Transforming Communities

If it wasn't for their wellies…

Live Music Now Scotland is thrilled to announce another commission in 2014 with the 'If it wasn't for their wellies' project, co-commissioned by 14-18 Now, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions.

Drawing on the shared heritage, memories and impressions of war of generations of families in communities associated with the North British Rubber Company, which supplied the British Army with vital supplies such as rubber boots and fire hoses, 'If it wasn't for their wellies' brings together Edinburgh's older residents with Live Music Now Scotland singers and pianists under the charge of composer John Maxwell Geddes.

Following Live Music Now Scotland's unique compositional model, Composing with Care, piloted in the 2013 Luminate Festival on five islands in the Scottish Hebrides, source material from older people was gathered by LMN Scotland soprano Emma Versteeg with accompanist Maryam Sherhan and alumni Phil Gault, baritone, with accompanist Geoffrey Tanti. They performed at older people's venues and thereafter engaged residents in discussion surrounding WWI and the role the North British Rubber Factory played in it. Hours of extremely interesting memories, stories and songs were then passed to Maxwell Geddes who used this as a stimulus and inspiration to create the new suite of songs.

Mezzo-sopranos Jemma Brown and Laura Margaret Smith will premiere the new song cycle on 1 August in the care homes and centres which inspired their composition as well as at a number of public events.

As with all our commissions, the songs will have a life well beyond the project end with musicians incorporating them into their performances across Scotland and beyond.

The full programme of activities being supported by 14-18 NOW can be found here.

Pictured: John Maxwell Geddes, Photo Credit : Alan Cameron.


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