A musical collaboration between Aberdeen and its twin city in France kicked off the 10th annual Sound music festival at the Aberdeen Music Hall at the weekend.
The collaboration brought together musicians from Scotland’s Red Note string orchestra and France’s L’Orchestre d’Auvergne to perform orchestral works created by both French and Scottish composers inspired by the World War I centenary.
The weekend event opened three weeks of performances across Aberdeen City and the surrounding Shire, with musicians playing a variety of music from locations like the Blue Lamp and the Belmont cinema all the way to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh and the community centre in Aboyne.
But the French connection for the Sound festival wasn’t just the orchestral performance.
Fiona Robertson, the Sound festival’s organiser, has been working with Agnes Timmers, the director of Sound’s sister festival Musiques Demesurees which takes place in Aberdeen’s twin city of Clermontt-Ferrand in France to show the cultural benefits of twinning cities.
Ms Robertson said: “The thing about twinning is if it’s going to be anything it has to be more than just a label.
“What’s really important about this is that it shows how the two countries can come together and really create something to give to audiences.
“What’s nice about this festival is that we feel that we’re both very much on the same level, and we’re both pushing it, which makes for a much better collaboration not just for the music but for the festival itself.
“It’s certainly very positive for Aberdeen, because there’s a lot of work going on at the moment to get Aberdeen known as something other than an oil city and bring culture onto the centre stage.
“Having a big French contingent of musicians makes it feel like a much more happening place and puts Aberdeen on the map.”
Ms Timmers said: “For me the important thing is that we are here to engage with all the people from Scotland and France that are involved in this project, and I think that is wonderful.
“When I talk about this project in Aberdeen to people in France they all get so excited and interested, and looking at the architecture, the streets and all of the people, I think culture has a big place here in Aberdeen.”