performed by Emma Pollock.

Duration: Approx. 12 mins 

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with a 3 minute break between each showing 

 

The National Scottish Monument, Calton Hill

Writer: Kapka Kassabova 

Music: Pippa Murphy

Artist: Bright Side Studios

Bulgarian born, Highland based travel writer Kapka writes about the origins of Europa, touching on deep time, mythology and legend. She explores how Europe is more permanent and enduring than detailed political ideas that dominate our everyday world.

Founded by Susanna Murphy and Cristina Spiteri, Bright Side Studios is creating images from Kapka’s writing which come into focus before dissolving into nothing. Pippa Murphy has composed a score which fuses Eastern Polyphony, Gaelic chanting and cinematic soundscapes.

Duration: Approx. 16mins

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with 3 minute break between each showing 

 

TechCube, Summerhall

Writer: Louise Welsh

Artist: Emlyn Firth

Glasgow-based author of short stories and psychological thrillers, Louise has developed a poetic statement about our shared origins and culture, accompanied by a series of words translated between Scots and European mainland languages which demonstrate that though our dialects are different we can still be understood.

Emlyn Firth will use a typographic approach to illustrate Louise’s work, playing with themes of language and communication.

Duration: Approx. 4 mins 

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with a 3 minute break between each showing 

 

Bongo Club, Cowgate

Writer: Stef Smith

Music: MJ McCarthy

Artist: Eleanor Meredith

Stef is one of Scotland’s most exciting young playwrighting talents, here she writes a poetic letter that charts the decline of a relationship, an emotion-laden narrative where celebration and excess collide.

MJ McCarthy’s sweeping ambient score and Eleanor Meredith’s saturated watercolours come together to bring Stef’s letter to life.

Duration: Approx 11 mins 

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with a 3 minute break between each showing

 

Tron Kirk, Royal Mile

Writer: William Dalrymple 

Music: RJ McConnell 

Artist: Double Take Projections

One of the world’s leading historical writers, William considers the Scots’ historical relationship with mainland Europe, highlighting significant archeological discoveries both at home and further afield to demonstrate the deep and long bonds that connect us.

Composer RJ McConnell is creating a jigsaw of musical voices reflecting the different places and eras Dalrymple covers in his writing, while Double Take Projections is bringing William’s story to life through animation.

Duration: Approx. 11 mins

Nightly 5pm-10pm, begins approx every 20 minutes (3 times per hour)

 

Leith Library, Leith

Writer: Billy Letford

Artist: James Houston

Scottish poet Billy writes a lyrical letter full of nostalgia and humour to a past love with whom he explored Italy as a younger man.

Billy's piece will be brought to life by James Houston, who is developing a typographical approach that responds to the rhythm and pace of Billy's writing.

Duration: Approx 9 mins 

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with a 3 minute break between each showing

Our Message from the Skies App is available, which includes an exclusive soundscape at Custom House. 

Download from GooglePlay or the App Store

Important Information

Important Info

  • This is a free event, no ticket required.
  • The projections will run daily from 1 to 25 January, from dusk 5pm until 10pm.  
  • As this is an outdoor walking event in winter, please dress comfortably and for the weather.

Addresses:

Custom House, 65-67 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6LH

Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH7 5AA

TechCube, 1 Summerhall Pl, Edinburgh EH9 1QE

Bongo Club, 66 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JX

Tron Kirk, 122 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SG

Leith Library, 28-30 Ferry Rd, Edinburgh EH6 4AE

Message from the Skies returns to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on Tuesday 1 January with a selection of love letters written to Europe. 

The words of six internationally celebrated writers - Billy Letford, Chitra Ramaswamy, Kapka Kassabova, Louise Welsh, Stef Smith and William Dalrymple - will illuminate and animate buildings around the city during the first month of 2019. 

Message from the Skies runs until Friday 25 January 2019 and is commissioned and presented by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Produced by Underbelly, in partnership with Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Developed with support from Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Herald

 "This is about the devastating emptiness a parting leaves on any level, and the need to fill it in the desperate shadows of the unforeseen emptiness left behind" 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Scotsman

“these Love Letters to Europe represent a rich harvest of reflection about ourselves and our continent, at  this historic turning point”

 

Custom House, Leith

Writer: Chitra Ramaswamy

Music: Emma Pollock

Artist: Daniel Warren

Guardian columnist and author, Chitra writes a comment piece about her childhood in London, holidaying in Spain, moving to Edinburgh as an adult, discussing her identity as a second-generation immigrant in the UK and in Europe.

Daniel Warren will work with archive and live action footage to tell Chitra’s story; the film will have an accompanying track composed and performed by Emma Pollock.

Duration: Approx. 12 mins 

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with a 3 minute break between each showing 

 

The National Scottish Monument, Calton Hill

Writer: Kapka Kassabova 

Music: Pippa Murphy

Artist: Bright Side Studios

Bulgarian born, Highland based travel writer Kapka writes about the origins of Europa, touching on deep time, mythology and legend. She explores how Europe is more permanent and enduring than detailed political ideas that dominate our everyday world.

Founded by Susanna Murphy and Cristina Spiteri, Bright Side Studios is creating images from Kapka’s writing which come into focus before dissolving into nothing. Pippa Murphy has composed a score which fuses Eastern Polyphony, Gaelic chanting and cinematic soundscapes.

Duration: Approx. 16mins

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with 3 minute break between each showing 

 

TechCube, Summerhall

Writer: Louise Welsh

Artist: Emlyn Firth

Glasgow-based author of short stories and psychological thrillers, Louise has developed a poetic statement about our shared origins and culture, accompanied by a series of words translated between Scots and European mainland languages which demonstrate that though our dialects are different we can still be understood.

Emlyn Firth will use a typographic approach to illustrate Louise’s work, playing with themes of language and communication.

Duration: Approx. 4 mins 

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with a 3 minute break between each showing 

 

Bongo Club, Cowgate

Writer: Stef Smith

Music: MJ McCarthy

Artist: Eleanor Meredith

Stef is one of Scotland’s most exciting young playwrighting talents, here she writes a poetic letter that charts the decline of a relationship, an emotion-laden narrative where celebration and excess collide.

MJ McCarthy’s sweeping ambient score and Eleanor Meredith’s saturated watercolours come together to bring Stef’s letter to life.

Duration: Approx 11 mins 

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with a 3 minute break between each showing

 

Tron Kirk, Royal Mile

Writer: William Dalrymple 

Music: RJ McConnell 

Artist: Double Take Projections

One of the world’s leading historical writers, William considers the Scots’ historical relationship with mainland Europe, highlighting significant archeological discoveries both at home and further afield to demonstrate the deep and long bonds that connect us.

Composer RJ McConnell is creating a jigsaw of musical voices reflecting the different places and eras Dalrymple covers in his writing, while Double Take Projections is bringing William’s story to life through animation.

Duration: Approx. 11 mins

Nightly 5pm-10pm, begins approx every 20 minutes (3 times per hour)

 

Leith Library, Leith

Writer: Billy Letford

Artist: James Houston

Scottish poet Billy writes a lyrical letter full of nostalgia and humour to a past love with whom he explored Italy as a younger man.

Billy's piece will be brought to life by James Houston, who is developing a typographical approach that responds to the rhythm and pace of Billy's writing.

Duration: Approx 9 mins 

Nightly 5pm-10pm, looping with a 3 minute break between each showing