their education work,‘ he explains. llis considerable previous work with the Ensemble, both as a player — he is a ﬂautist ~ and a composer. has met with success and this latest development seems a natural progession in the relationship.
The Four Elements was conceived as a companion piece to Vivaldi‘s The Four Seasons and originally was intended to take a similar seasonal theme. ‘But.‘ says Heath. ‘l-low do you portray winter? Should it be cold. like the weather. or should it be warm, as if sitting at the fire? Then I suggested the four elements.‘ The Scottish Ensemble liked the idea and are now the proud commissioners of a work of similar proportions to The Four .S‘easons. with each of the four movements - air, water, earth and fire — lasting ten minutes and which can still be programmed alongside the Vivaldi.
Normally an all-strings group. the Ensemble required the addition of a percussionist to their ranks for the new piece. ‘lt‘s not a percussion concerto.‘ says Heath. ‘but there is a lot of percussion in it — bass drum. rain machine, wind machine. I've also had to invent an instrument for water, which involved taking my track-suit off at three o'clock in the morning. pulling it out from a bucket of water and then being discovered by my girlfriend‘s mum. It makes an amazing sound. sort of minimalist. There‘s also the sound of the strings as waves. like the effect of using digital delay.’
Heath's musical career has moved
when all he wanted to do was be first
ﬂute with the LS(). by a meandering
route through various compositional styles to his current life of playing — he still does a lot of the London session work -- and composing. He has written
fora number of leading orchestras.
ensembles and soloists including Nigel Kennedy. who was pleased when Heath didn't get a prestigioUs flute job at the
l-lalle. saying that he could now
concentrate on composition. ln l‘)9(). Heath received the \V'avendon Allmusic Composer of the Year Award. introduced by Cleo Laine and John Dankworth to recognise individuals who cross musical barriers.
‘l'm now in my Celtic phase,‘ he says. ‘and inﬂuenced a lot by Celtic music. Air. in The Four Elements. is based on a Celtic air which l've changed to become like an orchestral Capercaillie or Clannad. I also use a kid‘s wind pipe. you know, the thing you wave around in the air that costs 99p? It‘s a great sound and at the end everyone picks one up.‘ African music too inﬂuences the work. ‘Fire is a sort of African conga and in Earth l‘ve written
V African tn'plet rhythms with Bartok
chords on the top — if that’s possible.‘ he says. ‘In The Four Elements. I‘m not writing the same as l was before. Maybe that's a bad thing.’ he jokes.
‘We'll ﬁnd out next week.‘ ’ The RT Scottish Ensemble play The
Queen 's Hall. Edinburgh on Sun 6 and the RSAMD. Glasgow on Fri II; The
I. Chamber Group ()fSt'otland play the ' RSAMI). Glasgow on Sun 30 and The
There are a tow apochryphal stories ilying about regarding the derivation oi ‘Striving For The Lazy Periection’, the title oi the new album irom The Orchids. Me, I think it obviously reters to The Orchids themselves. Or Glasgow’s Best-Kept Secret The Orchids, to give them their full moniker. There are precious iew clues in the lyrics oi the title track because James Rackett’s voice - achingly lovely though it is - Is as unobtrusive as the band’s proiile in the pop scheme at things.
Despite iervent championing by Radio
' Scotland’s ‘Beat Patrol’ whenever they release one oi their occasional ; waxings, The Orchids largely remain
an undiscovered national treasure.
‘li we were on a label where we could get it amount oi money to go and do something, we’d be much more productive,’ says guitarist John Scally,
E ‘but we don’t have that choice.’
3 Instead, The Orchids make do with
limited resources, unlimited creativity and an erratic level oi commitment to the pop circus. Hence, ‘Striving For The lazy Periection’.
It’s their best album yet. Mind you, there are only two lull-length albums
in The Orchids canon, excluding a double compilation irom 1992. By that :‘t time there was six years at material to
, ‘Striving . . .’ is a marked leap iorward irom the tranquil pop at previous records. From the wah-wah drive oi ‘Beautiiul Llar’ to ‘A Kind Oi Eden’ (Saint Etienne without
Scottish Ensemble the tinselly distractions), it’s tranquil
The Orchids pop with syncopated beats, with samples, with One Oove’s Ian Carmichael in the producer’s chair again.
‘lle’s developed his technique with us,’ says drummer Chris Oulnn.
‘We’ve taught Ian Cannlchael everything he knows,’ guitarist Matthew Orummond is quick to interiect.
So anyway, great album; now what are The Orchids going to do about sustaining the momentum this time? ‘We’ll probably just disappear again tor the next six months,’ rues Chris. (Fiona Shepherd) Striving For The Lazy Pertection is out now in Sarah Records. The Orchids play King Tut’s Walt Wah llut, Glasgow on Sat 29.
3 That’s more
An instant success atter its Milan opening in 1832, Oonizetti’s l’Elisir
d’amore is currently undergoing a revival oi its own, with recent Covent Garden and English Touring Opera
versions paving the way for a sparkling Scottish Opera production in February. This also marks the iirst occasion that Giles llavergal, Artistic Director at Glasgow’s Cltizens’ Theatre, has worked with the company. Over the past decade,
llavergal has directed operas irom
Mannheim to Minneapolis, including
. iour productions with the Welsh
National Opera, although it is only now that he iinds himself working, as he puts it, ‘on his own doorstep’.
L’Elisir d’amore shows Oonizetti’s total mastery oi the butia ionn, with
. its vibrant Iovestruck protagonists and § sharply realised village neighbours romping through the contusion caused
by the love potion oi the title. ‘I don’t
? really approach it irom the point at ‘ view oi being iunny,’ says llavergal.
‘like all comedy, it has to be taken very seriously. liemorino and Adina’s
3 relationship, both in the music and in 3 the libretto, is so complex and
interesting, but not exactly unusual.
, The appeal at the opera is precisely
3 that we’ve all been to that place where one person in a relationship
and simply blows it up into a complete evening.’
The lovers are played by Paul Charles Clarke and Cheryl Barker, with Simon Keenlyside (recently seen as the company’s Billy Budd), Lisa Milne and Claude Corbeil filling out a cast that has enticed llavergal trom straight theatre to opera. ‘It’s interesting to go 3 into a world where you don’t control the pace and the energy at a scene,’ the director continues, ‘because the notes are written down on a piece of , paper. But how you make that dynamic ? and dramatic, how you actually make that palpable and visually interesting - that becomes iascinatlng.’ (Alan Morrison)
L’Ellsir d’amore by Scottish Opera
l loves the other much more at any one
I begins at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, a time, and Oonizetti takes that moment
from studying ﬂute at the Guildhall, on Tue1
Queen's Hall. [Edinburgh on Mon 3 I.
The List 28 January—l0 February I994 37