Eye of Fire

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Wed 6 Dec


A bit of chat, maybe some music or the odd amusing anecdote from a celebrated soloist are all staple fare these days for pre-concert talks. Generally free, relaxed and informal, they are useful vehicles for preparing the audience for what they are about to hear. But a yoga demonstration? Far-fetched though it may sound, that is what you can expect prior to the ECAT and spnm (Society for the Promotion of New Music) Edinburgh date for Eye of Fire, a programme of new music for piano and string quartet touring to London and Cardiff, with the one Scottish date inbetween.

Put together by pianist, composer and spnm artistic director Rolf Hind, the Eye of Fire tour reflects his interest in yoga and meditation, as well as a personal desire to create programmes that are coherent and communicate with audiences. His piece, which refers to the third eye that, in Hindu tradition, can be discovered through meditation, and from which the tour takes its title, is inspired by 14 different yoga positions. A fairly recent convert to yoga, having taken it up almost four years ago, Hind is passionate about his subject matter. ‘The names are all so beautiful,’ he says, ‘and there is such a wealth of history and tradition, much of it associated with all sorts of powers.’ So, eschewing pre-concert convention, a yoga expert will be on hand with Hind in order to explore the meaning of the yoga positions and their relationship to the music. ‘The piece is about the way they actually felt for me. I really struggled and sometimes it freaks you out because they are so scary,’ he says. ‘But I like the idea of the pre-concert demonstration in that it teaches you about something else and also shows what it means to me and the music.’

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