In 2018 soundfestival presented over 40 new music events in unusual and iconic venues across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as well as a number of pop-up events, talks, workshops and open rehearsals, showcasing the variety of innovative music being created today.
The festival celebrated the viola as part of a 5-year focus on endangered instruments in a series of performances, workshops and installations.
Violist and composer, Garth Knox, was in residence throughout the festival giving a number of performances including the UK Premiere of a work for viola d’amore by Oscar Strasnoy. The concert featuring Red Note Ensemble also included the Scottish Premiere of an RPS Award-winning work by James Dillon, Tanz/haus: triptych 2017.
Other viola highlights included: a new work for six violas from leading composer, Sally Beamish, who also performed in its World Premiere alongside other leading viola players including Garth Knox, Nic Pendlebury (Smith Quartet), and Stephen Upshaw; a new version of Thomas Tallis’ Spem in Alium by Nic Pendlebury where the forty vocal lines are replaced by forty electric violas and are played through individual speakers giving the listener a unique aural perspective of the work and an awareness of the sheer beauty of the contrapuntal writing and its extraordinary spirituality; and a viola day with Garth Knox where viola players of all ages and standards are invited to take part in a multi-viola ensemble.