Paragon Ensemble – The Spirits of Sounds at the Teenage Fair

CCA, Glasgow, Wed 29 Jul

Paragon Ensemble – The Spirits of Sounds at the Teenage Fair


The title comes from the Dusseldorf group of which Wolfgang Flür was drummer prior to joining the German band that pioneered popular electronic music, Kraftwerk, in the early 70s. Still very much active in electronic music, Flür would surely be fascinated by his old band’s place, albeit a somewhat oblique one, in the inspiration of a brand new, cutting edge, online interactive composition system. Commissioned by Paragon Ensemble from Glasgow-based artist Simon Yuill, The Spirits of Sounds at the Teenage Fair is, says the group’s Creative Director, Ninian Perry, ‘very exciting. Simon has created a programme for us, using sample sounds and graphic interface to make it a rather unusual commission.’

The sounds have been recorded in sessions with la grande dame of percussionists, Heather Corbett, and singer Hanna Tuulikki. ‘I’m interested in the combination of voice and percussion,’ explains Yuill, ‘and they produced a vocabulary of sounds which we are using in the samples.’ The percussion is mostly tuned – marimba and vibraphone predominantly – with the voice of Tuulikki crossing over into their territory. ‘Hanna, who has a folk background but is interested in experimental singing styles,’ says Yuill, ‘is sometimes deliberately imitating the vibraphone.’ Perry describes her voice as ‘flexible, wonderful. She’s a great singer.’

In a workshop the day before the performance, members of the public can compose their own pieces using Yuill’s software. There is also the potential to unlock musical creativity in hundreds of school students through Paragon’s educational use of the programme. As Perry says, ‘It is a great fit with our policy of commissioning new Scottish works and at the same time helping people to make their own music. It will allow any web-user to put together their own piece, no matter where they are in the world.’

The Spirits of Sounds at the Teenage Fair

Simon Yuill leads a workshop in his interactive composition system. Email for more info.

The Spirits of Sounds at the Teenage Fair

Workshop in which Simon Yuill introduces the public to his interactive composition system. Go along and compose your own music by selecting combinations of sampled sounds that can be arranged into structured musical forms through a visual graphic interface. And there's even a chance that it will be heard in tonight's…


Post a comment