Ailie Robertson: RememberedImagined #1

New Years musings

A new year is always a good time to reflect on the last 12 months, and to look forward to new challenges ahead. It’s also a good time to look back at how the last year turned out in terms of creative ideas, and to look at what shaped and changed these ideas during the course of various projects.

The Remembered/Imagined project has been a very different creative process for me than normal. Although I do a large amount of collaborative work, this is almost all with artists from the music discipline, and the vast majority is with people I already have a strong relationship with, so working with a writer I had never met, let alone worked with before, was a very new thing for me. What also made it very different is that, whilst we spent our time in the archives together, other than that we have worked totally separately, with just occasional email contact.

Overall it’s been a really positive process, and it’s really challenged me creatively. I had certain musical ideas in my mind, but when I got the text from Rebecca it made me quite dramatically re-think all my previous ideas.

I’ve had to rethink how I consider the narrative aspect of the music, and how to address action vs thought in terms of characterising the music.

It’s also a big challenge for me to be dealing with spoken word – I’ve had to really think about how to balance the instruments against the voice, and to make the words be in the foreground, without merely writing ‘background music’ to underscore the spoken word.

It’s also difficult to think about how to pace the music – at this stage I have no idea how Angus Peter will deliver the prose, so that poses a challenge with regards knowing how much time the music needs to last! I didn’t want to resort to improvised passages if possible, nor endless repeat marks, so It’s required me to write in a much less rigid, more fluid way, with flexibility incorporated into the score.

So as we move into 2014, I now look forward to the first rehearsal of the piece, and finding out if it all works! Fingers crossed!

Previous Next


A site

Mr McFall’s Chamber is a registered charity: SC028348

Design by