Anna Meredith, Eleanor Meredith and Scottish Ensemble: Anno
One of the most dramatic, influential and celebrated pieces of music ever written, and one of the most exciting, innovative and idiosyncratic composers of today’s generation…
Anno is a collaboration between Scottish Ensemble, the UK’s leading professional string orchestra, and the critically-acclaimed composer, performer and producer Anna Meredith. It combines movements from Vivaldi’s instantly recognisable masterpiece, The Four Seasons, with new music by Anna and bespoke visuals by her sister, visual artist and illustrator Eleanor Meredith.
The live experience, premiered in London’s Oval Space in June 2016 as part of the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival, represents the passing of a year (hence, Anno). In parts, it is achingly, bittersweetly beautiful – in others, fierce and breathtaking. Both the London premiere, and its Scottish premieres in November of the same year, received critical praise.
This mini documentary, filmed across the two premieres, offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creation of the piece as well as exclusive live footage from the performances.
Anno by Anna Meredith
Performed by Anna Meredith and Scottish Ensemble
Fri 17 and Sat 18 August at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre
Part of the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Goldberg Variations – ternary patterns for insomnia
A behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of Goldberg Variations – ternary patterns for insomnia, a collaboration between Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble.
Goldberg Variations is not only one of the most well-known, and most celebrated, pieces ever written, though – it’s one of the most interpreted. From theories that its structure deliberately mirrors the ascent of the nine spheres of Ptolemaic cosmology, to the claim that the whole thing is a cleverly coded rebuke to a critic who had snubbed the composer, there is clearly something about this sprawling, complex piece which invites interpretation.
In 2015, Örjan Andersson (Andersson Dance) and Jonathan Morton (Scottish Ensemble) added their own, in which 11 musicians and 5 dancers perform as equal partners – both choreographed, the result is a singular experience of musician and dancer performing as one. It’s here that the subtleties of the interpretation come out; was Goldberg Variations intended to be a purely aural experience, or can we move to it? How do we, and how can we, experience these notes in the 21st century?
Goldberg Variations – ternary patterns for insomnia premiered in Stockholm on 17 Sep 2015 before touring the UK in Nov 2015, and returning to Sweden in Jan-Feb 2016.
J. S. Bach – Goldberg Variations [arr. Sitkovetsky]
Performed by Scottish Ensemble
20th-Century Perspectives: City Spaces & Strings
In September 2014, Scottish Ensemble joined forces with internationally renowned visual artist Toby Paterson to present an ambitious cross-artform collaboration connecting 20th-century music and architecture with art. This immersive experience combined specially curated sets of 20th-century music with a newly created environment built by Paterson, performed in – and created specifically for – the Anderston Centre, an important Glasgow Modernist landmark designed by Richard Seifert and completed in 1972. This is a document of the stunning result.
Tüür – Insula Deserta (Edition Peters)
Webern – In Zarter Bewegung (Universal Edition)
Adams – A Final Shaking (Music Sales)
Scottish Ensemble: Go Further
Looking to redefine the place of the string orchestra today, Scottish Ensemble perform in places from the Walt Disney Hall, New York and Wigmore Hall, London to the once-derelict Modernist hulk of the Anderston Centre in Glasgow as well as parks, shopping centres and pubs. But wherever they play, there’s a certain special quality which unites all of their concerts.
This short glimpse of Scottish Ensemble in the concert hall, from the stage and the dressing rooms, hopes to capture some of that feeling, with soloists Alasdair Beatson (piano) and Sophie Harmsen (mezzo-soprano) also sharing what it’s like to collaborate with SE.
Created in 2015, and filmed at Wigmore Hall, London, the video celebrated Jonathan Morton’s 10th Anniversary as Artistic Director at Scottish Ensemble.
Seavaigers with Chris Stout (fiddle) and Catriona McKay (Scottish harp)
Seavaigers is a double concerto for fiddle and Scottish harp, commissioned by Scottish Ensemble and composed by Sally Beamish for fiddler Chris Stout, harpist Catriona McKay and Scottish Ensemble. This film documents the story of the piece.
Scottish Ensemble: The Residencies
Filling the city with music… This short film documents SE’s 2013 first-ever City Residency in Aberdeen.
Audio recording of Scottish Ensemble is courtesy of BBC Radio 3.