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Red Note's Christmas 2020 Newsletter
Hello Everyone!
As we all know, it has been a strange, testing and unsettling year, but somewhat against the odds we have finally made it to the end. Hooray! We hope you are all doing well despite the rigours and calamities that have beset us, and that through it all, Red Note's occasional musical endeavours - served digitally - provided you with some new music respite from the realities of the situation.

One of the silver linings we are very grateful for has been the unique opportunity we have had to connect with composers and audiences across the globe as we all watch and listen together to the new works being premiered through Digital Noisy Nights (see below). It’s been incredible to be able to greet new friends each week from South America, from Sweden, from Singapore and from all across Europe and North America as they tune in to these little slices of creativity that we served up for 12 weeks over the summer. We hope that all these new connections thrive in the New Year, and that we all remember to raise our eyes to the horizon to connect with our friends around the world, even as we feel, sometimes, that things are closing in around us going forward.

So, as always, we like to use this newsletter opportunity to look back on the best experiences from 2020 and to look ahead at the exciting projects coming up next for Red Note. I - personally, as CEO - would also like to use this opportunity to pay tribute not only to the players who have worked with us, and the composers who have written for us, but to the sometimes unsung but totally dedicated staff of Red Note - Robert, Katja, Louise, Rocio, Becca - and our very cool, calm and collected Board - Celia, Fiona, Angus, Chris and Ian - who have guided us through what could have been not only a traumatic, but also potentially catastrophic year with very steady nerves and calm consideration. Thank you, very much, to you all.

We will be closing the office for 2 weeks over Christmas for a much needed restorative holiday to refill our batteries for a promising 2021. We hope you can join us online for the time being, and we very much hope to see you again in person for live events next Spring.

From all of us in the Red Note team, we'd like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and our Best Wishes for the New Year!

John, Robert, Katja, Louise, Rocio, Becca and everyone at Red Note x
2020 Highlights...

In February, we culminated the workshops of the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship outside of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for the first time in what was our last live performance with an audience this year. Red Note & MusicLab took on the music-theatre piece by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Eight Songs for a Mad King, with Opera student Oskar McCarthy in the role of the Mad King, and conducted by fellow Teresa Riveiro Böhm. The special performance at Cottiers theatre also featured works by Mark Simpson, Harrison Birtwistle and new works by students Sean O’Callaghan and Rylan Gleave.
"There was surely far too much good work in this staging of a fifty-year-old masterpiece for it to remain a one-off." Keith Bruce, The Herald

During lockdown, from April to August, Digital Noisy Nights brought you the best examples of brand new music played from scratch from the homes of Red Note musicians directly to yours. In 3 series we have streamed 12 concerts, premiering 60 new pieces by 53 composers from around the world. You can still watch them on your own time on our YouTube channel, so plug in your earphones and enjoy! 
In addition, Fridays@3 provided a space to discover, discuss and enjoy contemporary classical music together online. During 8 sessions we released unseen performances, recreated John Cage’s iconic 4’33”  in a mass-participatory performance, and delved into our favourite Delphian Records albums with the added bonus of meeting the composers. 

In September, we were delighted to go back into the recording studio at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to play 6 new pieces by Aidan Teplitzky, Filip Holscky, Graeme Law, Isaac Philips, Katrin Klose, and Tom Green.
These new works were due to be performed last May at PLUG, the annual festival of new music which showcases the best works from the next generation of composers.

After Summer, we had great hopes to welcome socially-distanced audience back to live performances, which finally wasn't possible but we were glad to come together in the beautiful Óran Mòr in Glasgow for the first Noisy Nights Hybrid, celebrating the talent of young composers who are still in school. You can still enjoy these six brilliant compositions and meet the next generation of contemporary music composers on our YouTube channel. 
Autumn in Scotland is synonymous with soundfestival and, despite the challenges of the pandemic, we were delighted to take part with two online concerts: 
  • sharing new works for flute and electronics created during Sound's composers' development programme by Rūta Vitkauskaitė, Rylan Gleave, Georgina MacDonell Finlayson, Fiona Harrison, and Amit Anand Vamanacharya.
  • performing the world premiere of 'Th’first munth is th’wurst iv awl' (the first month is the worst of all) by Ben Lunn, drawing upon prison letters from radical voices across the globe;
"Lunn’s work is beautifully structured: nine movements in three groups of three, with an Overture and two Electronic Interludes, and it builds its smaller elements into an impressive edifice." Keith Bruce, VoxCarnyx
Looking beyond performance...

