Ian Humberstone is a writer, musician and ethnographer based in Edinburgh, Scotland.


His work explores themes in British and Scandinavian oral culture, with a focus on the relationship between ritual language and the natural environment. His doctoral thesis (in progress with the School of Celtic and Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh) is a study of Shetland fishermen’s ‘sea words' – alternate words and phrases that were once commonly used at the fishing grounds to ensure good fortune.


His musical output includes songwriting, sound collage and instrumental scoring. Each of his releases is tracked at home to an open-reel tape recorder he salvaged and restored when a teenager. His music has featured in The Wire, Record Collector and The Quietus, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 1, 2, 3 and 6 Music.

He is the co-curator of Bonspiel (a series of live events in Thomson’s Tower in Duddingston, Edinburgh), and the co-founder of Folklore Tapes (a record label and artist collective responding to British folk arcana).

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©2018 by Ian Humberstone.