Concert to take place on board first flying Concorde

Concert to take place on board first flying Concorde

Lammermuir Festival hosts Peter Nelson's electro-acoustic piece

It stopped flying in 2003, but the chance to step aboard Concorde is still available, albeit without any possibility of zooming off to New York. It is only but one – but perhaps the most unusual – concert venue being used by the new Lammermuir Festival which takes place throughout East Lothian in mid-September. In celebration of the Festival, Edinburgh based composer Peter Nelson has been commissioned to write a new electro-acoustic piece of music to be premiered in what was the first flying Concorde and is now housed in Hangar 4 of the National Museum of Flight.

‘Concorde is a masterpiece of design and engineering but is actually very small inside,’ says Nelson. ‘In order in to go at high speed there are only two seats either side of the aisle. So it’s long and thin, which gives a sense of speed. There’s a lot of sound involved in Concorde, such as the enormous bang it makes when it flies past at supersonic speed.’

Thankfully, Nelson is not planning to recreate the supersonic bang as such, but is using imagery of the sounds around Concorde in his new piece, entitled Go!. ‘Concorde flies very high, above normal airspace, almost in space, where there are all sorts of other sounds going on,’ he says, ‘like the spaces between radio stations you used to hear before radios were so well tuned. It’s what you would hear if you stuck your head out of the plane.’

What that might be in the event, Nelson is keeping a secret, but he says, ‘Concorde is old-fashioned and I’m trying to use old-fashioned electronics to create a sense of nostalgia and the aura of vintage technology.’ Every member of the audience will have their own set of headphones and take-offs are scheduled for several times throughout the afternoon.

Go!, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, East Lothian, Sat 18 Sep, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm

Lammermuir Festival

The Lammermuir Festival presents great music in the picturesque surroundings of East Lothian, employing unusual locations (remote churches, the National Museum of Flight) to provide a backdrop for top-class chamber music performances. The 2018 festival includes performances from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra…

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