Composition and arranging
Here are some examples of Gillian's work as a writer, though more can be found on her recordings and in her sheet music.
Together With Yourself At Sea Level
Gillian is so happy to have been awarded funding by Creative Scotland to record an album and print an accompanying book. The music is based around a 200 year old Erard Grecian Harp that lives in Hopistalfield House in Arbroath, Scotland, but is in essence a personal look at time, craft, identity and nature. Gillian has composed the music for harp and vocals with drums, bass, 'cello, fiddle, viola and lower brass, so the process has really made her push herself to write in a new way. The suite also reflects on health as Gillian lives with a rare genetic disorder that impacts her life profoundly and working through this music has been a process of finding great optimism i inn times.
The book will be available in the next few weeks, here on this site and the CD will be ready in autmn 2023.
The Sounding Board - a contemporary harp duet:
The Sounding Board was a specially commissioned piece for 2 harps when Gillian was invited to contribute to Sound Scotland's contemporary harp project The Aberdeen Harp Book. This is a fantastic resource with contributions from some of the country's top composers.
The piece is an exploration on the joy of duet playing, including some extended harp techniques, and the full score is available as a free download - here!
Gillian was over the moon when Scottish chamber group Mr McFall's Chamber commissioned her to write a piece for their Celtic Connections concert of featured Scottish composers. This is their performance. It is a piece which aims to explore and mimic the sounds of a busy hospital, an environment that Gillian find fascinating and to bring some levity, familiarity and humour to the environment the next time the listener has to spend time in a hospital.
Craft, part 2:
This is another performance by Mr McFall's Chamber and was part of Hands Up for Trad's Distil 8 concert. In their own words "Distil was established in 2002 to give adventurous musicians, whose main musical dialect is traditional music, the opportunity to explore a wide range of other musical styles and collaborate with musicians they might not otherwise get the chance to work with. The project opens up possibilities for a new kind of composer, working out of the folk tradition but moving freely and with understanding among the forms and sounds of other cultural traditions."
Writing for Distil is always a fantastic opportunity to work towards a deadline and committ to ideas that the composer wouldn't have the opportunity to explore otherwise.