In a state of Deep Listening there is no sound that is wrong. The way you listen and respond is unique to you. It gives space to an artistic release of feelings and embodies the power of music in developing a sense of well-being.
Scottish Ensemble is asking its audiences and people who may be contemporary music fans, those who practice mindfulness, or maybe even just experience seekers to join them in creating Tumbling Song, the 14th Sonic Meditation by Pauline Oliveros.
Oliveros wrote 25 Sonic Meditations between March and November 1971. They are instructions that anyone can follow, without any need for a knowledge of musical theory or technical skill. The Sonic Meditations invite you into this heightened state of Deep Listening by paying close attention to your breathing, your body and the sounds around you, and allow you to find new sounds of your own.
To take part in Sonic Meditations, visit the Scottish Ensemble website where you will hear members of the Ensemble’s instruments and voices, you can then follow instructions to join them in making this Sonic Meditation a true celebration of listening and togetherness through submitting your sounds.
Those who wish to add their sound to the performance should submit their response by Wednesday 19 August after which a final mix is completed, visuals added and it goes live on the Scottish Ensemble website www.scottishensemble.co.uk
To listen, find some headphones and get comfortable and ready to immerse yourself. Explore the sound worlds and the blend between instruments and voices, the different highs and lows, the dark and light to find the mix that provokes feelings you want to inhabit and inspires you.
Jenny Jamison, Chief Executive of Scottish Ensemble said: “At a time when it is so important to find outlets for artistic expression and freedom of feeling, Scottish Ensemble has created this innovative online version of Tumbling Song to bring together people from across the world. We hope people can take a moment to themselves, as they build a global meditation, and enjoy the distinctive and special experience of playing and singing with our musicians. There’s a cathartic feeling to Tumbling Song – a feeling of release – and through this Sonic Meditation we hope people feel united, no matter how far apart they are, in a musical exploration.”
Daniel Pioro, Scottish Ensemble Project Lead said: “Oliveros’ music, perhaps more so than the music of any other composer, feels like it would exist as happily on the top floor of MOMA, as it would in a cathedral. I would like everyone who participates in this project of ours to know that they are vital. They are not casual participants, they are the fabric of this sound artwork.”
Sonic Meditations sits alongside the Musical Book Club and a new collaborative cross artform project which will be announced shortly as Scottish Ensemble’s Digital Summer Season.
Thornhill Theatre Space is proud to announce that for the month of August they will be hosting a World Wide Virtual Fringe Festival.
Thornhill Theatre Space is a digital social media theatre space that was started as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Creator, Ryan Thornhill devised the idea for a live-stream table read of new plays, creating a series titled “Couch Readings”.
“I knew that playwrights were taking the time in quarantine to really focus on writing but they have no place to present or develop these new scripts. I wanted to be able to facilitate a space that these artist could present their work with the hopes of further development” Thornhill stated.
Each week he would choose from a group of submitted new short plays and present them as part of “Couch Readings”. Depending on where in the world the script would come from, he would cast the actors from that country. After the table read, Thornhill, the actors and the playwright would have a discussion about the new script, with the hopes that the playwright would get enough valuable information to go back and further develop their script.
Thornhill states, “With the success of Couch Readings, I started to realize that theatre could still work in a digital medium. There is obviously still a need for further development, but it is an option to keep the theatre alive.”
“Fringe festivals around the world started cancelling, but I noticed that a lot of companies were adjusting to digital content. Thats when I decided that I wanted to approach companies that have produced digital theatre and have attended fringe festivals in the past and see if they would like to take part in a virtual fringe festival”, Thornhill continued.
Within 2 weeks he had ten companies that were on board to be part of this virtual fringe festival. This festival includes productions/events from England, Singapore, Scotland, Canada, United States and the Philippines. Some of the theatre companies involved are Get Over It Productions (England), Lonesome Whistle Productions (United States), Maybles Productions (Canada), The XV Theatre Company (England), 3 Chinas Productions (Scotland), Attempts (Singapore), Ikarus Theatre Collaboration (the Philippines) and many more.
