Diane Clark on Goldberg Variations: ternary patterns for insomnia

Bassist Diane Clark has performed with Scottish Ensemble for over 20 years. She talks about her experience with Goldberg Variations: ternary patterns for insomnia.

21 February 2023

You were involved in the first production of Goldberg variations: ternary patterns for insomnia., what was it like on the first day of rehearsals working with Andersson Dance?  

I can remember the very first day of development for Goldberg variations: ternary patterns for insomnia. It was terrifying! A beautiful sunny day in Edinburgh should have instilled confidence in us, but unfortunately, even though we had known each other for such a long time, the idea of composing and performing a piece of movement to each other really took us out of our comfort zones.

Fortunately, Orjan had brought Paul one of the dancers with him who was fantastic and really encouraged us to feel less self-conscious and more free to move and express ourselves. After a while and much laughing we got on with it and there was general excitement at the potential of what we could do in conjunction with playing. Also, we realized that having ice cream at lunch time is never a good idea when you’re working with dancers.

You’ve performed this show on and off for 7 years, how do you keep the performance fresh and exciting?  

Like any performance, it feels fresh and new each time largely because of the audience and the venue. I think the audience probably underestimate how much of a difference their reaction can make to us, especially after the initial explosion on stage at the beginning of this work.


You’ve toured this show to many countries in Europe, as well as the USA and China, how did audience responses change in different cities and venues? 

Performing in different countries has been fascinating as it is with more standard concerts. Sometimes, the smaller more unexpected venues give us the biggest response, as there’s more of a connection with the audience.


You have played with Scottish Ensemble for over 20 years – how do you see Goldberg in the context of all the other performances and projects you’ve been involved in? 

Goldberg Variations: ternary patterns for insomnia has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve done in the last 20 years with Scottish Ensemble. It was the first project where we were asked to do something out of our comfort zone and which involved memory and movement work. Both these different aspects have added so much to my own career as a musician and I feel encouraged that at any age you can try new things and find new possibilities in your development as an artist.


What excites you about bringing this production back to Scotland for the first time since 2015? 

I can’t wait to perform this in Scotland again as I have so many friends that came to the first performances and want to come again, and I hope that we can reach new audiences with this incredibly joyful show.

Goldberg Variations- ternary patterns for insomnia, goes on tour in the UK from the 3rd till the 9th of March, with dates in Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee and Leeds.

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