Artist James Cowan (born in Glasgow, Richmond-based) has commissioned Eddie McGuire to compose pieces as soundtracks to time-lapse videos of his artworks. A series of several artwork videos and triptychs is the result. Here are the latest collaborations:
Scottish Journey https://vimeo.com/878616266
St Ives: Elegy and Reflection https://vimeo.com/897879830
A London Suite: Southwark to Nine Elms https://vimeo.com/878619323
St Ives: Bowling Green to Porthmeor https://vimeo.com/880253813
Most of the earlier videos can be found on You Tube and here are some examples. With a score for wind quintet, The Leningrad Triptych explores a 1967 mural in St Petersburg celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The music score and the artwork video of the whole suite were completed in January 2021.
Earlier, the series began with three pieces for violin, clarinet and piano to compliment a triptych of paintings exploring St Petersburg which the artist James Cowan had visited, leaving him with vivid memories of the city. I had also visited in 1988, 2003 and 2017. The 3 pieces form 3 movements of a concert suite. The result was the St Petersburg Suite, completed in 2020:
St Petersburg Suite https://youtu.be/q3IGz0zahHY?si=YI-4nfkSzRzxyVmt
Another is a triptych of images of fire escapes in New York - again, following a visit by the artist - who is inspired by the carousels of the city in a third triptych. Composer Eddie McGuire had also visited New York (1996 and 2002). Another example is the Ulitsa Triptych:
Ulitsa Triptych https://vimeo.com/890808068
Further movements may be written for another set using violin, cello and clarinet in the score. The triptych movement using this instrumentation is also an exploration of St Petersburg in painting - as is The Prospekt Suite, completed in 2020:
Prospekt Suite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK7e8smJVZI
Other occasional scores have been composed for documentaries by McGuire. He composed and performed the solo flute score for the BBC TV educational series Let's See Orkney in 1978 (which became the flute & harp duet Folk Memories in Autumn). He wrote the score for Nineveh on the Clyde: The Architecture of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson directed by Murray Grigor in the 1990s (with the intention of expanding the score into a Harp Concerto). A flute and harp score was written for 'Spring' as part of The Seasons for BBC Scotland.