s'r iviAnv’s MUSIC SCHOOL St Mary's Church. Haddington, Thu 20 Mar; Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, Mon 24 and Tue 25
They've just emerged from the rigorous demands of HM inspectors with glowing praise, topped the academic league tables for Scottish independent schools, and yet the tiny St Mary’s Music School is still very much a young thing. Celebrating its 30th birthday, the School premieres The Little Drummer Boy, 3 new work specially commissioned from Georgian born but Edinburgh based composer Marina Adamia.
‘lnitially’, explains project coordinator Hazel Sheppard. ‘it all started out quite small, with a private individual interested in commissioning something modest. But then we thought that it would be more appropriate to involve the whole school and now it's huge.’ From listening to Adamia's music, the commissioner was drawn to the Georgian folk tradition used in her existing work, but, says Sheppard, ‘the new piece sounds nothing like Georgian folksongs!’
Written as it for professional instrumentalists, the piece is based on the 19th century legend that tells of the little orphan boy sent down to explore the tunnel below Edinburgh castle. Making his
way through the underground passages of the Royal Mile, he beats a drum to let the city fathers
know his progress. On reaching the Tron kirk, the beating suddenly stops, never to resume and the passage is blocked up. ‘All 68 pupils are involved, as chimney sweeps, town criers or plague children in full costume,‘ explains Sheppard.
King Tut‘s, Glasgow, Sun 16 Mar; Venue, Edinburgh, Tue 18 Mar
'1 "(2 recent success of uplifting ‘.'.’(,‘".r\' "ess from the likes of the Po ,pnonic Spree and the
P gi'i‘ "g Lips Suggests that the « ds :i'e fed up With whining, aid looking for a bit of pop
sa nation The timing COLiidn't be tretter for Athlete. cos the Dept‘ord foursome are a cheery bliiic't, something they've already bee." cnastised fOr by some face-tripping Journalist.
‘I read that we're too happy' says the band's smiling bassst Carm' Willets. 'l was like. flipping 'eck. don't mind that as a criticsm. I mean. we‘ve been n a band for years. we've iust go: signed and we're dOing what aways wanted to do. Life's really good at the moment.'
W:ilets says ‘tlipping ‘eck' a lot
and prattles like an excited sc'oolpoy. w:th good reasoi‘. HE.T.'1.'79 scored top 40 success with their debut Single. 'YOu Got the Style'. the band then spent last year tour ng their bollocks of‘. supporting the likes of the aforementioned Spree and Doves. They're now heading out on their own, promoting their debut album. Vehicles 8 Animals. which s0unds like a Super Furry Beta Band Gomez. or‘ry witl‘. Sunder tunes.
For Willets and his pa'id'nates. who Only got signed 18 months ago. its been (tune a ride already. ‘lt hit me the Friday atte.r we got Signed' he says. 'I used to be a gardener. and that day it was tipping it down and treeZing cold. but I was nice and warm cos I'd gut after getting signed. l thOught. f.ipping 'eck. I'm in a proper band now.‘ iDOUQ Johnstone;
Athlete happily hunt for another patronising journo
48 THE LIST 1.3-2“ Mar 2003
‘Marina has dealt with it by moving through several centuries, finishing with the sounds of present day street scenes.‘
Whether it’s the busy cathedral choristers giving include musicians Garry Walker, Steven Osborne their voices a rest through the discipline of mime
He bangs the drums
or the gifted instrumentalists in unconventional techniques, The Little Drummer Boy represents a new departure for St Mary’s, whose past students
and Susan Hamilton. (Carol Main)
Cafe Cossachok, Glasgow, Sun 23 Mar
Hundreds of people during Cafe Graffiti's golden years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe have been gobsmacked by the astonishing musical empathy and sheer technical brilliance of Russian trio LOyko. Fiddler Oleg Ponomarev. now based in Glasgow. explained the reason behind LOyko's demise. and the future of new trio Kesha.
‘We had been together for more than ten years. Loyko was playing more than 200 concerts a year. all over the world. and it became very like a factory. We were playing the same things again and again. there was so little tinie to rehearse anything new. so eventually I went to the guys. and it turr‘erl out that they were all feeling the same way. and so we decided to call it a day. We were all on good terms. but it was time to go Our separate ways -- to Moscow. Berlin, and in my case Glasgow. where i wanted to play. to do something new. with Lev Atlas.’
A mainstay of the ainuSingly and irnmodestly-titled Russian Cultural Centre of Glasgow's Cafe Cossachok. Lev Atlas is the brilliant prirtcipal JlCia player of the Scottish Symphony Orchestra. but like Oleg. his roots are in the great folk traditions of RuSSia.
‘He's a really serious classica: prayer. but his own folk music is from a more SOuthern tradition'. says Oleg. "The Ukraine. Moldavia — closer to Gypsy traditiOns like those from Spain. I'm. from the north ‘DFOUghi ur, "ear Vladivostock. then Moscow;. ‘and with music. the dose you get to the equator. the hotter it gets - the closer to the pole. the steadier it gets. the no“: compressed. So we're playing this muSic which s full of the Balka' and GypSy. and KleZmer. It's right l-" the middle of what's called folk world '
And using only two fiddles and one guitar lNigel Clark of the Scottisr Guitar Quarteti. the imminent album reveal Kesha's compelling musical rescurcei‘ulness as they explo'e the limits o.‘ the acoustic trio format. ‘I don't know many bands] says Oieg. play, rhythm on the fiddle. use them tor perCUssiOn and accon‘ipanmeht. use the guitar as lead, and then swap it all apput. The potentiai lS not wholly understc d.' 'Norinari Citafmersi
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