At Red Note, our work developing younger musicians and composers is as important as our more high-profile performance work. Although we haven't been able to work as closely with schools, pupils and community groups as we would have liked, we have kept in touch to plan an inspiring programme in 2021. In the meantime, we have also been busy with...

Go Compose!: this edition was delivered entirely online in October, led by composers Ailie Robertson and Naomi Pinnock assisted by Electra Perivolaris, in partnership with sound. Red Note musicians Robert Irvine, Katie Wilkinson and Chris Gough joined from Glasgow to support the young composers through Zoom to develop their own compositions. 

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-22: We are thrilled to have been awarded as a host organisation.  The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 programme provides a step-change opportunity for talent from socio-economic backgrounds that are currently under-represented across the arts to develop and thrive. We are working hard devising a stimulating year-long Fellowship for an early-career creative professional. We will be supporting them to grow their skills and experience through work across our exciting 5 Places programmeWatch this space for the job advert in January!
Next up in December...

To wrap up the year, Noisy Nights come back for another hybrid edition with these outstanding musicians: Tom Hunter – Marimba, Greg Lawson – Violin, Robert Irvine – Cello. In this second Noisy Nights Hybrid we are showcasing the talent of emerging, amateur and student composers:

Colin Johnson Juxtapositions
Yaz Lancaster Firn
Florence Anna Maunders Khashab Mahtam
Dan Nolan Unstable Cycles
Gabriel Stenborg Persistensia
Tune in to the concert on our YouTube channel on Friday 18th December at 6PM and join us in waving goodbye to 2020 with some of the best new examples of contemporary classical music.
Share and engage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #NoisyNights
If you enjoy this and are in a position to do so, we hope you will consider making a donation to Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund:  Thank you!
Coming up in 2021...

To kickstart the year we will be joining soundFestival in their second digital adventure at the end of January 2021 (Thursday 28 – Sunday 31) - here is a sneak peek at the programme, save the dates!
Saturday 30th January
This festival edition has a focus on the horn as part of sound's programme showcasing endangered instruments. We are looking forward to working with Richard Watkins (horn) in this concert performing a new adaptation by Philip Cashian alongside two new commissions from emerging Scottish composers:
Philip Cashian, Scenes from the Life of Viscount Medardo
Aileen Sweeney, Feda
Rylan Gleave, UNSUNG II; even from a loved one
Sunday 31st January

We are delighted to be joining sound in their commitment to fair access. This concert will showcase recent works from talented composers on the autism spectrum:
Ben Lunn, Trio Sonata 
Rylan Gleave, Permanent Address
Joe Stollery, The Skene Obsession
Siobhan Dyson, Long Sharp Winds
Benjamin Teague, Miniatures
Still looking for Christmas gift ideas?

Red Note Ensemble is part of the Living Wage movement, committed to paying our staff a wage that meets the real costs of living. This Christmas you can support Living Wage accredited employers across the UK with the Living Wage Gift Guide!

Red Note offers you a selection of the best contemporary music to enjoy at home:

Eddie McGuire Entangled Fortunes
Kuljit Bhamra Reels to Ragas
John McLeod Moments in Time
The Cellist of Sarajevo: Chamber Music by David Wilde
Lyell Cresswell Music For String Quartet

Kathy Hinde wins the Ivor Novello Award for Sound Art

Our warmest congratulations to Kathy Hinde for her recent award at the 2020 Ivors Composer Awards for her piece Twittering Machines. The Ivors Composer Awards celebrates the best new works by UK composers writing for classical, jazz and sound art.

Red Note are thrilled to be working together again with Kathy on a new music production for children under 8 years old which we’re hoping to premiere in Scotland next year prior to touring.


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Red Note Ensemble Ltd · Room 136, Artist Block, Summerhall · Summerhall Place · Edinburgh, EH9 1PL · United Kingdom

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