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Membership Developments and Composition Marathon


A Little Bit of Tosca


RPS Music Awards


The Listening Machine


Commissioning Music for 2014


Chamber Music Matters


The Cottier Chamber Project


Cryptic Nights


PRS New Music 20x12


Musical Bites


Exposed Melodies




Next Issue


After an extended break between issues, owing to the many exciting things which have greatly involved the centre and our members since the start of 2012, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you back to our Composers’ Digest and Exposed Melodies podcast series. It is customary to use such introductions to summarise the key features in each issue however, I would like to take this opportunity firstly, to welcome a new addition to the Scottish Music Centre family, baby Amélie Sofia Beattie who arrived in early January to mum Joan and proud father, SMC Education Officer Keith. We are delighted to see that she is already showing a keen interest in contemporary classical music…

Amélie enjoying her dad’s performance with Peter Gregson at the Scottish Music Centre Composition Marathon

As we greeted a new face, February witnessed our farewell to longstanding IT Officer David Simpson who, we are delighted to announce, has been employed by the BBC to compose the soundtrack for the new Dennis & Gnasher series amongst other famed projects. We wish him the very best of luck and look forward to reporting fully on all his compositional achievements soon! Christopher Glasgow Digest Administrator

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MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENTS Since the launch of our Composers’ Digest and Exposed Melodies podcast series we are pleased to announce fantastic progress and developments relating to the support and services we can offer our individual, group/small business and corporate members. We have now doubled our outreach in terms of those working in contemporary classical music in Scotland and out of the 200 composers we are currently in contact with, almost half are members of the centre and the majority of others are involved at varying levels. As part of the next stage in these developments, we are launching a new promotional campaign which best utilises our member profiles. These are currently being updated with new biographies, images, catalogue and performance entries, news and external links, which include both audio and video materials. In recent months, we have welcomed no less than four new individual and five new group/small business members. They are: Keith Beattie, John Gourlay, Peter Gregson and Marc Yeats, Daniel’s Beard, Ensemble Thing, Flercussion, Live Music Now and Pure Brass. We look forward to working closely with them in future and will keep you updated with all their latest projects, achievements and performances.

COMPOSITION MARATHON After an exceptionally successful run, we were delighted to announce that our unique Composition Marathon has been established as an annual event. Following a full year of planning, the project officially began at 09:00 on Saturday 24th March when ten outstanding

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composers were paired with five of Scotland’s finest chamber ensembles. Their challenge? To write a brand new work for professional première in twelve hours! Inspired by Bang On A Can’s iconic Performance Marathons, born out of a wish to unite New York’s diverse musical communities, this project was introduced to place primary focus on the composers, engaging them permanently with the Scottish Music Centre and aiming to generate future commissioning opportunities following high pressure collaboration with their allocated ensembles. The final performance took place at 15:00 on Sunday 25th March in the Old Fruitmarket as part of Glasgow Concert Halls’ Minimal: Extreme. Combining all works, the composers and performers produced a repertoire amassing two hours of impressive, diverse and challenging material, which exceeded everyone’s already high expectations.

Featured Artist: David Chivers, Daniel’s Beard

List of works: Daniel’s Beard: The Merchant Sonata (Peter MacCalman) and Bucephalus (Matthew Whiteside) Flercussion: Trois Fulgurances (Julien Lonchamp) and #littleblacknotes (Claire McCue) Pure Brass: Seeds (Chris Hutchings) and Pillow Talk (Kevan O’Reilly) Ensemble Thing: Cat in Sunlight (Derek Ball) and For More

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Things Affect Our Eyes than Our Ears (Eve Harrison) Peter Gregson with Keith Beattie: Stutter (Kim Moore) and Frozen Frenzy (Graeme Ronald) We would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the following for their invaluable help, support and guidance: Oliver Searle, Josh Armstrong and Anna Meredith, Glasgow Concert Halls, Live Music Now and Sapporo Teppanyaki.

The internationally celebrated production was first seen in 1980 and has since been enjoyed by audiences around the world, having been ‘borrowed’ by opera houses as far a field as America, New Zealand and Spain. Originally directed by master storyteller Anthony Besch, Tosca has been revived by Jonathan Cocker. In the early stages of his career Cocker worked with Besch, who he regards as a great influence. Updated from the Napoleonic times in which it was first set by Puccini, to the shadows of Mussolini’s brutal regime in 1940s Rome, the production was intricately researched and is striking in its faithful reproduction of Roman landmarks.

