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Mark Simpson plays John Adams at Lammermuir Festival

Lammermuir Festival’s 2018 artist in residence, Mark Simpson, teams up with Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, Red Note, in a showcase for his stunning talent as both composer and performer. 

On Wednesday 19 September, at Loretto School in Musselburgh, Red Note perform an exciting programme including John Adams’s Gnarly Buttons, a virtuosic clarinet concerto shot through with influences from hymns to bluegrass and jazz, two of Mark’s own works Nur Musik and Straw Dogs and Adams’s minimalist classic Shaker Loops.

Mark Simpson, a BBC Radio 3 Young Generation artist, is like Adams both a clarinettist and a composer. 

For more information and to book tickets: https://www.lammermuirfestival.co.uk

New Music Makers rolls out across Glasgow this summer

Red Note Ensemble are taking their New Music Makers workshops to a number of schools across Glasgow this summer, working with music teachers and pupils studying Advanced Higher, Higher and Nat 5 Music, before culminating in a performance of their new compositions.

New Music Makers is an exciting and ambitious programme to support the development of young composers in schools across Scotland. Designed to inspire and support composing, the project demonstrates how a professional ensemble working in partnership with a school can create a genuine practical legacy, enabling the school to take the work forward independently.

Composer and CEO of Red Note, John Harris, added: “Writing music is as personal and as important as creating new pictures or new stories, or any of the other myriad ways that young people stand for themselves, make their mark and make their own voices heard in the world. Red Note Ensemble loves being part of this process, right there at the centre of the action as new music is being created by these brilliant young students – it’s an amazing thing watching and helping them to create their own music, in their own styles, with their own ideas.”

Red Note Ensemble is Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, dedicated to developing and performing contemporary music to the highest standards, and taking new music out to audiences around and beyond Scotland. They are Associate Contemporary Ensemble at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, an Associate Company of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh and Associate Ensemble of the soundfestival Aberdeen.

Watching Over You with Karen Cargill

KAREN CARGILL PHOTO CREDIT K K DUNDASWatching Over You, the premiere of a new song cycle by Scottish composer Rory Boyle, setting a specially-written set of poems by Dilys Rose for Scottish Mezzo Soprano Karen Cargill and Red Note Ensemble. The seven songs tell, in honest first-person detail, of the joys and trials of early motherhood.

Based around the experience of first-time motherhood, it’s not intended as a through narrative but instead focuses on a series of different stages and situations, and their accompanying moods and emotions, that a new mother might experience at different points in her child’s development. These range from the realisation that your life is about to change irrevocably to post-natal blues, from the joy of holding a newborn baby in your arms to the crippling doubts and fears when nursing a sick child through the night, from singing a child to sleep to waving goodbye at the school gates.

19 – 20 May 7.30pm
Watching Over You with Karen Cargill
St Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow and Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Red Note Ensemble conducted by Jean-Claude Picard
Tickets £15 (£10 concession)

Box Office
www.thequeenshall.net/about/the-box-office or call 0131 668 2019
www.standrewsinthesquare.com or call 0141 559 5902

Photo credit KK Dundas

 

Red Note Ensemble European tour begins in Orleans

Red Note Ensemble and LOD Music Theatre are touring François Sarhan’s Lâchez Tout! around Europe in 2014 and 2015. The tour starts tonight in Orleans at www.scenenationaledorleans.fr

François Sarhan, composer in residence at the National Theatre in Orleans between 2009 and 2012 is a cellist, composer, author, encyclopaedist, and a creator of stop motion animation and film.

Lâchez Tout! is a concert and silent film with live music, actors and two Foley (film soundeffect) artists, with François Sarhan himself performing on stage. Circassian actor Claudio Stellato plays Bobok, the central character of the film, and the Foley Artists create the sounds of the doors slamming, the footsteps and the passing trucks.

Lâchez Tout! is a total experience, halfway between a detective story and a philosophical tragicomedy.

www.rednoteensemble.com

New Music Biennial

Glasgow UNESCO City of Music at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall presents two days of new music, free concerts and workshops featuring commissions from PRS for Music Foundation: New Music Biennial and the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme

Highlights include:

  • A work by Matthew Herbert featuring samples of 20 pianos from around the world played on a simple table, turned into a virtual piano through bespoke soft/hardware created by the Radiophonic Workshop.
  • A piece commissioned by sound Festival and Red Note Ensemble for Stephen Montague called Three Fables, Tales form the Commonwealth based on tales sent in by children from different countries across the Commonwealth.
  • Gift by Jez Colborne follows the story of Greek mythology of the Trojan Horse – a gift arrives but is it all what it seems? Set in and around a shipping container Colborne wants the audience to go through a mix of emotions when they hear the piece from wary, confused, to elation and amazement.
  • The Bell That Never Rang was inspired by an image of Glasgow’s coat of arms and relates to the deeds of St Mungo. Composed by Lau in collaboration with the Elysian Quartet it draws together their respective musical worlds through a shared love of exploration and experimentation.
  • A video installation of a project led by Tête à Tête Opera in which young composer Samuel Bordoli brings together skateboarding and choral singing.
  • Compositions from four Scottish composers including Piers Hellawell, Mary Ann Kennedy, Yann Seznec and Matheu Watson.

New Music Biennial’s new commissions will be presented in Glasgow as part of Festival 2014, the Glasgow-based Games-time strand of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

Classics Marathon Day – a triumph

Classic Music Marathon 56Last weekend saw Nicola Benedetti lead the cream of Scotland’s orchestras, classical musicians and ensembles in one amazing marathon day of music at the heart of the Commonwealth Games, produced by Glasgow UNESCO City of Music.

