Val’s Message From The Skies beams across city

Val McDermid   (Pic: Cath Ruane)
Val McDermid (Pic: Cath Ruane)

The wraps come off Val McDermid’s unique new project today – a short story written across some of Edinburgh’s most distinguished landmarks.

Message From The Skies is a short story which will be beamed on to a dozen buildings, creating a walking tour of Auld Reekie.

It launches at 5.00 pm today (January 1) with the first chapter being unveiled in Parliament Square as part of the city’s New Year celebrations, and it will run until Burns’ Night on the 25th.

The short story can by followed by downloading an app – search for ‘messageintheskies’ on iPhone on Android – which will unveil each chapter and guide you round the city.

It’s also free, and can be done in short blocks and at your own pace.

McDermid’s short story has been kept under wraps, but it celebrates the life and work of Susan Ferrier, a huge successful 19th century author from Edinburgh now largely forgotten.

McDermid brings her together with Dame Muriel Spark, and hopes her narrative will bring their work to a new audience.

The innovative multimedia project is a collaboration with Philip Howard, director and dramaturg, from theatre company Pearlfisher, Edinburgh based architectural projection mapping specialists Double Take Projections, and three of Scotland’s finest composers and sound designers; Michael John McCarthy, Pippa Murphy and RJ McConnell.

It will be broadcast from 5.00 pm to 10.00 pm each evening until Joinery 25, allowing visitors to enjoy it at their own pace – in one evening or chapter by chapter across several nights.

The free app translates the text into seven different languages including French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Simplified Chinese and Spanish and an audio description will be available for visually impaired visitors.