Featured Performer: Calum Huggan, Flercussion

View the official performance photography, courtesy of Louise Mather:


Critically acclaimed for the title role in Opera North’s 2009 production, Susannah Glanville portrays tragic opera diva Tosca, with Spanish tenor José Ferrero as noble artist and lover Cavaradossi and Robert Poulton as the scheming Chief of Police Baron Scarpia. Scottish Opera regulars Paul Carey Jones and David Morrison and Emerging Artists Ross McInroy and Marie Claire Breen complete the cast along with a chorus of 41 and other characters including the King and Queen of Italy, a Cardinal and Mussolini himself.

As part of the promotion for their main production, we were delighted to welcome Scottish Opera and the superb cast of A Little Bit of Tosca who performed a specially written chamber version of the work to many of our members and contacts on Friday 4th May. This event presented a spectacular snippet of one of Scottish Opera’s most popular productions, which opened at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow on the same evening and is touring to Inverness, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, until 9th June.

Featured Production: Scottish Opera’s Tosca

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RPS MUSIC AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED Since 1989 the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards have recognised not only the calibre of today's classical musicians but also those who push creative boundaries to produce work which excites and engages audiences. Conductor Claudio Abbado and pianist Maurizio Pollini were the big name winners on a night that celebrated revelatory live music making. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida was presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, the society’s (and one of classical music’s) highest honours. Wins for composers Jonathan Harvey and Scottish Music Centre member Sally Beamish, cellist Oliver Coates and chamber ensemble Apartment House made it a strong night for contemporary classical music. East London’s Spitalfields Music was the night’s only double-winner, honoured for a pioneering community opera and a ‘route one’ ticket scheme that encourages ticket buyers to their two annual festivals to ‘gift’ a second ticket to a first time attender. The National Youth Choir of Scotland became the first large choir to scoop the coveted Ensemble Award.

keynote speech, talking of the public’s perception of classical music and the importance of participation. Commenting on the RPS Music Awards winners, RPS Chairman John Gilhooly said: The Royal Philharmonic Society Awards are a byword for musical excellence and from over 300 nominations nationwide, our independent juries have come up with a truly outstanding list of winners across all thirteen categories... In keeping with the Society’s core mission, these awards publicly salute those organisations and individuals who dare to be a little different and who offer audiences dynamic, revelatory musical experiences. Through their excellence and creativity, they are revivifying the art. It promises well for the future.

The Listening Machine The Britten Sinfonia is one of Europe’s most pioneering chamber orchestras. Renowned for its diverse artistic collaborations and its ambitious new music commissions, the orchestra performs regularly in some of the finest venues in the UK and worldwide. To engage with The Space they have collaborated with technologist Daniel Jones and Scottish Music Centre member Peter Gregson to develop The Listening Machine – a musical representation of activity on the social media site, Twitter.

Featured Composer: Sally Beamish

The awards, for outstanding achievement in 2011, were presented at the Dorchester Hotel by BBC Radio 3’s Katie Derham and Petroc Trelawny. Tenor John Mark Ainsley, himself a former RPS Music Award winner, presented the silver lyre trophies, and Gareth Malone gave the evening’s

At the core of The Listening Machine is a piece of software, which monitors the Twitter activity of 500 people around the UK, selected proportionally from eight different fields: arts, business, education, health, politics, science, sport and technology. A further part of the group is selected completely at random. When any of these people posts a

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status update, the machine analyses its properties in terms of both sound and meaning, and generates music based upon it. Using techniques from the fields of natural language processing and machine learning, each tweet can be analysed from a number of perspectives: Its sentiment: Is it positive, negative or objective? Emotive words (“brilliant”, “rubbish”, “awesome”) and emoticons will rank as positive or negative accordingly, whereas technical terms (“pronunciation”, “structured”) rank as neutral, or objective. Its classification: Is it about a specific topic? The same set of 8 categories are used to classify each status update, using an archive of material from the BBC News website. Its prosody, or rhythm of speech and intonation: Vowel sounds and rhythmic patterns are extracted to translate sequences of words into flowing sequences of musical notes.

