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Fruitmarket Edinburgh Unveils New Music Festival, Deep Time
Patrick Clarke , November 3rd, 2023 10:53

The new festival of experimental music takes place later this month


Edinburgh contemporary art space Fruitmarket has announced details of a new festival of radical and experimental music, called Deep Time, bringing together a number of composers, musicians and improvisors with curation by Katherine Tinker.

The concept of deep time was developed by the 19th century Scottish geologist Charles Lyell, and promoted viewing time on an immense scale far-surpassing the human era, shifting our understanding of the Earth and the impact of human activity. The artists curated by Fruitmarket have been invited to engage with related themes, not least the ongoing climate crisis. Tickets for individual nights are free or pay what you can with a suggested donation of £10, or you can book a four night festival pass by donating £25 here.

The festival will premiere two new commissions. The first, on November 16, comes from the multi-award-winning Croatian composer Sara Glojnarić, whose piece seconds, minutes, hours, eons was commissioned by Fruitmarket and the collective p.e.r.s.o.n.a.l.c.l.u.t.t.e.r, and explores the concept of deep time through a multi-disciplinary performance that combines a concert, scripted reality and musiktheater, and jumps from the Big Bang to Brexit through the perspective of a post-internet millennial.

That evening will also see performances of pieces from Berglind María Tómasdóttir, Esin Gunduz, Jenni Hogan Gregor, Jennifer Walshe and Jessie Marino.

The second commission closes the festival on November 19, and is from Dundee-based Japanese composer and improvisor Shiori Usui, who has composed a new piece for Plus Minus Ensemble that was written during a residency at the Charles Lyell Collection at the University of Edinburgh. The collection spans almost 100 years, and includes his journals, sketches, letters to figures like Charles Darwin and his wife and fellow geologist Mary Horner Lyell, and geological specimens including meteorites, flint tools, rocks and minerals. The piece draws particularly on a rock specimen from Lyell's collection which carries the impressions of raindrops from millions of years ago.

As well as Usui, that evening includes pieces from Liza Lim Inguz, Davíð Brynjar Franzson, Laurence Crane Riis and Bernhard Lang.

Shiori Usui, photo by Richard Lea Hair

On November 17, there is an evening of improvisation brought together around the theme of deep time featuring pianist Pat Thomas, percussionist and multi-disciplinary artist Angela Wai Nok Hui, and cellist and improvisor Simone Seales.

November 18 sees the Scottish premiere of Claudia Molitor's Polymer Hauntings, performed by Yshani Perinpanayagam and Katherine Tinker – a requiem to fossil fuel written for one of its most day-to-day visible manifestations, plastic, and piano as part of a programme titled 'Provocation Vs Play' that will also include works by George Crumb, Njabulo Phungula, Max Syedtollan, Gillian Walker and Uri Agnon. Syedtollan and Walker will present world premieres of their latest work.

The festival will also include a conversation between Fruitmarket's Glojnarić and Kate Molleson, the presenter of BBC Radio 3's New Music Show and author of the award-winning Sound Within Sound: A History Of Radical Twentieth Century Composers.

Deep Time will take place from November 16 to 19, 2023. Find more information here.