Hope’s Beautiful Daughters

A new CD bringing together Scottish and Slovenian musicians and storytellers is to be launched in Orkney on 3 September.

‘Hope’s Beautiful Daughters’, in both folk and rock mood, highlights stories of women who overcome against all the odds, from the artist Frida Kahlo to Inuit women of the Arctic.

It features Scottish musicians and songwriters Karine Polwart, Paul Tasker (Doghouse Roses), Fiona Cuthill (Raintown, Rallion), Seylan Baxter (Tattie Jam), and storytellers Lawrence Tulloch from Shetland, Tom Muir from Orkney and David Campbell from Edinburgh.

The project is an initiative of a Slovenian musical duo, singer/songwriter Katarina Juvančič and guitarist Dejan Lapanja. They brought in additional Slovenian musicians: Matija Krečič (fiddle), Klemen Krajc (bass), Gasper Peršl (drums) and the Salamandra Salamandra Band.

Dejan Lapanja is one of Slovenian’s top jazz guitarists, playing with various leading bands and also in solo concerts.

Katarina Juvančič is a frequent visitor to Scotland, taking part in folk festivals and concerts from Shetland to the Borders, and the concept and collaboration of the new CD has developed out of her Scottish experiences – coupled with her deep commitment to putting on record the stories of women who triumph against all the odds against them.

“Hope’s Beautiful Daughters is a celebration of the female gender in all its beauty, mystery, wisdom, strength and vulnerability, and the friendships that nurture them in this world.

”It’s built around friendship forged in Scotland and Slovenia, and from the female power, courage, wisdom and love that has shaped the history of our time,” she says.

The CD will be launched in Stromness, Orkney, on the evening of Wednesday 3 September, in a concert in the Town Hall featuring Katarina Juvančič, Dejan Lapanja and Orkney storyteller Tom Muir. It starts at 7.30 pm.

The concert will be an eve-of-Festival event for the annual Orkney International Science Festival, which starts the following morning, and Science Festival director Howie Firth says he is delighted with the link.

He says, “The Science Festival this year will be featuring several speakers from Slovenia, and Katarina and Dejan will be staying on to take part in a special Festival event combining science and music. Their Stromness concert and their wonderful stories are a real treat for us to feature and for everyone to enjoy.”

Tickets for the concert can be purchased here in the Tickets section of the site, or from the tourist offices in Kirkwall and Stromness. Copies of the CD will be on sale at the concert.

There’s more about Katarina and Dejan on their website.

”There are rich musical landscapes,” says Katarina Juvančič. “It’s a collaboration in which fiddles meet roaring guitars, a Highland lass plays the ngoni, and Rosa Luxemburg rubs shoulders with an Inuit woman.”

The tracks and the Stories


Irena tells a story of a little boy saved by Irena Sendler, a Polish nurse who smuggled more than 2,500 Jewish children from the German-occupied Warsaw ghetto during World War II.


This song was inspired by ‘Skeleton Woman’, a tale of the Inuit people I found in a book by Clarissa Pinkola Estés called Women Who Run with the Wolves.


A folk tale from the Hebrides that tells of a courageous journey to wisdom (The Dreammaker), told by David Campbell.


I wrote this song in the most strenuous days of my life – to soothe myself and all the women from the hospital ward, trembling between life and death. And also for Frida Kahlo.


An Orkney folk tale (Ursilla and her Selkie Lover) depicting a rather unusual and bold way to find love, told by Tom Muir.


This song depicts an Inuit legend ‘Sister Sun Brother Moon’ that was collected by the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas and published in his monograph The Central Eskimo (1888).


This Slovenian-Scottish version of a Scottish song called Mickey’s Warning/Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk was arranged by Karine Polwart and Katarina Juvančič. Abuse of women knows no linguistic barriers and neither does the courage to leave.


Shetland folk tale (Mallie and the Trow) about kindness of heart in the midst of great poverty, told by Lawrence Tulloch.


Rosa is based on the book The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg and it pays a tribute to her feisty, passionate, sparkly, proud, untameable and profoundly sensitive spirit.

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