Featured Diagram: The Listening Machine, Prosody Diagram

Find out more and listen here:

COMMISSIONING MUSIC FOR 2014 Having now developed strong levels of communication with many soloists and those involved in both chamber ensembles and national companies, our target for 2012 was to do the same with festivals and events, most recently Sound Thought, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Plug Festival, Enterprise Music Scotland’s forthcoming Chamber Music Matters and the Cottier Chamber Project which runs as part of the West End Festival.

Featured Diagram: The Listening Machine, Flow Diagram

Our most recent partnership involves the Glasgay! Festival’s multi-artform Commonwealth Voices 2014 commissioning project which we are supporting as music advisers. We are pleased that several of our composers and ensembles have already established a dialogue with Steven Thomson, Festival Producer and we wish you all the best of luck with any submissions! The official call for proposals is detailed below:

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Commonwealth Voices presents an exploration of identity, citizenship and freedom of expression throughout the Commonwealth and other countries. The eventual programme will be a multi-artform celebration of the LGBT diaspora. It might reference human and civil rights in the various commonwealth countries. It might reference cultural, social and familial influences. It might reference equal marriage or other social justice issues such as homophobia, physical abuse, and asylum. A programme which looks at the notions of how we construct our various social and personal identities be they prescribed or proscribed. This programme will touch on LGBT and heterosexual voices from across the Commonwealth drawing out social and cultural practices, issues and lifestyles and highlight diversity and multiplicity.

identity and globalisation. Contradictory identities can exist side by side in one individual, whilst different cultures collide and mix in our ‘shrinking’ world. The experience of migration is among the most important, bringing different cultures into contact and challenging old notions of the nation-state. The work could take various forms as follows: 1. Portraiture - a social document of collected individual experiences – a living diary 2. A musical ensemble programme of commissioned works highlighting world cultures – working with Scottish smallscale contemporary ensembles and groups. 3. A film/video/social media element – a carefully moderated living blog of responses and observations. Featuring documentary films, talks and debates, commissioned essays and academic responses. 4. A commissioned play for theatre (Tron/Arches) Submissions may be discussed or presented to Steven Thomson, Producer: DEADLINE: 15TH June 2012

CHAMBER MUSIC MATTERS Featured Festival: Glasgay!

The project aim is to draw out a more personal response that understands the many factors that affect our notion of identity. The project, through personal accounts might reference the many problems of economic, political and ideological views of oppression and exploitation. It should aim to show a post-modern understanding of the world. It could reference the effect of Equalities legislation on mainstreaming and the place of individuals. It could draw similar local/global parallels between changing notions of

Make your voice heard – and hear some great music – at this special conference hosted by Scottish Music Centre members Enterprise Music Scotland. In the middle of a year that has already seen many excellent performances as well as delivering considerable challenges to the chamber music sector, EMS brings together promoters, critics, composers and performers to look ahead and exchange opinions, experiences and strategies.

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Defying current financial constraints, new festivals of chamber music have been created across Scotland in recent years, in rural areas as well as in major cities. These facilities have built on the infrastructure of clubs and societies in Scotland, some with histories stretching back over half a century or more, that promote regular seasons of concerts in their communities, a network that is without parallel anywhere else. It is important that the wide range of voices is heard at the conference, so alongside the many well-known figures who are taking part, there will be opportunities for people to share their knowledge of promoting music in Scotland both in panel discussions and, of course, informally over the weekend. Showcase concerts will give you the opportunity to hear young musicians as well as the famous names, and there will be a marketplace with representatives from across the music business, including the Scottish Music Centre.

