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North-east’s Sound Festival to return at end of January, with performances from across the globe

The French contemporary music group, The Ensemble Court Circuit will perform at Sound Festival in January 2021.
The French contemporary music group, The Ensemble Court Circuit will perform at Sound Festival in January 2021.

Artists from all across the world will create music together from afar when a north-east celebration is held online at the end of January.

The 2020 Sound Festival was held over the internet with live-streamed videos for the first time as a result of the pandemic.

In typical years, the event includes performances, talks and more at various venues across the north-east, but the online-only festival instead invited the whole world to enjoy the music in 2020.

After a successful initial run in October, the festival is now preparing to host another weekend of live and pre-recorded events via YouTube from January 28 to 31.

It will feature live concerns, films, artist question and answer sessions, and a special conference focusing on composers and autism.

The event’s director Fiona Robertson said: “Sound Festival has always been a place where musicians from across the world come together.

“For the second part of our 2020 festival, we are delighted to present two exciting international groups, Ensemble Court Circuit from France, and the Brandon University New Music Group in Canada who will partner with Scotland’s Any Enemy group.

“The Ensemble Court Circuit concerts will include the world premiere of a new horn trio that Sound has commissioned from Tansy Davies, and of Philippe Hurel’s Cycle Traits.”

Ms Robertson said the 2020 festival is focusing on horn performances, as part of efforts to help boost the profile of the instrument in modern music.

She continued: “Our focus on the horn, which is part of our showcase of endangered instruments, will also include the world premiere of Philip Cashian ‘Scenes from the Life of Viscount Medardo’ for horn which we co-commissioned with our associate ensemble, Red Note.

“The piece will be performed by one of the UK’s leading horn players, Richard Watkins.

“We are also going to be treated to a concert of pieces for horn performed by the Rookh Quartet.”

Ms Robertson added: “Over the years Sound has also been advocating for greater support for musicians and composers with disability, commissioning and showcasing new works.

“In January we will host a major online conference led by one of Scotland’s up and coming composers, Ben Lunn, which will highlight the challenges faced by composers with autism.

“As part of the event Red Note will premiere new pieces by five composers on the autistic spectrum.”

Find further details on the Sound Festival website.

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