Event Diary

Saturday evening (13th) in collaboration with The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, drift presents Toop & Eastley performing together for the first time in Scotland. The evening will start with a presentation of 3 special tape pieces. Doors open 7.30pm

David Toop / Max Eastley
Live Performance
Toop and Eastley explore a fluid audio territory of mechanical sound sculptures, electronics, spoken word and live music. Bringing together the mysterious theatricality and infinitely subtle dynamics of Max Eastley's moving sculptures with David Toop's organic music and dreamlike stories of fictitious travel, they create music for the eyes, the ears, the mind and the emotions.

Tape presentations:
Jonty Harrison - 'Sorties'
Alistair MacDonald - 'Final Times'
Chris Stout - 'Shetland Dawn'

Alistair MacDonald is a composer of electroacoustic music based in Scotland. In his work he draws on a wide range of music which reflects a keen interest in improvisation and the human voice, along with materials and methods from choreography and the visual arts in the manipulation of sound-image. His music has won a number of awards and is performed and broadcast in the UK and abroad.

Final Times - the title becomes obvious when you hear the piece - is a short piece based on some of the sounds of Glasgow. The sounds which I collected, like most pieces of art or music, tell you something about the composer as well as the subject matter. They are the sounds which, for me, conjure up Glasgow. Other people would make a different selection of sounds, but there is enough there to be recognisable to many. The city has real energy and I hope some of this comes across - people moving about - cars, buses, trains and particularly the Underground which you can't miss. There are voices too and more unusual things like the rhythmic clicking of an escalator at Central Station.

Jonty Harrison studied at the University of York, graduating in 1980. In 1976 he moved to London, working at the National Theatre and City University. In 1980 he joined the Music Department of the University of Birmingham where he is now Reader in Music as well as Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios and BEAST. He is a director of Sonic Arts Network, the UK's national organisation for electroacoustic music. He plays an active role in the musical life of Birmingham, making conducting appearances with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Ensemble and University New Music Ensemble; for ten years he was the Artistic Director of the Barber Festival of Contemporary Music. As a composer he has received many prizes and commissions from around the world. His music is performed and broadcast worldwide.

Sorties was written as part of Web, a collaboration between seven composers and graphic artist Lorne Christie. Web is a "sound sculpture" - a walk-through installation in an open-sided canalside warehouse. The work evokes images of the elements (air, earth, fire and water) and of a journey - enhanced in this case by the movement of the audience through a continuously varying visual and sonic landscape. This idea of travelling from one sonic location to another underpins the evolution of Sorties which, as well as forming part of Web, was designed as an independent work. As the title suggests, the primary sound image is that of leaving (exiting, escaping, fleeing) an interior space for an exterior one, only to find that one is mysteriously and inevitable trapped once again in another "interior". The ultimate impossibility of escape is reflected in the predominantly dark and brooding atmosphere of the work. Web was commissioned by the BBC and Birmingham City Council, as part of the BBC's Music Live Festival. It was composed in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of The University of Birmingham.

Shetlander Chris Stout began playing the violin at the age of 8 and gained a place at the RSAMD in 1994. During his 3 years of studying violin he developed a keen interest in electroacoustic composition which he studied with Alistair MacDonald for a further 2 years. As well as composing Chris continues to perform traditional fiddle music from Shetland & Scotland which has already taken him to Norway, France, the Faroe Islands, Switzerland & the USA.

Shetland Dawn draws on recordings of dawn over a loch, made in Shetland by George Tinkler . The sounds of birds and water dominate, but human elements of the landscape are gradually incorporated.

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