Edinburgh Festival 2017

17 March, 2017

The World Premiere of 'Staffa', a collaboration with Gerry Fox, for orchestra and three large screens, is being performed by the BBC SSO (conductor Martyn Brabbins) at the 70th Anniversary Finale Concert of the Edinburgh Festival (August 27) and as an installation in the National Library of Scotland (August 17-27) with score recorded by the RSNO (conductor Jean-Claude Picard). Excerpt from press release:

Created by BAFTA and Grierson award-winning filmmaker Gerry Fox and acclaimed composer Ned Bigham, Staffa pays homage to Mendelssohn's famous 1829 visit to the haunting Fingal's Cave on the Hebridean island by exploring the unique hexagonal, basalt column formations of the interior of the cave and its surroundings. Whilst inspired by Mendelssohn’s journey, the work is new and ground-breaking.

Supported by Creative Scotland, Staffa will be presented prior to the finale concert as a three-screen quadraphonic installation, with music recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, at the National Library of Scotland from 17-27 August.

Using pioneering drone-mounted footage in three contrasting weather conditions; sunny, rainy and stormy, Gerry has been able to depict three simultaneous visions of the uninhabited island. Scored for full symphony orchestra, celeste and two harps, Bigham’s music dramatically evokes the different moods and the marriage between sound and image is unique and magical.

Gerry Fox said: "It has been an incredibly rewarding journey collaborating with composer Ned Bigham. We have captured the vastly different moods and conditions of Staffa to create a spiritual voyage around the distinctive cave and its beautiful surrounding landscape.”

Ned Bigham said: “Composing music across three different atmospheres which are projected simultaneously has been a great challenge. Both Gerry and I have strived to create a narrative which draws the audience in and reaches the inaccessible.”

The music will be available on CD in September on Aruna Records.