There has never been a day like it in Glasgow – it was a feast of many flavours: from Baroque to Tango, Scottish to Indian, solo to mega-orchestra. Nicola undertook a personal marathon for the day, rehearsing and performing three concerts with different orchestras: a challenge every bit as extreme as running 26 miles.

The programme included performances by Red Note Ensemble and Kuljit Bhamra, Dunedin Consort, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Hebrides Ensemble, RSNO and BBC SSO and Scottish Ensemble.

sound Festival & Red Note commission set for first ever UK New Music Biennale

Red Note GCThe partnership between sound, Scotland’s leading New Music festival, Woodend Barn and the acclaimed Red Note Ensemble continues in a new commission from composer Stephen Montague, which is to be part of the UK’s first ever New Music Biennale.

Montague will write a new children’s work for 6 musicians and narrator based on tales sent in by children from different countries across the Commonwealth, which will be rewritten by award-winning playwright Zinnie Harris. The work will be premiered at Woodend Barn in Banchory (Aberdeenshire) in June 2014, followed by further performances at the South Bank Centre in London and in Glasgow as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations.

The work will also be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and recorded by NMC Records. The children’s stories will be sourced through one of Scotland’s major development charities, SCIAF’s, international partners. The commission was one of twenty announced by the PRS for Music Foundation at London’s South Bank Centre.

www.rednoteensemble.com

Red Note Ensemble Spring Programme

13 Feb New Music for Strings side-by-side with RCS MusicLab, 7:30pm Music by Part, Adams, McPherson, Munday and Le Lohé boxoffice.rcs.ac.uk

14-16 Feb Red Note and JAM (1) Music for Choir, Organ and Brass in St Andrews, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, all 7:30pm Music by Britten, Rory Boyle, Philip Cooke, Kenneth Leighton and Julian Philips www.jamconcert.org

19-20 Feb Red Note and JAM (2) Music for Voices, Organ and Strings in Glasgow and Edinburgh, all 8pm Music by Pergolesi and Judith Bingham.  www.jamconcert.org

25 Feb Noisy Night No. 21 in the Traverse Theatre, 8pm: music for Trumpet, Flute and ‘Cello www.traverse.co.uk

6-8 Mar Pictures at an Exhibition Workshops for Primary Schools in Association with Peacock Visual Arts in the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen www.rednoteensemble.com/Courses

9 Mar Noisy Night No. 22 in the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, 8pm: more music for Trumpet, Flute and ‘Cello! www.rednoteensemble.com/Noisy_Nights

All information on all of these is to be found on www.rednoteensemble.com; composers should consult www.rednoteensemble.com/Calls_for_Scores.html for the line-ups and deadlines for the two Noisy Nights (Aberdeen and Aberdeen-area composers are especially encouraged to submit for the Lemon Tree performance).

The Intoxicating Rose Garden

The Intoxicating Rose Garden is a new hybrid work which takes Sally Beamish’s settings of poems by Hafez, the 14th century Persian mystic, as its starting-point. Combining music, song, dance and animated image, it explores the longing and separation, as well as the sense of belonging and completeness that are so present in Hafez’s poems: elements that somehow conflict with and complement one another in the same moment.

The animated images are based on Jila Peacock’s renderings of Hafez poetry in figural calligraphy. Red Note will be joined by the multi-faceted singer and dancer/choreographer, Michael Popper, and the outstanding young Iranian setar player Anoosh Jahanshahi, who will perform his own Songs from Hafez in traditional Persian classical style.

Tolbooth in Stirling 8:00pm, 15 November
Woodend Barn in Banchory 10:30am and 8:00pm, 17 November
Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh 7:30pm, 22 November

www.rednoteensemble.com

Think you know The Magic Flute? Think again…

Red Note Ensemble debut at Bath International Festival. 

Red Note Ensemble, Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, debut at this year’s Bath International Festival in the highly acclaimed production of Mozart’s joyously extrovert opera The Magic Flute.

Directed by Richard Williams, Mozart’s iconic music is a new adaptation for chamber ensemble and Festival Artistic Director Joanna MacGregor’s farewell performance. In the immediate vibrancy of Bath premiere venue Komedia, The Magic Flute recaptures the excitement and popularity of Mozart’s first performance in Vienna’s small Freihaus Theatre in 1791.

Set in a mythical, modern city and in a super-skyscraper, Red Note Ensemble perform with a cast of young international opera singers. The once famous but now reclusive star, The Queen of the Night, has taken refuge. Tamino, the young reporter is out to get a scoop; has Pamina been kidnapped by her father, the multi-media mogul Sarastro, and why are there trials of fire and water for Tamino and Pamina?

Originally arranged for an orchestra hidden in the pit, this chamber arrangement brings the virtuosity of Red Note’s nine brilliant players, right to the front of the stage. Apart from woodwind and strings, you’ll hear Mozart’s gorgeous music played by a sensational accordionist, capturing Wolfgang’s superb populist spirit, and Joanna MacGregor directs from a magic keyboard too!

John Harris, Director of Red Note, says, “This is going to be a lot of fun for us at Red Note. We love Joanna MacGregor, we love her virtuosity, we love the way she thinks about music and makes new things happen, and we’re incredibly excited to see how she and her team re-make Mozart’s wonderful opera for the 21st Century”

The setting moves from the dark lair of Queen of the Night, to Sarastro’s contemporary penthouse hideaway. The set spills out from the stage to the auditorium, as does the action in places, and a silver tree in the audience provides the clues to Tamino and Pamina’s last trial.

This is Mozart at its very best – sparkling, witty, and faithful to the original. Performed in English, this fast-moving, modern dress production has been acclaimed for its clarity, wit and touching sensibility. Highly recommended for all ages, this is true family entertainment with a faultless pedigree, and a delight for both newcomers and opera fans.

Red Note Ensemble, Hear us first.