Featured Composer: Gareth Williams

Speakers & Panellists: Tom Service, Dr Charlotte Gilmore, Dr Stephen Broad, Vanessa Reid, Jonathan Morton, Thorben Dittes, Svend Brown and Keith Bruce. 25th – 26th May, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

COTTIER CHAMBER PROJECT Following the artistic success of its first year in 2011, The Cottier Chamber Project, hosted by Scottish Music Centre members, Daniel’s Beard, once again forms a major part of Glasgow’s West End Festival in 2012. With 22 different ensembles taking part in 28 concerts, the Cottier Chamber Project is believed to be the largest chamber music festival in the UK. The series, supported by Creative Scotland, the W.M.Mann Foundation and Enterprise Music Scotland, will take place from 1st - 22nd June in one of the West End’s most popular venues, Cottier’s Theatre. With a concert every day at 6.30pm, and afternoon and late night events at weekends, alongside a discount in the Cottier’s Restaurant for ticket holders, the series plays a key role in the West End Festival’s programme.

Performers: Ensemble Modern Trio, Kronos Quartet, Scottish Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, Red Note Ensemble and the Sutherland Duo. Composers: James MacMillan, David Fennessy, Gareth Williams and John Harris

Featured Ensemble: Daniel’s Beard

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Mr McFall's Chamber are joining Daniel's Beard for the first night of the series, in an opening weekend that is packed with great music, thought provoking moments and the type of atmosphere that only the West End Festival can generate.

1st – 22nd June, Cottier’s Theatre, West End, Glasgow

There will be talks during the festival from some of Scotland’s leading musical figures, including internationally renowned contemporary composer James MacMillan and the inside story from two well-known Scottish music journalists and broadcasters, Michael Tumelty (The Herald, BBC Radio Scotland) and Tom Service (The Guardian, BBC Radio 3).

For the next installment in their enthralling Cryptic Nights programme, Scottish Music Centre members Cryptic present Colour Deaf, a cross-disciplinary collective who offer audiences an alternative experience in visual art and live music through installation and sonic design.

The Cottier Chamber Project features exclusively Scottishbased ensembles, spanning traditional music through to contemporary works. Programmes will include works by Beethoven, Mozart, Ravel, Janáček and Martinů through to Scottish composers Thomas Wilson, Sally Beamish and James MacMillan. Star pianists Steven Osborne and Alasdair Beatson join the soloists from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, while The Alastair Savage Trio and Moishe’s Bagel provide a taste of folk music. Other ensembles featuring include a prize winning ensemble from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, piano trios the Art Trio and the Da Vinci Trio, string quartets the Maxwell Quartet and the Fejes Quartet, wind quintet Arctic Winds, brass quintet Alba Brass, who will also perform Scottish Music Centre member Claire McCue’s winning piece from the West End Festival Composition Competition, mixed groups the Solway Trio, Antonine Trio, Hebrides Ensemble and contemporary specialists, the Red Note Ensemble. There will also be return visits from Sax Ecosse and baroque ensemble The Dunedin Consort and Players, whilst the Scottish Ensemble are joined by harp virtuoso Catrin Finch.


Colour Deaf are Kayus Bankole (Boko), Sisi Lu (ftjelly) and Steven Morrison (Dandy Riots/ COME collective) and their interactive, audio-visual pyramid installation allows the audience to conduct their environment through live visual feeds and trigger pads. Taking inspiration from music genres including electro; moombahton and hip-hop, their energetic live performance experiences combine artinstallation, live music, DJ set and fashion spectacle. This installation/performance includes a fashion show (with designs from Ciorstaidh Monk) and a Q & A.

Featured Artists: Colour Deaf

7th – 8th June, CCA, Glasgow Cryptic Nights is Cryptic’s platform for emerging artists to create innovative groundbreaking work in Scotland

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within a supportive environment. Their call for future proposals is detailed below: Submissions are now open for the Winter 2012 and Spring 2013 programme. If you have a burgeoning idea for a cross-disciplinary project that will wow audiences, but need support to put it into practice, apply for the Cryptic Nights Programme 2012/13. Please read the Cryptic Nights Application Guidlines carefully before submitting your application:

This project was written for a new kind of ensemble bringing together cutting edge music interfaces used by Drake Music Scotland – Soundbeam, Brainfingers with Notion software and the newly developed Skoog - played by young disabled musicians and a group of their peers on more conventional orchestral and electronic instruments. His music challenges and inspires the young musicians to combine their individual talents to achieve a unique team performance, a 12-minute musical event that will stir their audience and stimulate them to think again about what is possible, as well as how we define musical instruments and performing musicians.

