Welcome to Tectonics Glasgow

How can an orchestra, the 19th century beast, be more radical and experimental? Is it possible? This is one of the questions that started me on a journey that led to the Tectonics music festival, the first of which was staged last year in Reykjavik.

Tectonics Glasgow brings together musicians from different worlds and backgrounds for an audience that’s open and ready for new experiences and surprises. The festival will include young composers and pioneering figures, chamber music, orchestral music and electronic performances. It’s also a very personal project for me as I have worked with many of the guest artists in other situations and some, like Alvin Lucier, are heroes of mine. Lucier is one of the great figures in experimental music, and the weekend will feature some of his rarely played orchestral music, piano and cello works with electronics, a new work for 2 guitars, an installation and a solo performance from Lucier himself.

It’s important for me that Glasgow-based artists and musicians are part of the line-up too. Having worked in Glasgow for over ten years, I’m aware of the incredible range of musicians and artists in the city and it’s exciting to bring them together with some major international names.  

And I have been performing contemporary repertoire with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for more than a decade, so they are the perfect partners for this radical project that I hope will continue in the years to come. This year will include 5 orchestral World Premieres (3 of which are BBC Commissions) and it’s an exciting opportunity to hear how flexible this orchestra can be, as it reshapes, resizes and creates different sound worlds across the weekend.

The contrasts and changes of atmosphere over the two days will be unique: from the soft sounds of Feldman and the vocal and nature sounds of Hanna Tuulikki’s new piece, to the powerful electric guitars of Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O’Malley and Stuart Braithwaite. We are using all three spaces at City Halls plus the foyer areas. The audience will travel from one space to another experiencing a diversity of styles and genres, from the deep meditative sound of Lucier to the explosive and ecstatic music of Dumitrescu, two true originals of contemporary music. This surely will be an adventure for us all.

Enjoy yourselves.

Ilan Volkov, Principal Guest Conductor, BBC SSO

Tectonics Glasgow is curated by Ilan Volkov
with Alasdair Campbell