‘The Night With…’ Contemporary Music Series Expands to 25 Concerts in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Hermes Experiment

‘The Night With…’ Contemporary Music Series Expands to 25 Concerts in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Concerts programmed by composer Matthew Whiteside to feature eight premieres performed by Hermes Experiment, Garth Knox, Ensemble Offspring, Duo Van Vliet, Ensemble 1604 and more.

Composer Matthew Whiteside has launched the fourth year of his contemporary music series ‘The Night With…’. Beginning in Edinburgh today, the series will consist of twenty-five concerts over five months, also visiting Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast.

The concerts take place in alternative venues such as the cafe of the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, the Hug and Pint bar in Glasgow, and the basement of the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen. Speaking to the Journal of Music, Whiteside said:

I was trying to design a listening experience that is welcoming and informal but where music is still central. The format for the evening is three fifteen-to-twenty-minute thirds. It has an emphasis on contemporary classical music but with a few pieces that are looking back.

The season begins with nine concerts of lunchtime and evening performances at the Made in Scotland showcase as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (starting today 13 August at 1pm). The duo of soprano Frances Cooper and clarinettist Joanne Nicholson will perform works by Rebecca Rowe, Stuart Murray Mitchell, Beck, and Whiteside, and the trio of Tom Poulson (trumpet), Danielle Price (tuba) and Timothy Cooper (electronics) will perform pieces by Stockhausen, Diana Salazar, Oliver Searle, Alistair MacDonald and Cooper. These concerts take place between 13 and 16 August.

On 20–22 August in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Duo Van Vliet (accordionist Rafal Luc and viola player Ian Anderson – a pairing named after Don Van Vliet AKA Captain Beefheart) will play work by Linda Buckley, Richard Greer, Cezar Duchnowksi and arrangements of Ae Fond Kiss and Captain Beefheart.

Studies and concert promotion
Whiteside, from Lisburn in Northern Ireland, began putting on concerts while a student of music at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2010, he moved to Glasgow to study composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He began ‘The Night With…’ series in 2016 with two concerts in Glasgow, followed by four the following year and adding Edinburgh. In 2018 he expanded to nine concerts and added Aberdeen also. This year is his most ambitious programme covering four cities and two countries. 

The concerts in September, October, November and December will feature Ensemble Offspring from Australia (who are in Europe for the Gaudemeus week), violist Garth Knox, London-based Hermes Experiment and newly formed Ensemble 1604. The groups and Knox will perform works by composers such as Jane Stanley, Olga Neuwirth, Matthew Grouse, Josephine Stephenson, Meredith Monk, John Dowland and Terry Riley.

Ensemble Offspring will also premiere a new work by Whiteside, composed for alto flute, bass clarinet, vibraphone and harpsichord. The new work is ‘quite rhythmically driven’, he says, ‘which is a rarity for my stuff. My music has been a lot more ambient recently.’

The appeal of concert promoting is much broader than having his own work performed: ‘I really like putting on concerts… I like being able to turn around to people whose music I love and say: do you want to write a new piece for this?’ For future projects, Whiteside is keen on presenting more US music. ‘I’m really interested in the music that’s coming out of New York at the moment, the music that’s on New Amsterdam Records.’

The upcoming twenty-five concerts will be recorded for a The Night With… Live album which will be released in early 2020. For full details on all concerts, visit http://thenightwith.com/

Published on 13 August 2019

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