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 »

Debussy and Takemitsu for strings (iTunes)

Published on Sunday 27 June 2016 Expansive arrangements of Debussy and Takemitsu with a spirited, imaginative rendering. In search of the ideal expression of the atmospheres of these works, Jonathan Morton and the Scottish Ensemble journey beyond traditional performance practice toward new and unhinged emotional landscapes. Colin Matthews’ arrangement of Debussy’s piano reverie The Girl With… 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 »

Debussy and Takemitsu for strings (The Guardian)

Written by Kate Molleson Published on Thursday 16 June 2016 The immediate thing I noticed about this recording, and which I kept noticing all the way through, is how broad, expansive, lush and generally huge the Scottish Ensemble sounds. Most of the time it performs with two cellos and a double bass (though it bulked up… Read more »

Anno with Anna and Eleanor Meredith: Day Three

  Anno is an exciting new Scottish Ensemble and Spitalfields Music commission by classical-electronic crossover composer Anna Meredith and visual artist Eleanor Meredith. SE blogger-in-residence Rosie Davies follows the artists and crew from Glasgow to London’s Oval Space for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what goes into a project like this. The good weather has followed us… Read more »

Anno with Anna and Eleanor Meredith: Day Two

  Rehearsals have begun for Anno, the exciting new Scottish Ensemble and Spitalfields Music commission by classical-electronic crossover composer Anna Meredith and visual artist Eleanor Meredith. As musicians prepare to perform the piece live for the first time in London on Mon 6 and Tue 7 June, SE blogger-in-residence Rosie Davies joins the artists and crew at… Read more »

Anno with Anna and Eleanor Meredith: Day One

  Rehearsals have begun for Anno, the exciting new Scottish Ensemble and Spitalfields Music commission by classical-electronic crossover composer Anna Meredith and visual artist Eleanor Meredith. As musicians prepare to perform the piece live for the first time in London on Mon 6 and Tue 7 June, SE blogger-in-residence Rosie Davies joins the artists and crew at… Read more »