Scotland’s newly crowned Traditional Musician of the Year has released a poignant charity single in memory of his much missed baby boy.
Tim Edey, from Perthshire, said recording the track during lockdown was a form of therapy and helped him deal with the grief and shock of losing little Griogair at just two months old.
The single, an instrumental cover of Sting’s Fields of Gold, will raise money for SANDS UK – the Stillbirth and neonatal death charity – and help support others who have suffered their own traumatic losses.
It comes at a pivotal time for 41-year-old Tim, who was this weekend named Musician of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.
A glitzy ceremony was due to be held at Dundee’s Caird Hall, but was instead reduced to a Covid-friendly show on BBC Alba.
“It was an absolute honour,” said multi-instrumentalist Tim. “It really was a surprise. I never even thought I would even be nominated. I wasn’t sure if I was traditional enough for the judges.”
He said: “After we heard, my partner Isobel and I went straight out to the local Nisa and got some Prosecco.”
Tim, who grew up in Kent, but moved to Dunning, Perthshire, in 2012, said: “I feel like I’m an adopted Scot now.”
With the country’s live music scene on hold, Fields of Gold was produced by Dave MacFarlane of Perth’s Clearwater Studios and features in-demand fiddler Patsy Reid.
Tim said it was his tribute to Griogair “and all those wee babies who didn’t make it”.
He said: “Griogair was just two months old, he was born very prematurely.
“For me and Isobel, it was the toughest time of our lives. We started to do a lot of fundraising as a way of dealing with the grief.
“And the music too has been a form of therapy. You just pour your heart and soul into what you do, and it’s a way of expressing feelings that can be difficult to talk about.”
He said he wanted to raise money for SANDS, but also raise awareness of the work they do. “It’s a subject people don’t like to think about, but it happens to more couples than you think,” he said.
“I get a lot of emails from people who tell me about their own experiences of losing a child. People want to know there are others out there that have also gone through this, and that the support is there for them.”
Tim, who was named best musician at BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards in 2012, said he has been coping well in lockdown with live Facebook shows at the weekends.
“I was meant to be touring the States and Canada, with lots of gigs planned in Scotland,” he said. “But you just find yourself in a position where you have to diversify. The Facebook shows have been a fun challenge.”
The Musician of the Year award was sponsored by the University of Highlands and Islands. Anna-Wendy Stevenson, programme leader in BA (Hons) Applied Music said: “It’s been wonderful to watch the incredible dedication Tim Edey has demonstrated to his art and to his worldwide audience during lockdown.
“He is a wonderful ambassador for music.”