Making Music Happen
I Another year passes and the Music in Scotland Trust awards another £15,000 in studio time to Scottish bands. There are eleven winners in MlST's 1994 demo tape competition — The Margins. Jellyhead. The Supernaturals. Love Joy And Happiness. August. Geiger Babies. The Delgados. Fuel. The Dolphins and The Limit Club — and this year a deal with Iona Gold Records means that tracks by all of them will be available on one CD. coming in October. All the winners. meanwhile. get to record tracks in a selection of Scotland's best studios — either The Brill Building. C aVa. Funny Farm. Heaven. Park Lane or Seagate — an opportunity they wouldn‘t have had otherwise.
I Still on the subject of studios and their availability to impoverished local musicians. the newly- opened Deep Blue claims to offer digital recording and editing facilities ofa standard that only high- price pro studios have boasted up until now. And all for £90 a day. Deep Blue is situated on the site of The Precious Organisation‘s old Pet Sounds studio. and is contactable on 041-946 3366 or 0860 622235. should anyone want to take them up on the offer.
I The Tennents live! In The Park Festival is shaping up to be the Scottish musical event of the summer. In addition to those already announced. Blur. Manic Street Preachers (Saturday). DzReam and House Of Pain (Sunday) have just been added. It’s a good bet there will be more names included before the weekend itself (Sat 30 and Sun 31 July). so keep watching these pages.
I You might have thought you'd heard the last of TTF‘s ‘New Emotion‘. but it‘s coming back in a variety of guises. thanks to a competition run by the mixing desk manufacturers Spirit. in a bid to reflect the changing face of music education in Scotland. students from a variety of courses — engineering-based to classical — have been given tapes of the track to remix in whatever fashion they please. The competition will. say Spirit. ‘give students the chance to operate in the real world of music‘. and the winning track will be released as a 12in single later in the year.
One of the more interesting concerts this fortnight happens at the BSAMD on Sunday 12 June when the Scottish Voices Trio present music by Kurtag, Bartok and Thea Musgrave. Initiated by Glasgow University’s Professor of Music, the Australian-born composer Graham liair, Voices is basically a trio of three female singers and Hair. ‘I started it in 1990, the year after I came to Glasgow,’ he explains, ‘and although the core is the three girl singers and myself, we also feature guest artists in most programmes.’ Soprano Jane Manning will be joining them in June to sing Kurtag’s The Sayings of Peter Bomemisza, a concerto for voice and piano. Also 7 performing will be Rachel Beckles : Wilson, a graduate of Glasgow University who returns to the city after g further study at the Liszt Academy.
1 ‘Their Kurtag will be the centre piece,’ says Hair, ‘then the core group — Alice Dumas, Amanda Morrison and Tracey , Wilson — perform the 27 Ghoruses for
? female voices.’ Soprano Amanda i Morrison describes the Choruses as
typical Bartok. ‘They start off quite straightforward,’ she says, ‘and then get more and more complex and bizarre.’
Although this concert is quite unusual in that the guest artist has a large part to play and is not local, the basic concept behind the group is one already known to liair from his work in Sydney. ‘I had a group there and so I had a repertoire on hand to draw from,’ he says. ‘Since then, we’ve added some Scottish pieces and there are more in the pipeline, including commissions by living Scottish composers.’ A comparison with popular music shows lots of all female groups there, but they are something of a rarity in the classical field.
‘There is repertoire - Brahms and Schumann, say - it’s just that you never hear it. But I’m certainly not the first composer to get high on female voices.’ (Carol Main)
Scottish Voices Trio, Guinness Boom, BSAMD. 100 Benfrew Street. Sunday 12 June at 8pm.
mi- Positive vibe
Despite the best efforts of The Boo Badleys to be seen anywhere and everywhere during their brief trip to Glasgow, Sound City, in April, it was Tottenham rap collective Urban Species who scooped the honours for Most Visible Presence throughout that week. As well as their engaging Tramway performance — let’s just hold up the old cliche ‘life-afflnning’ and be done with it — they conducted a series of community rap workshops in outlying areas.
‘We never set out to say “this is how you rap, kids”,’ says head honcho Mintos. ‘We just wanted to go up there and show a different side to a lot of preconceived ideas about what rap or hip-hop is supposed to be. Bap to me is poetry, so what we do is poetry on music, collate our thoughts to music, so we just wanted to get that across and talk about the history of rap and poetry and give some practical advice on the industry as well.’
Mlntos is far too polite to admit that most Glaswegians couldn’t rap if their weekly supply of Tartan Special depended on it, because that would be contrary to Urban Species’ caring, sharing ethic. like it or not, their summery soul and ragga grooves and avowedly positive lyrics (lots of
ennents Live! Ma
references to ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’) are being heralded as Britain’s polar response to gangsta rap’s predilection for Tellin’ It Like It Is. Urban Species prefer to Tell It How It Should Be.
‘I ain’t into this gangsta rap; it’s basically black people exploiting themselves,’ says Mintos. ‘You have to remember that rap never created society, it was society that created rap, but it’s time to turn around now. Hip-hop is universal now, there’s a lot of youths who are listening to this and want to live that life - the underworld, the drugs, the violence. But when you pick up a microphone you do have a responsibility; you’ve got to be conscious of what it is you’re projecting.’ (Fiona Shepherd)
Urban Species play King Tut’s, Glasgow on Wed 8.
um:- Saints alive
The carnival in Salvador. the capital of the Bahia region of Brazil. was for years dominated by trim elecrricos (white rock bands riding trucks). in the l97()s. the black response gave rise to the blm‘ns Afms. large groups of percussionists and musicians; sometimes up to a hundred drummers. singers and dancers. who now happily dominate the carnival proceedings.
A part political. pan cultural movement. with a component ofthe ancient religion. and assertively addressing its African roots. the blocos Afr-us movement is creating a new synthesis from the basic samba. absorbing juju and reggae while picking up on any related dance form in South and latin America.
()lodum are one of the best known bands from Bahia. Their leader Joao Jorge has expressed their underlying message. the confident restatement of their separate and African identity: ‘We are one as a civilisation. though many as continents and nations. It‘s in the way we sing. play. walk. wear our rings and bracelets. the way we ﬁght oppression and in the way we express our religious beliefs.‘
They took Glasgow‘s Tramway and Edinburgh‘s Ross Theatre by sound storm on their last visit. Twenty strong. with twelve drummers in line abreast. playing every sort of drum. rattle and hell. with dancers. singers and instrumentalists. and cross-rhythms ﬂying everywhere. ()lodum are an overwhelming experience. and an irresistible dance band.
You might remember them from the video and album recordings of Paul Simon‘s The Rhythm Of The Saints. but the band has to be experienced live. (Norman Chalmers)
()lodum play The Plaza. Glasgow on
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“The List 3—16 June 1994