A Great Disordered Heart

Curator Aidan O’Rourke brings his home in the heart of Edinburgh’s Little Ireland to life in a series of three concerts and a film


And thus, as I fancied, the dense life within made itself faintly audible in my ears, family after family contributing its quota to the general hum, and the whole pile beating in tune to its timepieces, like a great disordered heart.

Robert Louis Stevenson on Edinburgh's Cowgate, 1873


Fiddler, composer and producer Aidan O’Rourke brings a personal concert series and film project to life, considering the past and present of his home in the heart of Edinburgh’s Little Ireland. This is a community built on centuries of immigration and on the brink of fading from memory. The recent hiatus in tourism has given the Cowgate and Old Town a chance to reconnect and these connections have led to this honest perspective on Scotland’s relationship with Ireland and itself.

The Concerts

In Shared Melodies, Aidan O’Rourke is joined by piper Brìghde Chaimbeul, concertina player Cormac Begley and a special guest.

Irish singer Liam Ó Maonlaí, Scottish singer and piper Allan Macdonald, celebrated trio Sian and special guests explore the threads linking Gaelic song from both sides of the Irish Sea in Shared Songs.

Finally, Shared Futures features Scotland’s folk trio Lau together with Lisa O’Neill, one of the most original voices in Irish traditional song.

The Film

A film about Edinburgh. About multiple Edinburghs, really. It’s about centuries of layers. The Old Town has two main rhythms. One is the rhythm of the community. People who live here, go to school here, tend our communal gardens. The other is a rhythm of Airbnb-ers, bus tours and cashmere scarf shoppers. This year, the balance shifted.


Aidan O'Rourke


The film A Great Disordered Heart, created by Aidan O’Rourke with Mark Cousins, will be released in late 2021.

The Concerts

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