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YouTube launch for St Mary’s Music School musicians

A new composition, Music For About 14 Musicians , written by composer and saxophonist Rob Hall and performed by junior instrumentalists at St Mary’s Music School, has gone live on YouTube.

The work, featuring photographic art by Susheila Jamieson, began as an exercise in style for a large ensemble class and built on Steve Reich’s classical minimalist work Music for 18 Musicians.

Music For About 14 Musicians features musicians from St Mary’s Music School Junior Ensemble:

  • Violins – Hester, Klara, Olivia, Lara
  • Pianos – Michelle, Connor, Connie, Katie
  • Brass/Winds – Oscar, Benjamin, Viktor

Rob Hall, who teaches clarinet and saxophone at St Mary’s Music School and also leads the Junior Ensemble, said:

‘Work on the project began just before Easter but since the school was closed for the summer term, we moved online and put together a condensed version for video during lock-down in June 2020.

‘Performers contributed their individual parts to the collective whole, which was no easy task given the stringent distancing restrictions in place which prevented the group from meeting and rehearsing together.

‘We were delighted when visual artist Susheila Jamieson agreed to be involved. I collaborated with her on a performance project in Edinburgh Jazz Festival some years ago and I felt her perceptive work would provide a supportive visual backdrop with the right aesthetic to compliment the music. ‘

Susheila Jamieson. a professional sculptor and arts educator based in the Scottish borders, said:

‘I am primarily a sculptor carving stone and would say that I am not musical as I do not play an instrument but I do like having my eyes and ears opened to new things and linking images with sound does that.

‘Most of the artwork that I do involves removing and shaping and it is intriguing to actually build experiences by combining sound and images.  My own work takes most of its inspiration from nature and the wider environment and result in artworks that are both sensuous and powerful. Like nature itself.

‘The images used in the piece are a blend of those that reflect the rhythm of our changing seasons and ideas of contained energy, awakening, slow and steady growth, strength, dying back and stored energy, and others taken around the coastal area at Prestongrange. These reflect both the constancy of the sea, tidal movements  as well as the past industrial character of the area now long gone. They are about how everything returns to nature. Nature prevails.’