Sunday, October 22, 2006

Acoustic Triangle - A Concert Review

Stirling Castle
Originally uploaded by sasseymills.
First - here's their website:

Second - here's some info on the Castle:

Third - WOW! What an amazing concert in an amazing space, the acoustics were perfect. Here's the intro blurb from the program:

" Tonight's concert features the world premiere of a suite of 8 pieces composed by Gwilym Simcock and Tim Garland. The compositions, which have been commissioned by the Chaplaincy to the Arts and Recreation, will be performed alongside readings of the specially chosen pieces of poetry and prose which have inspired them."

I think Brenda and I were the only 2 people there that were not actually part of the conference and there's a story right there - so let me begin.

The concert was to start at 9:30PM and as mentioned above was being held in the Chapel Royal in Stirling Castle, which is in the town of Stirling. So we needed to hop the tube and then catch the train to get to the town of Stirling. We arrive in town at 8:30PM and it's pitch black night. Now it's been about a year and a half since we were last year and we're trying to remember which way to the castle. We find a map in the train station but of course none of the streets are straight and it's all a bit confusing. We know the castle is at the top of the hill, but because it's night we can't see the hill. My strategy is "there must be signs, let's just walk".

And there were signs pointing the way so we made it up through the Old Town, past the cemetery to the parking lot and we can see the cars parked from the conference attendees. However, as we are walking through the parking lot we can both see ahead of us what looks like the main gates, but they seem closed. We are both trying to remember if there is another entrance. Just as we get up to what would have been the old drawbridge (it is a castle after all) the rain starts, that really heavy wet misty rain - so much for good hair. We get to the main doors and they are very much closed. It feels like something out of a Monty Python sketch with King Arthur coming up to the castle held by the Taunting French Knight.

These doors are about 6 inches thick and there is no big knocker, and my wee knuckles hardly make a sound. So here we are, two lost girls from Canada, locked outside the castle walls. I looked over and see a long piece of iron that seems to be connected to something on the other side of the door. I jiggle it, twist it and nothing much seems to happen but then I give it a big tug and a bell rings on the other side and we can hear a voice on the other side saying "Yes?". Brenda calls out "We're here for the concert?", and a little door within the door opens up and a head pops through and it's the security guard and he lets us in. But we have to sit and wait on the ancient stone bench in the archway as he calls on his walky talky to someone else to come and get us.

We are led to the Chapel Royal, but we are early so we can wander around and look at the space. Andrew pops in a few minutes later and introduces us to Malcolm Creece (the bass player) and walks us over to the banquet hall to take a peek.

So we just mill about waiting for the dinner to be over and the concert to start. As mentioned above it was fantastic. When the suite was over the trio was given a standing ovation and they performed an encore of Miles Davis 'Blue in Green'. Just a lovely night.

As we were heading back to Jen's car to come home Brenda mentioned about how wonderful/strange it felt to be wandering around this ancient castle without a thousand other tourists about. Very cool.

FYI - this picture of the castle was taken August 2005 the first time I was there

No comments: