Mark has just returned to his native Scotland after 20 years away, and Karawane is the product of his restless soul. His time living and working in education in Scandinavia,  Central and South America, as well as 10 years in the international scene of Barcelona have fueled his passion for diverse music, and connecting with people from all over the world. He found his way to the highlands, pulled here by the strong sense of community and the inspiration in the landscape all around us. When he’s not here with us at NHR, he’s likely working with the WEA charity, teaching, skateboarding or digging in record shops for new vinyl.

The landmass that is the Scottish Highlands has been drawn or pushed together from all parts of the world. It has has been home to desert and to tropical forest. Much of it has spent time south of the equator but, for now, it’s here, and so are we. People have left, and continue to leave, but more come here; drawn or pushed.

The highland population is growing again, and a new sense of kinship and community is being forged alongside new questions of belonging, community and contribution. New ideas and innovation; the famous highland hospitality growing from giving people a place in their home, to a broader inclusion in the highland community. As always, music and stories play a rich part in this.

Who are these people repopulating the north, and what has pushed or pulled them here? Whether they have come from Fife or Fiji, what have they brought with them and how have their lives changed since their arrival? In the Karawane show, we’ll meet these people; hear their stories and share their experiences. At the end of our chat, they’ll play a song that reminds them of their home, their childhood or their ancestry, and we’ll continue for the rest of the show with a selection of world music, from Ethiopian Jazz to Cuban rare groove; brass-rich afrobeat to the basslines of dub reggae.


Mark Thomson 2