Hinterland Music, St Peters Seminary Cardross Building, News, Frank Spedding, Rory Boyle Scotland
St Peter’s Seminary Architecture: Light Show + Music Composition by Rory Boyle, Scotland
24 + 18 Mar 2016
Hinterland Music Commission
Location: just north of Cardross, nr Helensburgh, Scotland
Hinterland at St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross
So we enjoyed our evening visit to Hinterland at St Peter’s Seminary, but felt slightly underwhelmed, the show seems too reliant on the architecture. We were lookng to be moved, but the visuals and music was all fairly background and a light touch. The visceral feeling of say a nightclub or a football stadium wasn’t felt here, but if you were after intellectual or artistic vitamins instead of emotional upheaval there was also little to stimulate. It didn’t pull at the heart as say their Storr (Skye) event. There are narratives relative to the Catholic church, Modern architecture, the woods (think of how Twin Peaks developed deeper layered themes such as the owls) which seemed under-exploited.
Overall it was a pleasant experience and interesting to revisit this stunning architecture at nightime, and NVA are to be thoroughly congratulated on their efforts both recent and forthcoming in making positive change at this important building. You got the feeling the organisers had had a lot of fun developing the route and the staging and we got the impression people enjoyed it but weren’t blown away by it. However we only spoke to a handful of people so would love to hear from people who have different views!
Adrian Welch / Isabelle Lomholt
Scotland’s Festival of Architecture was launched with a sound and light performance at one of the country’s most famous Modernist ruins.
Isabelle and Adrian from e-architect attended Hinterland and posted a brief report online.
St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross will host the first of 10 shows to mark the start of the eight-month long festival.
The Hinterland event is being staged 50 years after the college for Catholic priests opened near Helensburgh.
Now an A-listed ruin, arts groups hope to make it a viable venue for music and theatre performances.
Neil Baxter, secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), said the Hinterland programme would be an unforgettable experience:
“Bringing together an extraordinary, sculptural, modernist ruin, music and creative magic within a unique, historic woodland setting, Hinterland is a superb launch event for our year-long, Scotland-wide, Festival of Architecture. It also presents a vision of how Gillespie, Kidd and Coia’s long-abandoned masterpiece might be reinvigorated to the benefit of the local community and wider Scotland. This sell-out is the first must-see highlight of this very special festival. It will endure long in the memory as a special moment.”
4 Mar 2016
Hinterland at Cardross Seminary
A reminder of this RIAS Festival of Architecture 2016 Headline Event:
‘Hinterland’, St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross, 17 – 28 Mar 2016
Public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s most iconic modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened:
“Audiences will walk through the atmospheric, semi-ancient, woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle and performed by St. Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.”
Hinterland Music Commission
9 Feb 2016 – Amidst the stunning, brutal, modern architecture of St Peter’s Seminary, audiences in March will discover aspects of the degraded building highlighted and animated through light installations, projection and sound elements.
The contemplative heart of Hinterland is a composition by one of Scotland’s finest composers Rory Boyle. Rory has recorded the work with St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews, trumpeter Bede Williams and percussionist Tom Lowe, then joining in the studio with Alistair MacDonald to manipulate the sounds electronically and matrix them to different parts of the building .
Rory Boyle’s connection to St Peter’s Seminary Cardross goes back to his first composition teacher at what was then called the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Frank Spedding.
In 2006 Rory met Murray Grigor, the film maker who was remaking a retrospective shot-for-shot black and white version of the seminal film he had originally shot in colour in 1972 called Space and Light about St Peter’s Seminary. Murray was seeking the music of the original film which it transpired was by Frank Spedding. Rory stepped in to find the music and restore two missing passages and went on to conduct the music live at the premiere in 2009.
Image by Tom Paterson
Rory Boyle said, “What struck me so forcibly at the time was how Frank’s wonderful score was prescient in the way that it matched the abandoned and ruined building so perfectly as well as the original structure.
“In Space and Light, Spedding had cleverly used the plainsong chant Veni Creator Spiritus to reinforce the sacred elements. When I was commissioned to write the music for Hinterland, I felt I wanted to keep the historical musical thread by also incorporating Veni Creator Spiritus which weaves its way through the 25 minute score. I knew that the St Andrews Choir was going to be a central focus but I also wanted to use the sound of the trumpet as well as some discreet percussion, and these three elements make up the core of the music.
“It has been a fascinating journey for me and I am so looking forward to seeing how the sound and the visual elements will come together in Hinterland. To have been able to have, in some way, continued the journey started by my inspirational mentor Frank Spedding, has been an honour and a comfort – I hope that he would have approved of the work I have done.”
Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (designer), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective – Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations).
Hinterland will mark the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture from 18-27 March, at St Peter’s Seminary near Helensburgh. Book now at www.hinterland.org
Images by Alan McAteer
Copyright © 2016 NVA, All rights reserved.
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RIAS Festival of Architecture 2016 Events – A Headline Event
‘Hinterland’, St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross, 17 – 28 of March 2016
Leading public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s most iconic modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened. Audiences will walk through the atmospheric, semi-ancient, woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle and performed by St. Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.
e-architect directors will attend Hinterland and report back to our readers.
Website: RIAS Festival of Architecture 2016
St Peters Seminary : Cardross Film
Space and Light : Portrait by Murray Grigor of St Peter’s Seminary
Space and Light Revisited
As part of the Book Festival and as a trailer for Brian Dillon’s talk, Filmhouse is screening Space and Light Revisited on the seminary of St Peter’s Cardross on 22 Aug 2010 : see Glasgow Events
Space and Light 1972 & Space and Light Revisited 2009 – World Premiere
Films by Murray Grigor A two-screen presentation with a live performance of the film score.
Date: 21 Sep 2009
Venue: RSAMD, Glasgow
Space and Light was a wordless portrait of St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross. With its haunting score the film captured the flow of spaces and play of light in a day in the life of this modernist masterpiece, Space and Light Revisited – supported by a Creative Scotland Award – is a painstaking shot-by-shot recreation of the original film, made earlier this year in the now derelict rubble-strewn husk.
The score will be conducted by Rory Boyle – a protégée of the film’s composer Frank Spedding – and performed by musicians associated with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Hinterland – BBC article
Space and Light : PDF – 640kb
St Peters Seminary : Letters
Cardross Seminary article in full
Cardross won the RIBA Architecture Award, 1967
Scottish Architecture : best scottish buildings of the last three decades
Glasgow Transport Museum
photograph : Alan McAteer
Glasgow School of Art
photo © Adrian Welch
Comments / photos for the Hinterland Music Commission – St Peters Seminary Cardross page welcome
Hinterland Music Commission Building – page