← Go Back

A note from the Director, 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.”

Some behind the scenes photography…