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New Stories - Year Two

30 Aug 2021

News Story

As we move into year two of the New Stories mentoring scheme, we hear from Associate Composer Anna Clyne and composers Gillian Walker, Electra Perivolaris and Georgina MacDonell Finlayson as they reflect on the past year and look forward to collaborating on a new suite for chamber orchestra.

Anna Clyne

"We are delighted to share that three composers, Georgina MacDonell Finlayson, Electra Perivolaris and Gillian Walker, will all be continuing with the New Stories programme during the 21-22 season. In the first year of the New Stories scheme they each created wonderfully imaginative compositions, inspired by storytelling, for a chamber ensemble. We look forward to seeing and hearing what they compose for chamber orchestra next year - this time inspired by poetry by women based in Scotland.

We chose to invite all three composers into the second year of the programme as they each have unique and very different musical voices. We were also struck by their collaborative and inclusive approach and this collaborative element will be an important part of next year's programme. I will meet with the composers monthly via Zoom from my home in New York, and they will also meet in person throughout the year.

Working with such excellent, world-class musicians as the SCO is an incredible experience and we are thrilled that Georgina, Electra and Gillian will share this experience and hear their music come to life. Stay tuned to hear some fresh music from these exciting emerging composers!"

"We chose to invite all three composers into the second year of the programme as they each have unique and very different musical voices."

Gillian Walker

"The New Stories scheme has been a rewarding musical journey for me. I’ve been able to work alongside my peers, Georgina and Electra, and the feedback we’ve exchanged between one another and our mentors, Anna Clyne and Janis Mackay, has been enormously insightful. Combining storytelling and composition has opened my eyes to new musical possibilities and made me consider my motivations for using interdisciplinary practice. Our discussions and our rehearsals with the SCO ensemble were extremely informative and inspiring and it was great to connect my musical and literary writing, which I had wanted to do for a long time.

I'm really looking forward to the second year as we continue to work with literature, specifically poetry. Being able to connect with our fellow contemporary Scottish poets and reflect on both our practices is extremely exciting, and it will be interesting to see what we produce next!"

Electra Perivolaris

"I believe that music has a power to connect diverse groups of people, from mixed social and cultural backgrounds. My first New Stories piece was influenced by musical traditions and storytelling traditions from my mixed cultural background of Scottish islands and Greek Aegean islands. It has been wonderful to work with Anna Clyne and Janis Mackay to develop my approaches to folk tradition and to the landscapes which inspire me. I have a particular interest in the connection between language and music and over the last two years I have written several vocal works for the BBC Singers and the Carice Singers, setting the works of Hebridean poet Donald S Murray.

I am interested in further developing my musical approaches to literature and am looking forward to working with the full orchestra, exploring the influence that poetry and literature can have on my compositional process."

Georgina MacDonell Finlayson

"I have always been fascinated by the intersection of music and narrative, and the interplay between music and stories which goes back millennia. Having this opportunity to explore storytelling and music-making through New Stories has been a real treat. During the initial stages of writing our stories, Janis helped us explore new ways to find the images and shapes of the narrative, through freestyle drawing and physical movement. It has been a pleasure to have been carried through our music-making under Anna's sensitive guidance, learning from her wisdom and experience in working with story and narrative.

Throughout the project so far there has been a real sense of collaboration, despite only meeting once in person. As a composer, often working in isolation, being able to work alongside Gillian and Electra, sharing our stories and process along the way, has felt so welcome, especially this year!"

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