Hebrides Ensemble - The Millennium Songbook

Glasgow: Royal Concert Hall, Wed 2 Feb; Edinburgh: Queen's Hall, Thu 3 Feb. This new century, probably more than any other in the millennium that has just passed, is one which begins with a wealth of Scottish composers creating new music across a wide variety of styles. In gathering together five of them to contribute to a new Millennium Songbook, soprano Irene Drummond is not only giving due recognition of what has been achieved in the past, but also marking a milestone for the present and opening a musical door to the future.

‘The idea behind the Songbook’ she explains ‘was to have an entertaining collection of short works which would give us a snapshot of what is happening

now.’ Five composers - some of whom, such as David Horne and Sally Beamish, have written for Drummond in the past - representing five different generations, have each written a new song which will be performed by Drummond and varying members of the Hebrides Ensemble. ’I wasn’t too prescriptive' says Drummond, ‘in that they could choose whatever text they wished, as long as it in some way reflected their view of the new millennium.’ The songs will be performed alongside Dohnanyi's Sextet for clarinet, horn, string quartet and piano, so instrumental scoring was restricted to these instruments. ‘They’ve all come up with totally different ideas’ says Drummond, ’which really let their

personalities come through.’

Selecting the composers to write for the Songbook was difficult. At first, Drummond had a dozen on her list. Narrowed down to seven, it was still too many. 'The hope is, however, to add to the Songbook in the future,

Vocal about the new millennium: Irene Drummond


but for now, we wanted to get people at different stages of their careers and as wide a view as possible.’ While Beamish's song takes inspiration from the folk tradition and, coincidentally, weaving industry oi Drummond’s home village of Kilbarchan, teenage composer Helen Grime, who currently studies at the Royal College of Music, has taken a more intense, metaphysical approach for ’A Vision’ by Henry Vaughan. Craig Armstrong's setting is ’starry and glitzy, really glamorous’ says Drummond, 'and while David Horne’s is chirpy and quirky, Lyell Cresswell’s is hysterical.‘ She describes his setting of a gospel number entitled ’The Heavenly Aeroplane' as ’a jazzy thing that's all over the

Each song lasts between two and four minutes and,’ says Drummond, ‘I think that they will work together. But we won't really know until it happens. It should be an exciting surprise for us all.’ (Carol Main)


Every fortnight, we spotlight

musical innovators. This issue: 'roundbreaking local record labels

Uber:Disko and Platoon Records.

Those names again? Uber:Disko Records and Platoon Records, a joint venture between Uber:Disko and the Mighty Apollo Recording Studio in Glasgow.

And it's based . . ? Both labels are based at the record shop of the same name, Uber:Disko Records, 36 Cockburn St, Edinburgh. Established? Both labels were established in 1996.

40 THE lIST 20 Jan—3 Feb 2000


By? Record shop manager and musrc producer Barry Fraser; DJ and producer Michael Kilkie and Jason Famous (Apollo Recordings).

Why and wherefore? Uber:Disko was established because they were fed up of being messed around by other labels and Platoon followed with the intention of its being ’a haven for deep, dark, progressive trance and also to make music we like'.

Define that sound without using the word ‘eclectic.’ As far as Uber:Disko is concerned it’s hard to pigeon hole,’ says Fraser. 'Lets say hard house and trance, but we’re open to suggestion. Platoon is straight, deep, progressive house and trance.‘

Who's tethered in their stable? Uber:Disko houses Fool Boona and Atomic Babies while its neighbour Platoon rents rooms to Elias, Kayashi, Louis Cypher, Jaya and Elevate.

And their first bona fide hit? Fool Boona’s ’Popped' was the closest so far, a track picked up by Virgin Records no less.

Any donkeys? No, all releases go through a rigorous quality control process.

Any throwaways that they now regret No, see prev10us.

Rising star Elias.

Finest hour 'We're still waiting’. Current releases to look out for On Uber:Disko, Doug Barkin's 'Tonto', due for release at the end of January. On Platoon, Jaya’s Subterranean EP and Elias's Mortal and Mano De Piedra. What's coming up? On Uber:Disko, there’ll be new tracks from Fool Boona, Atomic Babies and Michael Kilkie in the coming months. On Platoon, watch out for new releases from Elias, Louis Cypher and an after-hours chill out LP from the Analogue Assassins. (Catherine Bromley)

Surface noise

The latest ranting, panting and chanting from the world of music IDLEWILD ARE THE guests of honour at Soundbase, a one day music initiative hosted by Dundee City Council. The free event aimed at young musicians, DJs and bands, hopes to help local talent through practical advice and workshops. For tickets call 01382 432244. ldlewild round off the proceedings with a gig at Marryat Hall, unveiling a new five- piece line up and songs from their forthcoming album 100 Broken Windows. Tickets for the gig, priced £6.50 are available from 01382 434940.

TALKING OF SPECIAL guests, Dodgy are the guests of honour as they play at the first semi final for this year’s National Student Music Awards. See listings for details.

FOR THE COMPETITIVE minded among you, BBC Music Live are running a battle of the bands contest, the final of which will run during the festival in May. Send entries to The Untapped Talent Competition, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TG by 6 Mar. BELATED THANKS GO to classical music specialists McAlister Matheson Music of Grindlay Street, Edinburgh for the kind loan of the photograph of Gian-Carlo Menotti for last issue’s preview.


THE BEAT ROOM add Billy Childish to their number of notable visitors with his band Thee Headcoats playing at 92 on 21 Feb.

MOBY'S DATE AT the Garage on 4 Feb has been rescheduled to Sat 26 Feb. Original tickets are still valid for the new date.

NANCY GRIFFITH TEAMS up with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera for a solo date at the Royal Concert Hall on 1 Jun.

ALSO ANNOUNCED ARE Youssou N’Dour at the Royal Concert Hall on 5 May; Stiff Little Fingers at Barrowland, 17 Mar; Harry Connick Jr at the Royal Concert Hall, 17 Mar; Nitin Sawhney at King Tut's, 15 Mar; Hugh Cornwell at 92, 18 Mar; Muse at The Venue, 17 Feb; Rachel Stamp at The Garage, 25 Feb; Younger Younger 28’s at King Tut’s, 26 Feb; Cinerama at The Venue, 20 Feb and Violent Femmes at The Garage 7 Apr.

See Book Now section on page 48 for details of ticket outlets.


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Coming soon: Youssou N’Dour