Calling young musicians in Aberdeen

The Call, by Esther Swift

sound is delighted to present a live music making event for young musicians using a covid-friendly composition written by Edinburgh-based composer and harpist Esther Swift.

This piece is based on the concept of a musical calling. Musicians call to each other, and around the world, letting the global community of music know that we have not forgotten each other. Using a small group of musicians gathered along a beach (at a social distance from each other), Esther conducts using specially made coloured flags. The piece works using a simple modular score and the group rehearse and work through the flexible score together as a group.

Practical Details

We will practice The Call with Esther and four professional musicians, then perform it on the beach in Aberdeen.

The project is suitable for young instrumentalists and singers aged 12-19 years.

This is for musicians who have played their instrument for a minimum of two years.

The event will be partly outdoors, so if you play an amplified instrument, we may need to talk about battery operated amps. Please be aware you will be using your instrument on the beach.


To take part you need to be available for the following sessions:

  • Sunday 6 June, 2-4pm, online meet and greet session
  • Saturday 12 June, 3.30-5.30pm, rehearsal, The Anatomy Rooms, Aberdeen.
  • Sunday 13 June, 10.45-11.30, performance on the beach, meeting at Fittie Hall. (Wet weather contingency plans are in place.)

We are not advertising the event to the public, it’s more of a ‘flash mob’ style event, but if you do take part, you are welcome to let family and friends know the time and location of the performance so they can come and watch.

Sign up

If you want to take part, you must sign up in advance here by Sunday 23 May. Further information and a score will be sent out in advance.

Some notes from the composer about how she came up with the piece:

During lockdown I spent sometime exploring the outdoors. There are beautiful and surprising natural acoustics, depending on the ground, the space, the humidity, and I started to notice sounds more acutely. I watched and listened to baby owls, I wrote poetry, I spent time with different friends experiencing different things, sunbathed with crows, and reflected on my extremely fortunate experiences of travelling the world with my music. As I reflected on my life I gained a new perspective in the importance of rituals of creativity and connection, most of all in the importance of music. I have been lucky enough to connect with people around the world through music alone; when I have not spoken their language I have still developed a deep relationship with them. I ache for those connections at this moment of separation here in the UK. I miss the unique bonds formed together in a room when hearts synchronise through the ebb and flow of a story, a sound, an action. I call to you - my friends from all the places I have been in my life, that I am still here though quiet and static, I still think of you, I create for you, I sing and play music for you. Do you hear me? Would you answer my call?

See a trailer form the original professional performance at the Hidden Door festival in Edinburgh here and here.

Supported by
The Gannochy Trust, The Robertson Trust, Aberdeen Endowments Trust, Educational Institute of Scotland and the David and June Gordon Memorial Fund