Tales from the Dark Side
Gordon McPherson, composer
Scottish Flute Trio
The Music Lab
“Trauma? There is a little more to say. How easy it is to suppose that McPherson’s music “represents” trauma, that it “depicts” traumatic experience. (What comfort there would be in this: a trauma seen from a distance.) But in doing this we do music a disservice, we jumble categories and practices, we mistake one art for another: an art of representation for an art of the actual. Music is a performing art, and however abstract and mediated it might be, it lives and thrives in what is actual, the reality of its production. Real breath, spit, fingers, lips, back and arms; real physical and mental control: the real possibility of an error, a trip and a collapse. Risk, uncertainty attend every performance.”
“McPherson, and other composers at the RSAMD, cite the tradition of pop and rock performance – the overtness of bodily and collective commitment, the noise, the vibrant (the compelling, the frightening) extortions of sound, pulse and rhythmic drive, and ask, can these be found in the concert hall? Where, in carpeted, air-conditioned environs of official, institutionally sanctioned culture, is the pulsional body, the thrown body, the hubris? How is the skill and accomplishment of the performer parenthesised? How can the prodigiously endowed contemporary musician be made poor? This CD has three examples of how this is accomplished.” - Dr. Martin Dixon (from the liner notes)
Spiricom was recorded at the Academy Concert Hall, RSAMD, Glasgow, 10th October 2007.
Waltzer was recorded at the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio, RSAMD, Glasgow, 5th November 2007.
Bloodshake was recorded at the Academy Concert Hall, RSAMD, Glasgow, 12th November 2007.