Thornhill will be directing Thornhill Theatre Space’s inaugural production, a digital play titled “Self Help Tips with Tiffany” by Pedro Diegues as well as launching their podcast Couch Chats”, all as a part of their fringe festival.
All the productions will be viewable solely on their Facebook Page (Thornhill Theatre Space). You can also find out more information on all of their social media pages; Instagram (@thornhilltheatrespace) and Twitter (@ththeatrespace).
The festival will run the whole month of August and includes a variety of events that is sure to entertain everyone.
Scenes for Survival, the ongoing digital project created by the National Theatre of Scotland, continues to entertain audiences with new weekly releases across BBC and National Theatre of Scotland online platforms.
The project is being delivered by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project, and Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies, with support from Hopscotch Films, and sees a host of Scottish performers, writers, and directors creating short pieces of digital theatre remotely from their personal spaces of isolation, with films released online for audiences to enjoy for free.
The latest Scenes for Survival releases for the week of 03 August will include the first part of Out of the Woods, a hilarious and sinister new three-episode short starring Alan Cumming. Written by Johnny McKnight and directed by Andrew Panton, Out of the Woods stars Cumming as a father struggling to find his way through the woods on the way to pick up his daughter from her other dad, before his real intentions slowly become clear.
The short series was filmed entirely by Cumming in woodland near his home in the Catskills mountain range in New York State. The first episode will be released online at 9pm on Mon 03 August, while the following two episodes will be released on Mon 10 and Mon 17 August respectively. Out of the Woods is produced in association with Dundee Rep Theatre.
The other two Scenes for Survival releases for the week will include Alone Part 2 on Wed 05 Aug, a warm-hearted follow up to comedian Janey Godley’s original Scenes for Survival film Alone, and Dirlo – Am Fear Maireann / Dirlo – The Survivor on 07 Aug, a new Gaelic-language short from writer Iain Macrae.
Alone Part 2 reunites Godley and director Caitlin Skinner, and once again stars Godley as long-suffering housewife Betty, now freed from the influence of her controlling husband and able to reach out to her son Stephen, played by Jack Lowden, as the two are finally able to plan their futures. The piece was created following the overwhelming positive response to the first film, and has been partly inspired by audience feedback asking for a follow-up to Betty’s story.
Dirlo – Am Fear Maireann / Dirlo – The Survivor is a new short from writer Iain Macrae, directed by Liz Caruthers, and starring Daibhidh Walker as an isolated shepherd working on a remote Hebridean island who comes into conflict with his only companion. It is the first Scenes for Survival film performed entirely in Gaelic, and is produced in association with Theatre Gu Leòr.
BBC iPlayer releases and BBC Scotland broadcasts
Out of the Woods will also be one of the first Scenes for Survival shorts made available to audiences through the BBC iPlayer in August. The first episode will appear on the platform from 03 August alongside a selection of other pieces from the project, including exclusive Ian Rankin short Rebus: The Lockdown Blues, starring Brian Cox as the legendary Edinburgh cop; Janey Godley’s darkly-comic lockdown short Alone; and Joseph Knight, an extract from May Sumbwanyambe’s forthcoming play Enough of Him starring Patrick Martins and Emma King, based on the true story of Joseph Knight, an African man brought to Scotland as a slave in the 18th century who eventually sued for his freedom.
Other pieces appearing on the iPlayer later in August will include A Mug’s Game, a sobering reflection on the legacy of asbestos poisoning in the Glasgow shipyards featuring Jonathan Watson, taken from Frances Poet’s play Fibres; The Banshee, a haunting comedy short from writer/director Greg Hemphill performed by Julie Wilson Nimmo; and The Domestic, a powerful tribute to the kindness of hospital staff starring Kristi MacDonald and written by Uma Nada Rajah, who has herself been working as an NHS staff nurse during the outbreak.
Further selections of Scenes for Survival shorts will be made available on the iPlayer every week through August, with 25 in total appearing on the service. Full details will be announced at a later date.
