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Max Richter / Catriona McKay

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Tuesday 23rd January)

By • Feb 1st, 2018 • Category: gig reviews

Probably more commonly known for his film & television soundtrack work, Max Richter was here tonight performing his album ‘Three Worlds: Woolfe Works’ backed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

He first appeared on my radar around the release of ‘Waltz With Bashir’ for which he provided some of the soundtrack and around that time was labelmates with the likes of Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks and the Twilight Sad.

Because of that, he’s an artist that I’ve always wanted to photograph, though to be honest I’d rather it wasn’t in a concert hall.

This piece is full of sound samples and readings of Virginia Woolf’s writings. Beginning with a rare tape of her own voice and then read by actors, they set the scene before the music picks up and took over.

Richter flitted about between two pianos, various laptops and synths as the strings from the orchestra swirl and build. The stage lighting always moody.

It’s a bit classical, a bit electronic, very ambient and always atmospheric and slightly melancholy.

I’ve seen other artists perform similar types of work to this and never really enjoyed it, they lacked an orchestra.

Tonight I felt it worked.

It was also a lot louder than I expected.

Support for this gig was an unusual one. It was a piece with Scottish harpist Catriona McKay, usually of Fiddlers Bid, performing a kind of ambient soundscape piece.

It was made up of harp, atmospheric and brooding synths and various archive vocal samples of older voices talking about lost things, like bothies, crofting and fishing.

It was more likea sonic installation and probably would be out of place on any other night but if ever there was a night to perform it, it was this one.


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