Application Form: Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form: CCA 5 Tec Spec: DEADLINE: 21st June 2012

PRS NEW MUSIC 20X12 Nationwide performances of the twenty masterpieces created as part of PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20x12 commissioning strand for the Cultural Olympiad are well underway with Scottish Music Centre members Sally Beamish and Anna Meredith receiving wide critical acclaim for their inspirational works Spinal Chords and HandsFree. Scottish Music Centre member and Chair, Oliver Searle’s Microscopic Dances as part of the Technophonia project, in collaboration with Drake Music Scotland, are next to receive their hotly anticipated première.

Featured Composer: Oliver Searle

I am extremely excited to be involved in such an unusual, but far-reaching project such as Technophonia. I was unsure as to what the final outcome of the project might sound like, but part of the fascination of being a composer, for me, is working in a way I have not considered before, being out of my comfort zone and being uncertain as to what the result of the process may be. Music psychologists tell us regularly about the fantastically complex series of procedures that your brain goes through on its way to performing music. We must interpret pitches, rhythms, dynamics and articulations from a page of music, itself a type of complex language, then begin to realise these through a number of miniscule muscle movements, making decisions about the attack and sustain of each

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individual note, before moving to the next one. With or without sheet music, we are looking at others around us, perhaps focusing on a conductor/director, using our ears to decide when to join in with other musicians, altering our pitch by the smallest of microtonal increments and balancing our sound to produce a musical performance. These tiny movements and processes (many of which are only barely noticeable, or often completely invisible to the human eye), seem to me to be a number of microscopic dances between our neural processes and motor skills. Oliver Searle 15th June, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh 22nd June, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

MUSICAL BITES Sally Beamish Sally has had a very busy spring so far, with a number of performances and premières in the UK, Europe and the USA. Her new percussion concerto, Dance Variations, for Colin Currie, received its world première in Orebro, Sweden, with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Further performances took place in Stanford California, and here in Scotland with the SCO, conducted by Joseph Swensen, in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Spinal Chords, composed as part of PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20x12 commissioning strand for the Cultural Olympiad, received its première in Southampton in February, closely followed by a further performance at London's South Bank. The piece reflects the spirit of overcoming disability and adversity, and is set to a text by The Times journalist Melanie Reid who broke her back in 2010. This 12-minute work was performed by the

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and narrated by actress Juliet Stevenson. There are further London performances planned in the summer. The piece was broadcast on Radio 3 on 21st April, and is available as a download. Another major première this spring was Seavaigers, a concerto for Scottish harp and fiddle. Dedicatees Catriona McKay and Chris Stout collaborated on the solo parts, and performed the work with Scottish Music Centre members, the Scottish Ensemble. Celtic Connections in January saw the first performance, with the second at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival just a few weeks ago. There are more performances planned for the Trondheim 2012 Chamber Festival in Norway in September. Most of the next two months will be spent working on a new Saxophone Sonata for Branford Marsalis, to be premièred at the World Sax Congress 2012, which takes place in St. Andrews in the middle of July and, just before the St. Magnus Composer's Course 2012 kicks off on June 15th, Musik Kollegium Winterthur in Switzerland are giving the première of a new orchestral work; Diodati, for symphony orchestra, conducted by Sally's long-time colleague, Douglas Boyd. Finally, Sally was shortlisted for and won in the chamber music category of the annual Royal Philharmonic Society Awards for her third string quartet, Reed Stanzas.

Andrew Cruickshank With a particularly strong score for clarinet, double bass and piano, composed and recorded by Andrew, By The Seat of Your Pants is about to hit the road. This clown-inspired show (with virtually no speech), produced by Plutôt la Vie, is

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a warm-spirited piece of visual theatre for children, using wooden chairs as the starting point for a series of whimsical sketches. There are small chairs, tall chairs, folding chairs, fancy chairs and collapsing chairs, inspiring everything from romantic waltzes to raucous rounds of – what else? – musical chairs! Andrew’s score is an integral part of the show, inspiring many of the visual gags, establishing the comedic pace and setting the tone of easy-going humour with its cool jazz rhythms and occasional classical digressions. The show would not be the same without it. Mark Fisher 18th June – 1st July, various venues Andrew’s Miss Smith, produced by conFAB is a dramatised music and vocal composition that explores issues of social and economic justice in Glasgow today.

