Rising stars perform morning concerts in the Usher Hall

Tuesday 8th September 2015 12:20PM

Last Monday the Edinburgh Festival came to an official close with an impressive Fireworks Concert from Edinburgh Castle that was seen across the city, marking the end of another packed programme of theatre, dance, music and comedy. The culture didn’t disappear overnight though. The morning after, as the city was dismantling its festival venues and pop-up beer gardens, Live Music Now Scotland was launching a series of concerts in Edinburgh that will carry on through the Autumn, into the new year.

Emerging Artists is a programme of morning concerts, giving audiences the chance to and discover some great new talent from a selection of Scotland’s best young professional musicians.

This 2015 series got started on Tuesday 1st September with a concert from Ian Watt and Laura Sergeant, a classical guitar and cello duo. Laura and Ian met as students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They perform as a duo, as part of the bigger chamber group, The Dalriada Ensemble, and have toured with Scottish Opera. Both have a keen interest in period performance practice and also play the viol and lute together. 

The audience got the chance to watch the Sergeant Watt Duo perform from a special vantage point - sitting up onstage in the stunning Organ Gallery at the Usher Hall. After the concert, the audience went upstairs to  the café bar, for an informal ‘Meet the Artist’ session. 

The concert on Tuesday the 8th September will feature Ainsley Hamill and Alistair Paterson,  two young Glasgow-based musicians who have been performing together for almost six years. Ainsley sings Scottish traditional music in Gaelic and Scots, accompanied by Alistair on piano and harmonium.

“When people come to hear us play as a folk duo, I don’t think they really know what’s in store!,” says Ainsley. “Sometimes they are quite shocked - hopefully it’s a pleasant surprise though,” she says.

Part of their repertoire includes performing ‘mouth music’, or puirt à beul (literally ‘tunes from a mouth’), a traditional form of song native to Scotland. 

“Some people think it sounds a bit like Gaelic rap!,” says Ainsley. “It’s a really rhythmic, very syncopated style. It’s great to sing live, and people really seem to respond to it.”

Alistair will be bringing his harmonium onstage with him - in a Harris Tweed case, which he normally shows to the audience, and explains that his grandfather was a tweed weaver on the Isle of Lewis. It’s a good introduction to the ‘waulking songs’ - traditional Scottish folk songs, sung in Gaelic language by women while rhythmically beating the cloth against a table to soften it.

Ainsley, who was was a finalist in this year’s BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award, explains some of the Gaelic words in between the songs.

“Even listening to a song in English, it always helps to set the scene a bit and give some background. It helps to engage people and hopefully opens the door to this type of music, so they’ll want to go off and investigate it more.”

 

Tuesday 8 September 
Ainsley Hamill and Alistair Paterson | Gaelic and Scots song with piano and harmonium

Ainsley Hamill (song) and Alistair Paterson (piano) are two young Glasgow-based musicians who have been performing together for almost six years after first meeting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Both members of the critically acclaimed six-piece folk band Barluath (barluath.com), they also perform extensively as a duo. Ainsley was a finalist in this year’s BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award.

Emerging Artists Series, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, 11am-11.45am, £3 (on the door),  FREE to students/schools. 


Tuesday 22 September 
Laura Margaret Smith and Geoffrey Tanti | Mezzo-soprano and piano duo

Rising Scottish mezzo star Laura Margaret Smith met Maltese pianist Geoffrey Tanti while studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where they formed a great friendship. Here they perform John Maxwell Geddes commission A Castle Mills Suite, which features on Live Music Now Scotland’s 30th anniversary compilation album, Luminate.

To read an interview with the composer John Maxwell Geddes about the work, click here
Emerging Artists Series, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, 11am-11.45am, £3 (on the door),  FREE to students/schools. 

For further updates on upcoming concerts in the 2015 Emerging Artists series, please check the Live Music Now Scotland Facebook page for details. 

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