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Aud the Deep Minded

In conversation with Linda Buckley


I was delighted to meet a kindred spirit in Katherine Wren, connected through our fascination with Nordic music and landscape. This project was a perfect fit for me, as I had just worked on a radio documentary series on historical and musical connections between Ireland, Scotland and Iceland. While researching the Mother’s Blood, Sister Songs documentary I was struck by the prominence of strong female figures in the Icelandic sagas, most notably that of Melkorka and Aud the Deep Minded.

Painting of Aud the Deep Minded by Orla Stevens

One of the first great Viking matriarchs, Aud the Deep Minded was a 9th-century settler prominent in the history of the settlement of Iceland. I was deeply inspired by Aud’s journey from Ireland via the Hebrides to Caithness and Orkney and on to Iceland. The work journeys through different landscapes and experiences and I wished to create a vivid sense of the natural elements, incorporating my own field recordings of Icelandic winds.

This piece also shows a major interest of mine, a kind of dissolving of boundaries between various musical worlds. Points of musical contact are explored, creating a dialogue between medieval music, electronica and folk traditions - from the droning of fiddle in folk music, to the restless energy of Irish dance tunes, to recordings of our sonic environment. My voice is also included in the electronic aspect, almost like a ghostly connection to Aud herself.

Portrait of Linda Buckley

I wrote this deep in lockdown times – and I hear that in the work now, a certain kind of introspection, but also wishing to return to the world again.

I realised after writing it, that not only is it rooted in Aud’s story, but rooted in my own, that sense of melancholy, restlessness and wishing to break out, for freedom.

The ensemble is treated as one moving entity – interweaving, with no sense of hierarchy in the instruments. Almost in the way there’s that sense of community in a traditional music session, at times there may be one taking the ‘tune’, but overall there is togetherness and unity, strength in unity.

Click Here to listen to the Mother's Blood Sister Songs series.

To View Lindas' full folio please visit:

North Atlantic Coast Line

We are so excited to screen the film with live music for the first time in Edinburgh and hope to welcome you there from 15th-17th August at 8:30pm.

You can book tickets here.

There will be a relaxed performance on 17th August which also has audio description and social distancing. If you can’t make it to Edinburgh, then the original digital show will screen from the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s website at 7pm on 18th August, followed by a zoom Q & A with the creators at 8:30pm.


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