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19th May, Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Ensemble Thing Fish and Game's production of Alma Mater, a filmic journey for one, received critical acclaim, five star reviews and significant media attention for its performance as part of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival. The original score for this work by John De Simone and vivid musical recordings by Ensemble Thing generated high praise as part of this project. Following on from this recent success, Alma Mater is currently being performed in Melbourne, Australia and is touring to London's Barbican Centre and Cologne, Germany. Ensemble Thing is very grateful to all at Fish and Game and to cinematographer Anna Chaney for making this such a special project to have been involved in.

Featured Performance: An Evening with Rosie Kane and the Miss Smith Singers

The production is set to tour in August, but there is also a chance to hear a selection of the show’s twenty-four songs during An Evening with Rosie Kane live at the Tron Theatre on the final night of Mayfesto. She will take audiences on a journey of wit and hard earned wisdom through her life and loves, and is supported by the Miss Smith singers. Proceeds go towards the community tour later in the year.

Featured Ensemble: Ensemble Thing

This month, the group are also travelling to Verona, Italy to perform in various venues as part of the Verona Risuona festival. They are very excited and appreciative to be a part of this event organised through the Conservatorio di Verona, Accademia di Belle Arti di Verona and the University of Goteborg.

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John Maxwell Geddes

John McLeod

John’s Find Two Stones is the longest on-going piece in the world, with performances in every continent. 16th August marks an important milestone in the duration of the work (33 1/3 years) and the performance concludes on 18th May 2079. To date performances have taken place on top of the Alps and Mount Fuji and some copies are even stored in US security vaults.

John has a busy summer and autumn ahead with several new commissions. With investment from Creative Scotland, he is working on a new extended piece for Scottish virtuoso guitarist, Ian Watt who will première it in several European countries and in the USA in June and July as well as performing it later throughout Scotland. A second piece for Ian Watt, Fantasy on themes from Britten’s Gloriana is being composed to coincide with the Britten centenary in 2013 and will form part of the programme of a new CD of guitar music. Ian was the soloist in John’s Guitar Concerto, which he performed three times with three different orchestras in 2010, and which was later nominated for a British Composer Award.

Anyone can participate in the performance by following the clues hidden in the small print and graphics of the score designed by Austrian artist Albert Ennemoser below:

Fearful Tales is the title of another new work for voice, viola and piano, which John is writing for the new ensemble Canto per Tre. This will be premièred at the University of Edinburgh on 6th November, followed by the University of Glasgow on 8th November and at the Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen on 15th November. These are settings of rather gruesome children’s stories by Heinrich Hoffman. Taylor Wilson (mezzo), Michael Beeston (viola) and Margaret Murray McLeod (piano) make up the ensemble. In April, John’s symphonic poem The Gokstad Ship was chosen by renowned artist Keith Grant in his Private Passions programme on BBC Radio 3, introduced by Michael Berkeley. 10 of John’s works can still be downloaded as an MP3 on the Chandos site by typing John McLeod MP3 into the search box. Many of his works are now available to listen to on:

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Marc Yeats Final contracts have been signed for Marc’s scores to join Alexander Street Press (US) subscription library for academic research within universities and music colleges worldwide. The first collection of scores delivered amasses 700 pages of work, with more to follow in the coming months. Marc is thrilled to announce that the Aquinas Piano Trio (dedicatees) are giving the world première of worship of the oak in a lunchtime concert at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Martin Harris Centre, Manchester University as part of the 2012 Manchester Pride Classical Concert Series where Marc is Composer-in-Association. The Aquinas are a stunning piano trio and the concert will form a memorable part of his 50th birthday celebrations.

whilst no longer audibly themed around Pert’s notes, is, nevertheless, imbued with the spirit of these harmonies as well as the original left hand music. Marc’s Child to the Black-faced Night for bass clarinet and piano, winning piece in the 2005 World Bass Clarinet Composing Competition in Rotterdam, is being professionally recorded by Sarah Watts. Sarah’s wind trio is releasing their new label, Cuillin Sound in November this year. Child to the Black-faced Night will be recorded by Sarah’s duo SCAW. Launched in 2013, the new CD features repertoire by British based composers including a work by Scottish composer Iain Matheson.

