north east scotland's festival of new music


sound performances attracted audiences of 5,503 and involved 558 people in talks and workshops as well as 769 schoolchildren. There were 68 performances in 32 venues, 23 open workshops, masterclasses and talks and 15 schools workshops.

2008 highlights

  • a Field Diffusion week with Kim Cascone, leading to an installation in the graveyard of St Nicolas' Kirk
  • an electro-acoustic event "Revolutions per hour" in the Lemon Tree including Kim Cascone, Scott Wilson, Darragh Morgan, Erdem Helvacioglu, Robert Scott Thompson
  • A concert with Sarah Leonard and Robin Michael in a stunning new venue – Portsoy Salmon Bothy
  • Two weekends of intensive events, one purely highlighting the saxophone, the other including concerts by the Smith Quartet, the Scottish Flute Trio, the Fidelio Trio...
  • Schools workshops involving 770 children
  • Commissioned or co-commissioned premieres: - Thea Musgrave's Taking Turns with the Scottish Flute Trio; works for massed saxophones by Andy Scott and Charlotte Harding; a new work for schools orchestra by Hywel Davies.
  • Community events and workshop days - a weekend of saxophone workshops and rehearsals with a final performance, involving 70 (mainly young musicians); other workshops included the 3rd Composers' Day, an improvisation day, a workshop on contemporary string techniques and a workshop on Arabic singing.


sound is an exciting festival of new music in North East Scotland, driven by the passion to make new music more accessible to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. We try to avoid pigeon-holing, wanting people to experiment and discover for themselves the different types of music that are out there today, taking risks to find out what they enjoy (or don't!). We hope to create a live music experience that leaves its audience eager to explore sound in new ways. We introduce this wide range of music and sound (classical, contemporary, improvisation, traditional, popular, jazz, experimental, ambient, sound art, electro-acoustic…) through a variety of events including concerts, talks, installations, and workshops.

Artists and composers involved in this year's festival include the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Sally Beamish, Kim Cascone, John Casken, Continuum, Edinburgh Quartet, Hywel Davies, Irene Drummond, Roberto Fabbriciani, Dave Fennessy, Fidelio Trio, Glasgow Improviser's Orchestra, Helen Grime, Rob Hall, Haflidi Hallgrimsson, John Hearne, Erdem Helvacioglu, Richard Ingham, Reem Kelani, Florian Kitt, Kungsbacka Trio, Pekka Kuusisto, Sarah Leonard, Chick Lyall, Paul Mealor, Robin Michael, Darragh Morgan, O Duo, Pippa Murphy, Thea Musgrave, National Saxophone Choir, Sax Assault, Andy Scott, Scottish Ensemble, Scottish Flute Trio, Robert Scott Thompson, Smith Quartet, South/Central Aberdeenshire Music Centre Youth Orchestra, Judith Weir, Scott Wilson, Roger Williams, University of Aberdeen New Music Group.

sound is the North East of Scotland's festival of new music. Following a pilot event, "Upbeat" in 2004, the first festival was launched in November 2005, and sound is now an annual event.

sound, an initiative of Woodend Arts Association in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen, operates largely as a network of local and some national organisations. The 2008 network also includes Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen Chamber Music Club, Aberdeen City Music School, Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Aberdeen Performing Arts, Angus Arts, Banchory Academy, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, danceLive!, Dizzy Storm, Deveron Arts, Duff House, Interesting Music Promotions, Inverurie Music, Jazz Aberdeen, Left Bank, Lunchbreaks at Cowdray Hall, Monymusk Arts Trust, Newton Dee Community, North East of Scotland Music School, Peacock Visual Arts, Scottish Ensemble, Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, South/Central Aberdeenshire Music Centre Youth Orchestra, Station House Media Unit, Strathdee Music Club, University of Aberdeen Music Prize and Woodend Music Society.


sound 2008 flyer