Composers Craig Armstrong and Calum Martin have embarked upon a new collaboration, which began as a meeting of ideas with a mutual, long-held belief that there was a special project to be written, looking at the unique spiritual tradition of Gaelic Psalm singing.
About Craig Armstrong
Craig Armstrong OBE is a Scottish composer of orchestral music, electronica and film scores. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 1981, and has since written music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta. His score for Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet earned him a BAFTA for Achievement in Film Music and also an Ivor Novello. Armstrong also collaborated with the director on his musical Moulin Rouge!, winning the 2001 American Film Institute’s Composer of the Year award, the Henry Mancini Award from ASCAP and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and a BAFTA. Armstrong was also awarded a Grammy for Best Original Score in 2004 for the biopic, Ray. His opera The Lady From The Sea for Scottish Opera won the Herald Angel award at the Edinburgh International Festival and most recently Armstrong was commissioned by the Organ Reframed Festival at Union Chapel to compose a new work with the London Contemporary Orchestra, titled Painted In White.
About Calum Martin
Calum has been involved in Gaelic Music for most of his adult life in one capacity or another. He has recorded as a solo artist with the release of two all Gaelic albums: The Megantic Outlaw in 1983 and Gael Force in 1988 before commencing a new career as a full time Gaelic Music Instructor in Primary and Secondary schools on the Isle of Lewis in 1992.
A further three Contemporary Gaelic Albums followed in 2007 with a reworking of the Original Megantic Outlaw Album as well as “ An Dealachadh” from 2010 and his latest Album “Frayvn” released in 2015, all these recordings were in collaboration with musicians from both Scotland and Nashville.
Calum has a special interest in Gaelic Psalm Singing and was involved in producing the highly successful Salm CDs Vol 1 & 2 which explore the unique sound of Gaelic Psalm Singing in its natural setting as well as the Salm & Soul CD which was recorded live at Celtic Connections in 2005 exploring the connection between American Gospel Music and Gaelic Psalm Singing.
In addition, he continues to teach Gaelic Song in various workshops on the island including the Feis movement, as well as teaching Gaelic song and Gaelic Psalm Singing in various places such as St Louis Missouri and Ireland.
About the Scottish Ensemble
The UK’s leading string orchestra, Scottish Ensemble (SE) inspires audiences in the UK and beyond with vibrant performances which are powerful, challenging and rewarding experiences. Based in Glasgow, SE is built around a core of outstanding string players who perform together under Artistic Director Jonathan Morton. The group is becoming increasingly known for its international collaborations with artists from other disciplines, from dance and theatre companies to visual artists.
Starting in 2014, their series of annual cross-artform collaborations has so far included immersive projects with: visual artist Toby Paterson; Swedish contemporary dance company Andersson Dance; electronic-classical crossover composer Anna Meredith and visual artist Eleanor Meredith; and, most recently, Scottish theatre company Vanishing Point on a production centred around the music of Arvo Pärt.