Sounds good as duo win music competition

Benjamin McMillan and Paul Anderson
Benjamin McMillan and Paul Anderson

A collaboration between two local musicians has been selected as the winner of VisitAberdeenshire’s ‘Sound of the North-east’ competition, supported by VisitScotland.

Stonehaven-based composer Benjamin McMillan and renowned Scots fiddle player Paul Anderson have created ‘The Ballad of Blue, Granite and Green’.

It is a 10-minute composition that will be used by the tourist organisation in promotional marketing activity.

The music will be used in events and campaigns locally, nationally and internationally, and will be made available for use by the wider tourism sector.

‘The Ballad of Blue, Granite and Green’ is broken down into four sections, each inspired by Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire landmarks - Linn o’ Dee, Bennachie, Aberdeen City and Dunnottar Castle.

The Linn o’ Dee segment is designed to evoke a sense of adventure, Bennachie represents the region’s rich history, Aberdonia embodies the city’s bustle while Dunnottar represents the pride of the region.

Benjamin said: “The melody Paul created was stunning, so the accompaniment came easy.

“I received many themes from Paul, mostly in the vernacular of fiddle dances, Strathspeys, reels, jigs and airs that he had created himself. These melodies were beautiful to work with.”

Judges were so impressed with the pair’s individual submissions, they asked them to collaborate.

Nikki Morris-Laing, head of marketing at VisitAberdeenshire, said: “We realised last year that strong, evocative music was a missing ingredient from our award-winning promotional work, so we set out to address that through this competition.”