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Preview the music featured in our Common Sound tour.

With Autumn drawing in around us and the pavements returning to their well-lubricated state of slippability from perpetual rain, we bring you a fresh playlist playlist in the form of a preview of our forthcoming Common Sound tour.

Music has been a form of solitary meditation for many in the lockdown hours but now we can gather again together to listen to it live, and our Common Sound project explores just why that is so important.

Below you’ll find the playlist, and beneath that some background on some of the lesser-known composers and music featured.

Orawa by Wojciech Kilar
Inspired by highland folklore, Orawa crowns a series of Polish composer Kilar’s compositions. From Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula to Jane Campion’s Portrait of a Lady, Kilar’s enigmatic scores and compositions are known for their minimalistic qualities. Kilar was said to have believed he had discovered the philosopher’s stone, and that “there was nothing more beautiful than the solitary sound or concord that lasted eternally, that this was the deepest wisdom, nothing like our tricks with sonata allegros, fugues, and harmonics.” Deep indeed…

Third Sonata for Strings by Peter Sculthorpe
Sculthorpe loved to write for performers he knew and was particularly drawn to the string quartet form. For many, his music centrally represents Australia; its landscape, its peoples, and also its musical and physical separateness from Europe. The Third Sonata for Strings, written for the legendary Kronos Quartet, is based on Sculthorpe’s String Quartet No 11. The subtitle, “Jabiru Dreaming” takes its name from a sacred rock formation in Kakadu National Park. The music contains rhythmic patterns found in the tribal music of the Kakadu area and that reflect the gait of the `jabiru’ stork, whilst the second part derives from an Aboriginal chant transcribed by a member of the Baudin exploratory expedition in 1802.

Les Barricades Mysterieuses by Francois Couperin
Much like the name suggests, this piece is a little mystery. Long rumoured to be about ladies’ ‘eyelashes’, freemasonry or even the wine barrels of Bacchus, this suggestive piece allows for a kaleidoscope of interpretation. Written for harpsichord, it has appeared on Terrence Malick’s film Tree of Life, in Angela Hewitt’s rolling piano arrangement, and as a quintet arrangement for clarinet, bass clarinet, viola, cello and double bass by Thomas Ades. Couperin, referred to as ‘Couperin the Great’ to distinguish him from the long dynasty of 17th-18th century Couperin family musicians, is known to have exchanged letters with Bach, which apparently ended up as jam-jar lids. Jammy!

Common Sound takes place in Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh and Dundee from 21-24 October. 
More info on our What’s On page.