Noisy Nights

John Harris

John Harris

Although it sounds like it’s something to do with closing time at the weekend, Noisy Nights is actually a Monday evening happening all about new music. Taking place in the bar of Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, performances will be of new scores which allow composers to hear their work performed live by the top-notch professional Red Note Ensemble. The idea grew firstly from theatre bar based nights where playwrights could hear extracts of their work read aloud by professional actors. Something similar evolved for music at Glasgow’s Tron and when Traverse artistic director Dominic Hill raised the idea with instigator John Harris, Noisy Nights was born.

‘We put out a call for scores about two or three months ago,’ explains Harris, ‘inviting people to write for the slightly odd combination of violin, trombone, clarinet and vibraphone.’ It’s an unusual quartet, but it doesn’t seem to have put off both budding and more experienced composers. ‘We’ve had almost twenty submissions,’ says Harris, ‘and whittled them down to ten pieces, each one lasting around five minutes.’

Some people have written site specific works, with one composer requesting a layout plan of the bar. ‘The quality is high,’ says Harris, ‘with some really good, pithy scores. I love that they have come from all over the world.’ Music getting an airing comes from Italy, Greece and the US, as well as more locally. No money changes hands and public reaction is everything.

Each Noisy Night will consist of two sets of new pieces, compered by Harris, and rounded off with a left-of-centre DJ set. ‘It’s eclectic, but focussed on people getting their music heard without putting on any pressure.’

Noisy Nights, Traverse, Edinburgh, Mon 23 Feb

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