EXPOSED MELODIES Ahead of his exciting PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20x12 première on 15th June, we thought it was only fitting that Scottish Music Centre member and Chair, Oliver Searle feature as the next guest in our Exposed Melodies podcast series.

Featured Ensemble: Aquinas Piano Trio

Marc recently discovered that Mark Spalding was a great advocate of Morris Pert’s piano music and has become the prime exponent of his music in the UK. Marc suggested that it would be an attractive idea to ask other composers who admired Pert’s music to write some small piano pieces to be performed alongside this music in concerts and as such, was asked to compose a work for left hand only titled the magical control of rain. The final result however, has been restructured, transformed and expanded to produce a substantial, twenty-two minute, six movement piece that,

Tune into this fascinating interview on our homepage, or access it directly, along with all of our previous recordings at:

Profile: Oliver acquired a music teaching degree from Aberdeen University (formerly the Northern College of Education), then taught in further education and, more recently, in schools in Glasgow. He studied with John Maxwell Geddes to gain a distinction for his Masters degree in 2002, then continued studies with the completion of a PhD in

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composition in 2006. Recent performances include works for the Hebrides Ensemble, John Currie Singers, Paragon, Red Note, NYOS, the New Music Players, the BBC SSO and the RSNO, as well as several broadcasts. He is also frequently involved in the creation of music for theatre, has written music for people with Cochlear Implants, and holds a lecturing post at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was the winner of the 2004 Mendelssohn Scholarship and received a Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 2003. He is co-director of the new-music group, SYMPOSiA, which he co-founded in 2002. Oliver’s current projects include Technophonia, PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20x12 commission involving Drake Music Scotland, as part of the London Cultural Olympiad.

Birlinn - like his previous work on that of the Sutherland poet Rob Donn - is intended to bring this poetry to the attention of a much wider audience. The Birlinn is a mighty poem (some 600 lines in length split into eighteen sections), described as follows by Derick Thomson in his Introduction to Gaelic Poetry: The poem is concerned with a voyage made by Clanranald’s galley from South Uist to Ireland, with the preparations of the galley and the choosing of the crew as well as with the actual voyage. Despite its considerable detail, it is compact, with visual clarity and a sense of tense excitement, which carries it forward, reaching its climax very near the end, and subsiding rhythmically as its action subsides to a calm. The first translation of The Birlinn appeared in 1934, created by Hugh MacDiarmid, assisted by Sorley Maclean. Finding this version unsatisfactory in certain respects, Campbell decided to make his own new version in order to emphasize the lyrical and theatrical aspects of the poem.

Featured Organisation: Drake Music Scotland

OPPORTUNITIES Poet Donald Campbell seeks Composer This project is an English translation of the classic Gaelic poem, The Birlinn of Clanranald by Alasdair McMhaister. Although not himself a native Gaelic speaker, Campbell knows enough of the language to be able, after a fashion, to work from the original text. Furthermore, he believes that Gaelic poetry is too important to be excluded from the mainstream of Scottish Literature. His translation of The

The result is a piece of work that demands to be sung, and Campbell envisages a choral work along the lines of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Such an ambition obviously requires the services of a composer and Donald Campbell would be interested to hear from any composer who is interested in collaborating with him in this project. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell directly: DEADLINE: 30th June 2012

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Call for Nominations - British Composer Awards The tenth annual British Composer Awards will take place at Goldsmiths Hall, London on 3rd December 2012.The awards are presented by BASCA and sponsored by PRS for Music Foundation.

Featured Writer: Sorley Maclean

Call for Music – Musemantik Musemantik is the world's first publisher of interactive music and developer of a unique online music creation service, MusicFlow. They are always looking to get in touch with composers/producers that want to reach a global commercial audience by having their music resold through this service.

To mark a decade of the British Composer Awards, BASCA has unveiled a new logo and website, and has announced details of a 10th anniversary concert, which will celebrate the British Composer Awards’ winning works which received their first performances between 2002 and 2011. Aptly titled 10 Years, 10 Composers, 10 Works, the programme, which will be a mix of choral music and chamber music, will provide richly deserved further performances for all these award-winning compositions. The concert will take place on 5th December – more details to be announced.

