11 - 16 September 2018


Exploring the effects of the mysterious, intangible, precious, utterly essential entity we call music through discussion and live performance.

What happens in our brains and bodies when we experience music? Can music connect us to a spiritual realm? Why – and how – does music help us understand ourselves, each other and the world around us?

Pause blends live musical performance with provocations, conversation and debate. As well as guest speakers and SE musicians sharing their perspectives on what music does to us and why, carefully-devised sets of music will create an absorbing listening experience for mind and body – from the riveting, repetitive patterns of Philip Glass, to the mystical intensity of Biber, to the Pulitzer-Prize-winning soundscapes of Caroline Shaw.

Touching on music’s scientific, spiritual and philosophical qualities, Pause will make you stop and think about how and why we listen to music, what it gives to us, and what else we could do with it.

Featuring contrasting sets of live music for strings curated by Scottish Ensemble violinist Daniel Pioro.

  • including works by:
  • Heinrich Biber
  • George Frideric Handel
  • John Cage
  • Pauline Oliveros
  • Philip Glass
  • Caroline Shaw

Welcome to Pause

An introduction to the event by SE violinist and Pause programme curator, Daniel Pioro.

Pause will take you through a range of sounds designed to provoke a variety of reactions.

Pause will attempt to demonstrate the range of emotions that certain noises, snippets of music, and recognised sounds can have on our state of mind.

Whilst offering ideas of why this might be, Pause does not attempt to dictate, or explain away – only to provoke thought.

In the same way that the smell of earth after a heavy rainfall can remind us of someone’s eyes, a place we used to holiday, a surge of joy at some unexpected good news… So can the familiar unfurling of a particular chord; the timbre of massed strings; that pause before the string touches the bow and fibres of clothing crackle along with a slow intake of breath.

You will listen to ancient music, music from a time long before science was recognised.

You will hear sounds that might remind you of a piece you once loved, yet distort almost as soon as you hear them.

You will hear pieces that were meticulously composed and arranged just for this moment, and works by composers who – in their own way – will influence generations of composers after them.

You will hear moments of improvisation, and all its chaotic, unrepeatable nuances, only to be heard in that one moment.

Pause is a pool of sound that we invite you to dip into. Or to cast a stone into, disrupting and challenging. Or just to observe, and watch the ripples, and see how every ripple births a new one.

And then on and on.

And on.

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