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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What have walking and food got to do with art? What have walking and food got to do with art?

Hanna Tuulikki

I Stand With Tifty’s Annie

2017 – 2018

The story of a young woman who submits to male authority externally but not internally
Lynn Wollstad
A new performance unearthing the lore embedded in the land

Artist, composer and vocalist Hanna Tuulikki joined us briefly in Summer 2016 and January 2017 to begin research for a new performance project. Exploring places that are encoded within the Scottish classical ballads of the North-East, she concentrated on one particular ballad – Andrew Lammie, also known as Mill O’ Tifty and Mill O’ Tifty’s Annie (Child 233; Greig-Duncan 1018).

Set in the parish of Fyvie, it features a number of specific sites in the landscape, and tells the story of Annie, a young woman who is having a secret love affair with Andrew Lammie, the Laird of Fyvie’s trumpeter. Her father, the Miller of Tifty, discovers their relationship and, furious, he writes to the laird denouncing Andrew Lammie, accusing him of witchcraft. Andrew is ordered away and the Laird makes his own proposal of marriage, which Annie refuses. For this she is punished by her family, imprisoned in a locked room at the mill, and then violently beaten to death by her father and brother. She dies in her bed, her face turned towards Fyvie.

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This tragic ballad was a favourite amongst many great tradition-bearers, including Jeannie Robertson, Jane Turriff and Sheila Stewart. Its popularity can be explained by the widespread belief that it tells a ‘true’ story, for which there is evidence. According to the catalogue of recordings at the School of Scottish Studies, it is one of the most recorded ballads by female singers in the twentieth century. Perhaps this is because Annie’s determination to resist, spoke – directly, or implicitly – to women’s experiences. Sadly Annie’s story is still as relevant as it was in the Seventeenth century. Women live with many forms of gender inequality, ranging from explicit discrimination and breaches of human rights, to undermining portrayals of women in the media. This is a reason to return to the ballad, and landscape, of Mill o’ Tifty.

Over the next year, Hanna will develop a performance for 2018, that will animate various aspects of Mill o’ Tifty’s Annie through music and spoken word, highlighting the ballad’s relevance for today.

 

 

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