A train emerges from the darkness. Passengers rest, quietly look out the windows, and dream their own worlds into existence. The landscape outside twists, turns and renews. Slowly, the hum of the urban world starts to appear.
In this 15-minute music video, the pulsing throb of the final movements of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 3 subsumes the rhythm of the train-tracks. Press play and join Scottish Ensemble and senior players from the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland on a train ride fuelled by musical steam.
This film was created in Covid-19 secure, socially-distanced conditions in autumn 2020, and will be available to view until January 2023, for free.
As part of our year-round work with young people, we support the next generation of pre-professional string players to explore new ways to perform and share the classical repertoire. This collaboration with NYOS gave seven young players the opportunity to experience the process of creating a short film and to be part of our cutting-edge digital work – which looks to find a new filmic language for classical music.
- Philip Glass
Symphony No. 3
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By Sven Werner
This project has been a real joy for me. Being a serious Philip Glass fan myself I was delighted when this commission was brought to my attention. I spent several days listening to the two movements of Symphony No 3, allowing myself to enter that meditative poetic trance-like state Glass’s music so beautifully evokes sometimes and letting images wash over me.
Movement III eventually turned into a mysterious train journey in my head, the steady slow building hypnotic pulse propelling us through the night but where to, that was still the question. Scottish Ensemble mentioned how this performance was the first time they all emerged from several months of lockdown and come together as musicians again and so the dynamic frenetic energy of Movement IV transpired into a journey towards people – after crossing solitary desolate and seemingly endless landscapes, the morning sun lights a train that arrives in the city, the music spreading through the windows across the streets and turning heads triggering surprised smiles and nods.
The musicians welcomed the ideas and there was real excitement from the start. A beautiful process unfolded between the film crew and Scottish Ensemble, in particular with its Artistic Director Jonathan Morton, who helped guide us through the various musical dynamics within the movements making sure we know where to put our attention at various points in the piece. Everyone on the team was flexible and in good spirits, even after having to manoeuvre heavy instruments in and out of a narrow train set, wearing masks and complying to a 2 metre distancing policy. My biggest challenge was not to let myself sink into the wonderfully performed music every time they started playing on set and focus on the filming instead.
Jonathan Morton, Kate Suthers, Daniel Pioro, Liza Johnson, Donald Grant, Joanne Green, Laura Ghiro
Jane Atkins, Andrew Berridge
Alison Lawrance, Robert Anderson
Briona Mannion, Daniel Stroud, Sagnick Mukherjee
Gordon Cervoni, Eilidh Randall
- Executive Producer
John Archer for Hopscotch Films
David Brown for Hopscotch Films
- Music Director
- Director of Photography
Alan C. McLaughlin
- Sound Design/Engineer
- Audio Production Assistant
- Production Assistant
- Digital Imaging Technician
- Set Construction
Allan McQuade, Neil Rutherford, Ursule Kerbedyte
- Filmed at
16 Nicholson Street Gallery, Glasgow