An education is rarely as much fun as this, and congratulations to Robert McFall for realising that the Creative Scotland-supported Distil project, which gives traditional music composers the resources of professional classical players to explore their ideas, needed its own showcase at Celtic Connections. Several more cheers for the fact that the bulk of the music played was written by women. Herald, four stars
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Renowned for their innovative approach to programming and stylistic plurality, Mr McFall's Chamber have been described as 'the jewel in the Scottish musical crown' (The Scotsman), and lauded as 'potentially the most important single development on the Scottish music scene for a long time' (The Herald). The ensemble plays a range of music from tango through jazz and rock to contemporary classical, taking in quite a lot besides. It consists of string quartet, bass, piano, percussion and sometimes vocals - and more as required. The group's aim is always to create new audiences, new music and new directions in music.