WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER: Scottish Ensemble explore the effect that music has on body, mind and soul in Pause

What happens when we stop and listen? Scottish Ensemble brings thought-provoking evening of live music, debate and discussion to venues across Scotland

Pause blends live musical performance with provocations, conversation and debate. As well as expert speakers and SE musicians sharing their perspectives on what music does to us and why, carefully-devised sets of music will create an absorbing listening experience for mind and body – from the riveting, repetitive patterns of Philip Glass, to the mystical intensity of Biber, to the Pulitzer-Prize-winning soundscapes of Caroline Shaw.

Guest speakers will include neuroscientist Dr. Guido Orgs (in all cities), and SE is also thrilled to welcome broadcaster, writer and cleric Dr. Richard Holloway (to the event in Edinburgh only on 14 September). SE Artistic Director Jonathan Morton and violinist Daniel Pioro will also share their thoughts from a musician’s perspective, with Pioro having devised the sets of music to be performed on the evening.

Former cleric Dr. Richard Holloway caused controversy in 2000 when he resigned from his positions of Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Bishop of Edinburgh. Claiming to be an “anti-religionist”, he has since written extensively on issues relating to religion in the modern world from an atheistic perspective, and passionately supported progressive causes such as LGBT rights. Currently lecturing at Goldsmiths, University of London, Dr. Guido Orgs has a PhD in Neuroscience and, as a trained dancer, has specifically researched the effects of music and dance on humans and animals, examining why we are so drawn to both.

Events in Dundee and Glasgow take place in non-concert venues. In Dundee, SE will be performing at West Ward Works, a former DC Thomson annuals warehouse, which is being transformed by one-off cultural events (most recently the Dundee Design Festival). In Glasgow, SE have chosen the apt surroundings of Glasgow Science Centre, with the audience free to wander the exhibits during the interval and after the concert.

The concert tour will also be enhanced by a series of ‘pausing with music’ workshops, run in collaboration with cancer charity Maggie’s. Devised for cancer sufferers and those around them, the workshops explore the role of music in enhancing mindfulness practice. First performed at the Dundee Maggie’s Centre (in the Ninewells Hospital campus)in 2016, these rewarding, emotional workshops received such positive feedback from participants that SE has continued its partnership, this year delivering events in Dundee, Fife and Airdrie.

In Dundee, the group will also deliver numerous events bringing music to the community through its SE Residency programme, established in 2012. This year’s events include a session with Sense Scotland, a life-drawing class with a live music soundtrack, and a performance in the Children’s Ward at Ninewells Hospital.


Listings information

Tue 11 September

7.30pm – 9.30pm (approx)

West Ward Works, Dundee



01382 434 940

Or in person at Dundee City Box Office


Wed 12 September

8pm – 10pm (approx)

Glasgow Science Centre



0141 420 5000

Or in person at Glasgow Science Centre


Thu 13 September

7.30pm – 9.30pm (approx)

The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen



01224 641 122

Or in person at The Lemon Tree, His Majesty’s Theatre


Fri 14 September

7.30pm – 9.30pm (approx)

Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh



0131 668 2019

Or in person at The Queen’s Hall