The Water of Leith runs through the heart of Edinburgh, flowing for 24 miles from the Pentland Hills down to the port of Leith.

'Mouth of the River' will celebrate this well-loved waterway, home to an abundance of flora, fauna and wildlife, which for centuries played a vital role in Edinburgh's industrial life.

The end result of the project will be a brand new song about the Water of Leith, which will be gifted to all the choirs and singing groups of Edinburgh.

Stages

1) Members of six choirs across the city will be invited to learn more about the river, via talks and volunteer days hosted by the Water of Leith Visitor Centre. A talk will also be delivered to inmates at HMP Edinburgh.

2) Thoughts, feelings, memories and anecdotes about the Water of Leith will be gathered from the choir members, along with visual art and creative writing created by the inmates at HMP Edinburgh, and handed over to a songwriter who will be commissioned for the project.

3) The finished song will be learned by the six choirs, then performed and recorded - this will then be gifted to all the choirs in Edinburgh to help them include it in their own repertoires, should they desire. They will also be sent an information pack about the Water of Leith, plus a selection of the creative writing/visual art created during the project, to give the song context.

4) A podcast and visual documentation will capture the process, from visits to the Water of Leith to finished song. 

5) A 'Green Resource Pack' will be created, free for all creative groups to use, offering tips and suggestions on how to operate more sustainably.

The Choirs

The six choirs we will be working with for the initial stages of the project are located in different parts of Edinburgh, all within close distance to the Water of Leith:

Pentland Singers Community Choir & Junior Choir - Based in Balerno, the Pentland Singers has a membership of around 90 mixed voices, plus a Junior Choir with around 25 members. The choirs welcome anyone who enjoys singing. 

Springwell Golden Voices - A community choir for older people, Springwell Golden Voices is based in west-central Edinburgh. The choir meets on Thursday mornings and anyone who enjoys singing is welcome to join.

Loud & Proud - Scotland’s first LGBT choir, Loud & Proud has been going since 2005 and its members have a wide variety of singing and musical talents. The choir rehearses every Monday evening in Stockbridge and is always looking for new members.

The Welcoming Choir - The Welcoming supports newcomers to learn English, find jobs and access local services in Edinburgh, providing opportunities for friendship, creativity, health and well-being. Whether you’re new to the city or you’ve lived here for years, The Welcoming Choir invites you to join them help build community together. The choir meets every Wednesday evening in Dalry.

The Cheyne Gang - A community singing group for people living with long term respiratory conditions (such as COPD, Asthma, Bronchiectasis), The Cheyne Gang meets in a number of locations, including Stockbridge and Leith. The group welcomes anyone with a respiratory condition that causes long term breathlessness.

Phoenix Community Choir - Based in Leith, the Phoenix Choir has a range of voices, from complete beginners to seasoned singers. They meet every Monday evening, everything is taught by ear and new members are always welcome.

Timeline

Due to the current situation with Covid-19, we are as yet unable to state when Mouth of the River will take place. For more information, please contact Kelly Donaldson, Communications & Engagement Manager, Voluntary Arts Scotland on email: [email protected]

Funder

Mouth of the River is supported by NatureScot through Plunge In! The Coasts and Waters Community Fund.

You can read about the other wonderful projects across Scotland being funded by Plunge In! here