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Strange Rainbow: Catriona Mackay and Alastair Macdonald + support @ Tunnels, 1st Nov


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As part of SOUND Festival, interesting music promotions and Deveron Arts present


Sunday 1st November 2009

The Tunnels, Carnegies Brae, Aberdeen, AB10 1BF. Phone (01224) 211121

Doors 8.30pm

Tickets 7 / 5 concessions

Available from Aberdeen Box Office (His Majesty's Theatre, Rosemount Viaduct or the Music Hall, Union Street) Phone 01224 641122 or http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com






Musician Catriona McKay is an internationally renowned master of the Clarsach (Scottish harp). Working with her musical partner, leading electro-acoustic composer Alistair MacDonald, Catriona explores the boundaries of her traditional instrument through experimental music and improvisation.

Catriona McKay and Alistair MacDonald's music incorporates the acoustic sound of the harp, the use of recorded environmental sound, and transformation of these sounds to create hybrid musical textures in composed and improvised performance. In the past their work has been performed and recorded in a variety of concert venues and recording studios. In this project they intend to take performance back into the environments where some of the source sound materials for the work were recorded. In performance, the environmental sounds present at the time of performance will become part of the work along with transformed sounds recorded in the same place but at different times, and the harp will be heard in the context of these sounds transformed not only by the laptop, but also by the natural acoustic of the woods.

The duo will work in a number of spaces reflecting not only the different acoustics of the forests (deep forest, marginal town forest etc.) but also the use and purpose of the places themselves (commercial, leisure, bio-diverse plantations). For this project, novel active recording techniques will be used - the recording will not simply be a document of the performances, but will be, itself, an actively 'composed' piece made in collaboration with composer Robert Dow. On the 2nd November 2008 Catriona and Alistair gave a performance in the Christ Church, Huntly, which was the first fruit of Catriona's residency at Deveron Arts. Strange Rainbow incorporated sounds drawn from the people, landscape and history of Huntly. Previous work by the duo includes The Salutation which recalls the herring fishing industry in Shetland in the 1930s and the Ap Huw Dialogues which draws on ancient harp manuscripts.



Alistair MacDonald is a composer and performer of electroacoustic music. His work draws on a wide range of influences reflecting a keen interest in improvisation, transformation of sound, and space. Many of his works are made in collaboration with other artists from a range of media, and explore a range of contexts beyond the concert hall, often using interactive technology.His music has won a number of awards including a Creative Scotland Award, and is performed and broadcast in the UK and abroad.

Current projects include Strange Rainbow, a live electroacoustic improvising duo with Scottish harp player Catriona McKay. He has also worked with Catriona on music for a silent film, Historien om en gut, for the Norwegian Film Festival, and Floe, a Celtic Connections commission, touring in March 2009.

Recent work includes Sensuous Geographies in collaboration with Sarah Rubidge; Silver Wings and Golden Scales, an installation in collaboration with Jennifer Angus; and SeaUnsea with choreographer Carol Brown and architect Mette Ramsgard Thomsen. Other commissions include music for The Paragon Ensemble, BBC Radio Scotland, Reeling and Writhing, the Australian ensemble Elision, choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh and Theatre Cryptic.


Fiona Soe Paing is a Scottish/Burmese composer and vocalist, and sings sometimes in Burmese, sometimes in English, but mostly in an invented "no man's language".

"....obscure electronica, minimal beats and exotic voice merging seamlessly with animated visuals to evolve into a mulit-media artwork. A track like the spooky and mysterious Behrot is akin to Mezzanine era Massive Attack, and strong melodies come through in the music too..." NEW ZEALAND HERALD


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