Musemantik are currently looking for composers/producers that: 1. Can both compose and produce music. They are open to almost any music style – send a link to your online portfolio. 2. Have experience with, or are at least open to learning modular composition and approaches towards music production. 3. Have an interest in creating music that will support moving image: videos, films, slideshows or even games. 4. Are confident about using samplers for producing their music, or even better, record live instruments in a consistently high-quality manner, or can do both. For more information, please contact: or visit:

Featured Event: 2012 British Composer Awards

The Awards celebrate the music of today’s composers living and working in the United Kingdom and also UK premières of work by composers from outside the UK. Nominations are currently invited for works that have received their UK première between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2012, in the following categories: - Instrumental Solo Or Duo - Chamber - Vocal

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- Wind Band Or Brass Band - Orchestral - Stage Works - Liturgical - Sonic Art - Contemporary Jazz Composition - Community Or Educational Project - Making Music Award - International Award

St. Petersburg State Conservatory, is one of the top Russian composers of 20th century symphonic music. He is also the son of Soviet writer Mikhail Slonimsky and nephew of the Russian-American composer Nicolas Slonimsky.

Submissions are welcomed from all those involved with the promotion, publication and performance of new classical and jazz music and may include music of any origin.

This is an opportunity for young and talented composers from all over the globe to perform their music on the prestigious stage of the Saint-Petersburg State Philharmonic Hall. In addition to the $6000 cash award fund, winning scores will be published by publishing house and the recordings will be released on CD under the label.

Rules & Regulations: Nomination Form: DEADLINE: 12th July 2012 Alongside the Awards will be a competition for student composers. To apply, students must submit an original work for flute, clarinet and bassoon of 4 to 5 minutes duration. The winning work will be performed at the British Composer Awards ceremony.

As part of the celebration, the Saint Petersburg Contemporary Music Centre, are hosting the first International Sergei Slonimsky Composition Competition in October 2012.

The competition is limited to chamber music and will take place from 1st August 2012 (the date of the first qualifying round) through to the 13th of October 2012, the final concert. Participation in the competition is open to composers of all nationalities and countries who will not have reached their 40th birthday by the date of the final concert.

DEADLINE: 24th August 2012

International Sergei Slonimsky Composition Competition – reMUSIK 2012 marks the 80th birthday of the renowned composer Sergei Slonimsky, an anniversary that will be celebrated throughout Russia. Sergei Slonimsky, recipient of the prestigious People’s Artist of Russia award and Professor of Composition at the

Featured Institution: St. Petersburg State Conservatory

Both single-movement and multi-movement works will be accepted into the competition and may have any combination of, or all of the following instruments (all

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percussion instruments will be played by one percussionist):


- Flute/Piccolo - Clarinet in B flat - Violin - Cello - Piano - Percussion (any combination of or all of the following: triangle, snare drum, bass drum, two cymbals, three tomtoms, two bongo drums, two cowbells, three temple blocks, vibraphone, two gongs). The length of the compositions must be between 6 and 10 minutes and every ensemble must have at least three participants. Any composition entered into the competition must not have been previously published, recorded or aired on any broadcast media. For further information, please contact: or visit:

DEADLINE: 1st August 2012

Scottish Music Centre Composition Marathon in Glasgow’s spectacular Old Fruitmarket

What a fantastic place this is and what amazing work it does. Thank you all! Marc Yeats Great start to the weekend from SMC and Scottish Opera and, lots of friends in Glasgow tonight. Thank you! Live Music Now Thanks for your support as always! What would we do without you? Finn Anderson Thanks to SMC for a good (& stressful/tiring) weekend and Daniel’s Beard for playing and dealing with my piece! Matthew Whiteside So proud of LMN performers Pure Brass and Flercussion today in the SMC Composition Marathon - fab afternoon of new music! Live Music Now Sad to leave Glasgow, thank you for an amazing Composition Marathon and Ensemble Thing for your truly excellent performance! Eve Harrison

Composers' Digest - Spring 2012  
Composers' Digest - Spring 2012  

The ninth edition of our bi-monthly Composers' Digest details: our membership developments and the Scottish Music Centre Composition Maratho...