A Guide To… Eastern Europe Express

  The great thing about putting on a concert of music from Eastern Europe is that even the unfamiliar jumble of grouped consonants and accents makes it feel intriguing and exotic. This is, unfortunately, exactly what can also make it difficult to put on a programme of music from Eastern Europe. This is not the place… Read more »

Enjoying 2017 (with Scottish Ensemble)

January is not, traditionally, an enjoyable month for most people living in the cold, dark, wet UK. One quite simple way of battling through this, we have found, is planning things to look forward to. So, on the tenuous claim of providing some kind of service to the community, we’ve compiled a list of what… Read more »

Creating with children: thoughts on the Anno workshop

Anno was many things: an immersive intermingling of sound and sight, old and new, electronic and acoustic; but at its heart it was a collection of personal responses to music – some of the most famous and popular music ever written, in fact: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Though this particular response required the extended efforts of… Read more »

A Guide To… Ascent: Concerts by Candlelight

Christmas is simultaneously an easy and difficult time to persuade people to come out to a concert (actually, Christmas is simultaneously an easy and difficult time, full stop). People are gathering together and making merry and whatnot, and ‘whatnot’ does often comprise music, but the demand is often for everything to be overwhelmingly festive. Cue… Read more »

Music and Mindfulness – The Beginning

You will, no doubt, have heard of mindfulness. Its various guides litter the two-for-one bestsellers’ tables as you enter Waterstones, and you can’t read an issue of any broadsheet weekend supplement without it being mentioned at least once. It’s a new life tool which, it seems, everyone has taken up. But music fans may well… Read more »

Transfigured Night at Perth Concert Hall, Perth (The Herald review)

Published on Wednesday 5 September 2016 Written by Michael Tumelty It is just three weeks since the Scottish Ensemble added a few key instruments to its core strings and effectively transformed the group into a mini chamber orchestra for its last Glasgow concert, playing a range of American music. The tiniest change of instrumentation can alter… Read more »

A Guide To… The Transfigured Night tour

Chamber music is a strange thing. It seems like it should be about paring back and cosying up – which many times, it is. It’s transportable music; a miniature orchestra in your front room; the ‘pop-up performance’ centuries before that became a thing. The sheer fact that it’s only four or five people suggests a… Read more »

On The Road… The Dundee Residency (September 2016)

Day One  Beginners’ Strings Day Sunday 4 September 2016 What a brilliant way to kick off our Dundee Residency – by getting together 70 young people, learning string instruments through the Dundee and Angus Instrumental Services and teaching them a brand new piece by composer James Redwood. The Tempest was written specifically for this purpose,… Read more »

A guide to… The American Life tour

We’ve been dotting all over the place this summer – all over Scotland, from Skye to Paxton, but also Europe, having just returned from the very successful German premiere of our contemporary dance collaboration, Goldberg Variations – ternary patterns for insomnia (the relief that came from remembering the music and the moves for this one… Read more »

In Photos… The 2016 Shetland Residency

We’ve returned windswept and exhilarated from four days on Shetland, during which we really did travel the length and breadth of this intriguing archipelago, dropped into the middle of an endless sea. Taking music with us to everywhere we went, we were rewarded with incredible views, warm Shetland welcomes and – every musician’s dream – enthusiastic, willing, curious… Read more »

On The Road… A musical feast on Shetland

  Director of Artistic Planning Jenny Jamison reports from one of the first events in this year’s Shetland Residency, a ‘musical feast’ which promised not only live music, but also a home-cooked meal. Two weeks ago we were in an urban warehouse in London, on top of an abandoned gas works. And we were playing Vivaldi…. Read more »