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Song of the Union Catalogue & Vinyl Bundle (Delivery)

Emeka Ogboh / Song of the Union



The catalogue and limited edition vinyl released by Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh on the occasion of the exhibition Emeka Ogboh Song of the Union as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2021 Commissions Programme.


Detailed Description



On 29 January 2020, as the United Kingdom departed the European Union (EU) and as a final gesture of farewell, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) took to their feet in Brussels, held hands and sang Robert Burns’ ‘Auld Lang Syne’ – a song which has come to represent solidarity, friendship and open doors. The following week, Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh stood in the Robert Burns Monument in Edinburgh and conceived of Song of the Union, a sound installation featuring singers from all 27 EU member states living in Scotland today, as well as one from the recently departed UK. The resulting polyphonic choir gives voice to those who were unable to vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum, and has been created at a time when the post-Brexit reality is still far from resolved.

The publication Song of the Union includes: scores of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ translated into the 27 languages of the EU; an historical context of the song ‘Auld Lang Syne’, its connection to Robert Burns, and how the song came to be sung by communities across the world from the 19th century onwards by musicologist M. J. Grant; Berlin based curator and author Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung’s contribution reflects on the capacity that language has for possession and negotiating language and translation in Ogboh’s work and Kirsty Hughes, Director of Scottish Centre on European Relations explores how Brexit happened and what may be next for Scotland and the UK.

Published by Talbot Rice Gallery
Design by Fraser Muggeridge studio

July 2021, English
21 x 29.7 cm, 144 pages, soft cover

ISBN 978-1-8381232-3-9



A limited edition vinyl released by Talbot Rice Gallery on the occasion of the exhibition Emeka Ogboh Song of the Union as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2021 Commissions Programme.

12inch 140g black vinyl
2 colour outer sleeve and black polylined inner sleeve
Concept: Emeka Ogboh
Curator: Tessa Giblin
Production: Melissa MacRobert
Vocal director: Katy Cooper
Recorded by: Gavin McCabe at Reid School of Music, Edinburgh College of Art & Luigi Pasquini at Dystopia Studios, Glasgow
Mixed by: Gavin McCabe and Louis McHugh
Mastered by: Marco Pellegrino / Analogcut Mastering (Berlin)
Graphic design: Fraser Muggeridge studio
Manufacture: Mother Tongue, Verona, Italy
Edition of 500
Release date August 2021


Song of the Union (mix), 2021

Duration (6:00)

Lyrics: Robert Burns Tune from George Thomson’s A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs (Third set, 1799 no. 68)

Featuring the 28 voices of (in order of joining EU)Dorothee Sofia Charlotte Nys (Belgium), Bianca Morantin (France), Alberto Sarti (Italy), Ursula Böser (Germany), Annemarie Klein (Luxembourg), Kristine Mackenzie-Janson (Netherlands), René Sommer Lindsay (Denmark), Lori Sky (Ireland), Rory Haye (United Kingdom), Isidora Bouziouri (Greece), Carla Mendonça Ward (Portugal), Amaya López-Carromero (Spain), Ulrike Wutscher (Austria), Outi Smith (Finland), Tova Svanfeldt (Sweden), Crystalla Lola Serghiou (Cyprus), Štěpán Janča (Czech Republic), Greteliis Kattus (Estonia), Bado Réti (Hungary), Anna Marta Sveisberga (Latvia), Julija Straizyte (Lithuania), Laura Cioffi (Malta), Monika Niemczynowicz (Poland), Lucia Šmatláková (Slovakia), Rahela Horvat Toš (Slovenia), Gergana Vasileva (Bulgaria), Alexandra Dodu (Romania), Elizabeth Malnar (Croatia)



Na Làithean a Thréig

Scottish Gaelic

Duration (1:14)

Lyrics translated by Fionn (pen name of Eanraig MacGhille-bhàin) from The Celtic Garland, published by Archibald Sinclair, Glasgow, 1881

Performed by Tawana Maramba

Recorded at Dystopia Studios, Glasgow, 2021


Auld Lang Syne

Duration (3:50)

Lyrics: Robert Burns

Tune from James Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum, Vol. V, song 413, 1796

Performed by Jenny Nex

Recorded at Reid School of Music, Edinburgh College of Art, 2021


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