Mr McFall's Chamber

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 20 Feb; Tolbooth, Stirling, Wed 21 Feb



The eclectic Edinburgh-based ensemble open another new chapter in their cross-genre explorations in this ‘New Music from Newcastle’ project. Robert McFall was not only keen to get involved but recruit some local talent as well.

As a result, the band will be joined by Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell and her brother, fiddler Peter Tickell. Jazz saxophonist Tim Garland, a Londoner currently resident in the area, will also feature as both performer and composer, and the concert will include music by Bolivian composer Agustín Fernández, who teaches at Newcastle University.

‘They are all closely associated with each other, but come from three very different musical backgrounds - folk, jazz and classical,’ says Robert McFall. ‘Not that it’s as simple as that. Kathryn Tickell has collaborated with jazz and classical players, Tim Garland has worked with classical strings, and Agustín Fernández grew up in his native Bolivia playing in folk bands.’

McFall sees that kind of mix-and-match sensibility as the ideal foil for Mr McFall’s Chamber’s own wide-ranging interests, and also symptomatic of developments in Newcastle itself, as seen in projects like the Angel of the North, the Millennium Bridge, the Baltic Exchange and the Sage Centre.

‘We’ve always been about the breaking down of musical barriers, so helping music to cross the Tweed - either way - is something we would like to assist in. In a sense, the very fact that there is such a strong criss-crossing between these different musical worlds comes out of the current cultural confidence of Newcastle.’

In addition to music by these three composers, the group will also play Piazzolla’s ‘Soledad’ and Cuban composer José White’s ‘La Bella Cubana’.


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