Performances October - December 2018
The Tale of the Red Etin.
The Tale of the Red Etin - John Gourlay
Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, Sandra Taylor (narrator) and The Langtoun Singers (director Ella Wilson)
conducted by Graeme Wilson Première performance at Kirkcaldy Old Kirk, Sunday 16 December 2018
Click here to listen to 'Red Etin'
Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society gave 'Now fades the glimmering landscape' the first performance in its full
orchestral version on 2 October. This was the orchestra's first concert of the season in the
orchestra's home of Kirkcaldy Old Kirk.
A further performance of the original version for flexible ensemble was included in a concert by Edinburgh
University Composers' Orchestra for whom it was originally written. This was in the Reid Concert Hall,
Edinburgh, on Thursday 29 November and the performance can be heard on John's soundcloud page.
Click here to listen to 'Now fades the glimmering landscape'
Edinburgh University Composers' Orchestra
A new work, 'Capillaire Games' was premièred by Fife Youth Orchestra on Thursday 1 November.
'The Capillaire Minuet' by the eighteenth century Fife composer Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kelly.
Each section of the orchestra in turn is given prominence in a series of free variations on the melody
of the original.
Another première will be presented on Sunday 16 December when Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society will perform
'The Tale of the Red Etin'. This is a setting of a traditional Scottish horror story featuring a
narrator (Sandra Taylor) and choir (The Langtoun Singers). These two seasonal concerts at 2.00pm. and 4.00pm.
at Kirkcaldy Old Kirk are usually sell-outs; further details are available on the orchestra's website
Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society
Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society Schools Composition Project 2018-2019
The fifth composition project is now well under way with six young composers from Dunfermline High School and
The Waid Academy, Anstruther. Annie, Beth, Chiara, Dan, Orla and Shannon are writing trios which will be
performed by members of the orchestra at a special concert on Tuesday 26 March 2019 in Kirkcaldy Old Kirk.
Heriot-Watt University Composition Competition
John's piece O Columba
won joint first prize in this year's Heriot-Watt University Composition
Competition. The original version followed the competition guidelines and was 4-part choir
and 5-part mixed instrumental ensemble.
was then scored out and rehearsed on the 2018 Inchcolm New Music Ensemble course in
June and the première took place at Iona Abbey on Thursday 28 June conducted by Steve King.
Subsequent performances followed in Tobermory on 29 June and at St. Giles Cathedral,
Edinburgh on 30 June.
To listen to O Columba click here.
Inchcolm New Music Ensemble
Claude Debussy in 2018: A Centenary Celebration
Responding to a call for scores, John has written a piece Sonata No. 5 - Bon Soir, Monsieur Croche.
The intention of this call was to invite submissions for new compositions written for the forces
of one or other of the two smaller chamber sonatas Debussy left unfinished at his death in 1918.
John chose to write for the combination of clarinet, bassoon, trumpet and piano and the piece will form
part of the celebrations which are taking the form of a week-long symposium organised jointly by the
Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and the University of Glasgow -
John's piece Bon Soir, Monsieur Croche was workshopped at the Royal Northern College of Music,
Manchester on Wednesday 21 March and at Glasgow University on Friday 23 March. This was as part
of a week-long symposium organised by these institutions to commemorate the centenary of the death of Debussy.
In Manchester pieces by John, Nate Chivers, Kevin Leomo and Ronnie McNiven were performed by RNCM
students and workshop discussions took place under the guidance of staff Gary Carpenter and
Adam Gorb. In Glasgow the performers were members of the RSNO, the composers being the same
as above plus Ailie Robertson and Max Johnson (via skype from the USA).
John’s duet for flute and violin, Aquarelle, is to be included on a CD
to be issued at the end of July.
RMN Music put out a call for contemporary duos and trios last year
and John’s piece was one of those selected for the album. The
performers are Italian musicians P. Doronzo (flute) and C. M. Rizzi
(violin) and the recording was made at the Studio Cultura e Musica
G. Curci in Barletta in south east Italy.
Purchase/download details below.
click to listen: Explorations 21st Century Music for Duo and Trio
click here for: Amazon download link
Also available at: Spotify, Google play and iTunes