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High Heels and Horse Hair

For the last few months I’ve been working on a fascinating project with the provocatively named violin-cello duo High Heels and Horse Hair, who by day are known as Alice Rickards and Sonia Cromarty of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

I’m one of eight Scottish composers whom HH+HH have commissioned to write miniature duos evoking Scotland’s diverse plant life, and by extension the whole of its wonderful natural environment; the project’s title is Transplanted. Each composer has chosen/been given a plant to celebrate; mine, pictured here, is the unbelievably glamorous and photogenic Sundew (Drosera), an insect-eating bog-dweller. Plant scientists and photographers are also involved, and performances (all over Scotland in the coming months) will include visual projections of the featured plants. Sonia and Alice have put up a beautiful website, and if you follow any of the links in this post you will reach the informative Transplanted blog, on which I and all others involved have posted.

I have found my own interactions with Transplanted to be unexpectedly thought-provoking, and it’s been energy-giving to have worked directly with the performers through all stages of the commissioning and composing process. The first performance will be at Glasgow’s CCA on September 17th, with many more to follow.




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