In February 2020, our Associate Artist Michael Begg brought his Black Glass Ensemble to a Queen’s Hall audience for the first time.
Under the cry 'Arise from the Twilight', Begg introduced his astonishing group of classical players and electronic experimentalists. The evening proved a magical, moving, thoroughly beguiling combination of musicianship, laptop trickery, singing satellites, weather systems and ice floes.
Then Covid struck, and the lockdown followed, and for a time there was silence.
But a double shortlisting in the 2021 New Music Scotland Awards very suddenly brought them back into the light. 'Be Mine In Patience', was an ambitious undertaking involving 104 guest musicians contributing remotely from over a dozen countries to help Black Glass realise their 'Endless embrace' in B minor; the musical key historically associated with patience and fortitude.
In September, Begg and Black Glass stepped back into live performance by marking the opening of our new installation and performance space with a live interpretation of 'Be Mine In Patience'. The hypnotic combination of structured chamber performance with electronic processing and innovative improvisation captured our hearts all over again.
So it is with great delight that we welcome back Michael Begg and his Black Glass Ensemble to the Queen’s Hall stage.
'Light Water Is Black Water' is the result of a commission from the Ocean ARTic partnership of People Ocean Planet (an arm of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland), Blue Action EU and Creative Informatics. Begg worked with scientists in Germany and Scotland, harvesting research and data models to construct extraordinary new musical works that immerse the listener deep into the complex rhythms, patterns and the fragile balance constantly at play in the Arctic.
The work was previewed during COP26 as an online broadcast, and is premiered here, fully realised in all its glacial beauty, alongside incredible Arctic expedition footage from filmmakers Andy Crabb and Michael O. Snyder, and introductory readings by scientists Lukrecia Štulić, and Sian Henley.
Michael Begg, Black Glass Ensemble
Supported by Creative Scotland