Next month will also see a selection of Scenes for Survival releases broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel for the first time, with three standalone Scenes for Survival films set to be screened on the channel in the coming weeks:
Larchview, written by Rob Drummond and featuring Mark Bonnar as a fictional government adviser coming to terms with his own major breach of the lockdown rules when he secretly visited a care home; Fatbaws, written by Douglas Maxwell, and starring Peter Mullan in a surreal and comic drama about a man in conflict with his garden birds after he changes the food in their bird-feeder; and First Things, written by Val McDermid and starring Elaine C. Smith as a big-hearted DJ on Radio Scotia trying to keep everyone’s spirits up during lockdown.
A three-part compilation of selected films from the project will also be broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel in August. Full details for these broadcasts will be announced.
The Longest Summer– single release
Written by Noisemaker (Scott Gilmour & Claire McKenzie) and directed by Jemima Levick, The Longest Summer sees Richard Rankin star in a lyrical, life-affirming musical journey through childhood and hardship during the current crisis, celebrating the beautiful things that the world still has to offer.
The film was first released online on Monday 27 July. Now the uplifting central song in the short film, sung by Rankin, is to be released as a standalone single. The track will be available through all major digital music distribution outlets from Tuesday 04 August.
All proceeds from the single will be donated to the Scenes for Survival Hardship Fund, which has been set up to support artists and those in the theatre industry who have been hardest hit financially by the current crisis.
Richard Rankin said:
“It’s been a privilege to work on The Longest Summer as part of Scenes for Survival with the wonderful creative team of Noisemaker and director Jemima Levick, and I’m thrilled that the film and song have resonated with so many people already. The song release is a brilliant way to continue that connection, and a great opportunity to raise some cash for a vitally important cause.“
The Scenes for Survival Hardship Fund is a fundraising campaign launched by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with the Federation of Scottish Theatre, the McGlashan Charitable Trust and leading Scottish Theatre organisations, to raise money for those in the sector who have been hardest hit financially and are experiencing drastic economic and emotional hardship.
All donations to this fund will go directly to provide support for those most impacted within Scotland, be they actors, writers, creatives, musicians, technicians or any others within our industry.
A sector-wide call out with information and details of how to apply for support from the SFS Hardship Fund will be launched in August 2020. The Federation of Scottish Theatre and the McGlashan Charitable Trust will ensure equitable distribution of the money raised.
Scottish Opera presents an online recital showcasing the talented group of Emerging Artists from the 2019/20 Season.
This Season marked the 10-year anniversary since the programme began in 2009 and will conclude with singers Charlie Drummond, Arthur Bruce, Mark Nathan, and Associate Artist Heather Ireson performing a recital live on YouTube, which will be available for all to watch.
Presented by Director, Roxana Haines and accompanied by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark, the four young singers will entertain with a short, light hearted programme of operatic highlights.
The Emerging Artists programme offers young artists a period of full-time work with the Company to help them launch their careers. Initially set up to nurture outstanding young singers, the programme now also includes positions for a repetiteur, costume trainee, a composer in residence, and, during Season19/20 for the first time, an Associate Producer.
Previous Emerging Artists include soprano Jennifer France, tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas, baritone Ben McAteer, repetiteur Jonathon Swinard, and composers Gareth Williams and Lliam Paterson.
The recital will be available to watch on our website here: https://www.scottishopera.org.uk/shows/emerging-artist-recital/
Image: James Glossop
When a young Ayrshire band miraculously hits the big time with the smash hit record of 1984, international stardom beckons. That’s despite having a delusional teenage manager propelled by a dark, malign voice in his head …Can Max Mojo’s band of talented social misfits repeat the success and pay back the mounting debts accrued from an increasingly agitated cartel of local gangsters? Or will they have to kidnap Boy George and…?
This new production, written by David F Ross and based on his internationally successful novel has been created and filmed as a response to these strange times. It stars leading Scottish actors Tam Dean Burn, Sarah McCardie and Colin McCredie (and some very strong language!!)
