Can a poem or a painting be transformed convincingly into a composition for solo piano? Some may argue it can’t be done, but I have attempted to perform this alchemy with my Caledonian Portraits — eight new piano pieces inspired by the creative output of eight artists living in Scotland today.
The artists in question are a diverse range of folk from all corners of Scotland: poets Janette Ayachi and JL Williams, visual artists Kirstie Cohen, Peter King and Tom Davidson, sculptor Michelle de Bruin, ceramicist Lara Scobie, and performance artist Claire Cunningham. I was lucky enough to interview them all in order to allow their artistic methods to influence my compositions.
At the world premiere of Caledonian Portraits on Friday 10 March, I performed all eight works and discussed each of them in turn, hoping to shed light on the compositional process, as well exploring the rich dialogue that can be possible between two art-forms. The venue was the stunning Picture Gallery at Paxton House, the walls of which are hung with works of art on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland. “Music venues don’t come more spectacular than this”, according to The Scotsman.
Watch the live stream: https://youtube.com/live/LBU5TdzJDN8?feature=share