Scottish composer Eddie McGuire’s five astronomy-inspired pieces of music have never been played before as a complete series. Tonight, to celebrate his 75th birthday, you can hear them together, introduced by astronomer Dr Anne-Marie Weijmans of St Andrews University.
The music comes in three films by Selena S Kuzman, featuring music recordings organised by the University. First comes the film Five Stars in Auriga, with trumpeter Bede Williams playing Big Bang and Orbit, and members of the Wallace Collection performing Auriga itself where each instrument represents a star in the constellation. The pieces of music are interwoven with stories from the Scottish Borders of lives connected by astronomy and space. Howie Firth tells of telescope maker James Veitch, astronomer and mathematician Michael Scot, scientist Mary Somerville, and writers Sir Walter Scott and John Buchan.
Then after a short break come Earthrise (symphonic poem for brass band), performed by the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland, and Symphonies of Galaxies performed by the University of St Andrews New Music Ensemble and recorded by staff and students from Fife College’s Sound Production courses.
On Saturday evening you can hear Eddie McGuire himself, along with Bede Williams and Ewan Robertson, in conversation with Anne-Marie Weijmans at the Orkney Club.
You can also read more about Symphonies of Galaxies in an article in Frontiers magazine by Eddie McGuire.
Tickets for tonights’s film performances £6 & £4 can be booked through this LINK.