“My initial idea for how this would work has been completely surpassed,” says David, “the cast have brought amazing talent to the piece. Overall it’s so much more than I hoped for. The creative experience has been really special, and a lot of fun”
Actor, Director and Playwright Stuart Hepburn worked with David to develop the script and has masterminded the whole rehearsal and filming process. He says, “to begin with I was still thinking in terms of theatre but I soon realised I needed to bring all my filmmaking experience to bear. It’s become something quite special and I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to do.”
And Into Creative’s Stephen Cameron, Production Designer and third member of the creative team has created a quality film, despite the challenges of filming being carried out by the cast at home. “Colin, Sarah and Tam put in fantastic performances,” says Stephen “it’s been a real pleasure – as well as a lot of hard work”.
The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and live Q&A will be shown as part of the Gaiety Lockdown season at 7.00pm on 30th and 31st July
Listing Information: Gaiety Lockdown Season: https://lockdown.thegaiety.co.uk/
Edinburgh Fringe hit show is now being shared online
Comedian Samantha Hannah is offering some lockdown laughter after releasing one of her hit Edinburgh Fringe shows online.
How to Find Happiness in a Year had followed on from her previous Fringe production How to Find a Husband in a Year.
A measure of her success in the earlier enterprise is that the video (in accordance with lockdown rules) was filmed in front of a live audience of one. That one being Toby, the man she met on her search for love and now lives with in London.
But finding happiness is perhaps an even more ambitious challenge and takes Samantha through the world of self-help books and even into the fine details of the UN’s World Happiness Report.
Samantha, who was raised in the Scottish city of Perth, said: “I think a lot of people need some laughter in their lives right now and with events like the Fringe cancelled, and comedy clubs in crisis, that’s not always easy to come by.
“And I feel that making the video totally saved my sanity during lockdown. Things had been going well and I had given up my full time job at the start of the year to fully go for it comedy wise. Then three days into my new part time job I was furloughed and all comedy was cancelled by that point too.
“I’d done a big crowdfunder earlier this year and had planned a brand new show for the Edinburgh Fringe and now that was cancelled too. I felt so lost.
“Then I decided I would make something myself. It got me through a tough time. Now it’s out there and I’m no longer furloughed either.”
The video, which updates her 2019 Fringe show, explores many aspects of happiness, from passion and romantic love through to finding contentment and learning to be comfortable with yourself.
Samantha shares pearls of wisdom that she has picked up – including the benefits of stopping being embarrassed when you do something ridiculous and thinking of yourself as a “big emotional Weeble”.
And ultimately her biggest personal discovery is that what makes us most happy is connectedness – our meaningful relationships with others – something many people are hoping to rediscover and reinforce as the country starts to come out of lockdown.
Scottish Ballet present the world premiere of dance film Indoors – a playful new work created by Resident Choreographer Sophie Laplane, in collaboration with in-house filmmaker Eve McConnachie, now available on the company’s Facebook page.
Commissioned by CEO / Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, Indoors consists of 28 doors and 36
dancers; bringing the full company together, virtually, as they perform within their own homes.
Set to Papageno, Papagena by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Indoors is true to Laplane’s quirky and unique style, as she uses humour and props to drive her abstract narratives forward. Replacing the use of jackets (Sibilo) and gloves (Dextera) with doors, in this case, her choreographic language transcends from stage to screen.
Rehearsed via Zoom and recorded in lockdown, the new short film was created and filmed in a week, and explores how we can open our doors to new possibilities.
Talking about Indoors, Laplane said:
“Indoors brings each dancer together in a piece that aims to reflect Scottish Ballet’s uniqueness – they are a company that aren’t scared of trying new things, so we saw this as an opportunity to test the possibilities of technology. Having not choreographed on Zoom before, it has allowed me to grow as a choreographer; discovering different settings, and seeing them as spaces to create.”
Filmmaker Eve McConnachie added:
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Sophie on a couple of films, having worked together on Idle Eyes and Maze. Not only is she a talented choreographer but she is a joy to collaborate with; always experimenting.”