Published on June 27th, 2017 by gavin

De Profundis Premiere by Tullis Russell Band

Members of the Tullis Russell Band are now in the final preparation stages for what will be a truly remarkable world premiere performance of a new music entitled, De Profundis written by John Wallace CBE.

De Profundis is based on the 19th century plain chant hymn by Sir Henry Walford Davies. The performance is part of the 2017 East Neuk Festival and will take place at Bowhouse Farm near Anstruther on Sat 1st July. The performance has already sold out despite additional tickets being released for public sale.

A spokesperson for the band told A4B: ‘Getting ready for the performance has given the band many challenges, firstly that we had to provide 50 plus players, and as some bands struggle to get 25 players for engagements at this time of year providing 2 bands plus has been a struggle, but we have got there with the help of a few friends from around Fife. The players will be randomly placed in the venue which is a massive potato barn which has been converted for the show. The barn will be in the dark with atmospheric lighting and haze machines running, so trying to watch a conductor is nearly impossible so the performance is also being directed by signals from percussion and light effects.’

The De Profundis is a continuous work and features poems written by former miners and a recording of a Blackbird in full twilight song intertwined within the performance, and the sell-out audience will be invited to walk around the venue in between players as the performance progresses. The 50 plus players are also being joined by the Wallace Collection brass ensemble.

A TR spokesperson told A4B: ‘At first, the band really didn’t know what to expect, but as the rehearsals went on it has become very apparent that the players are about to be involved with a once in a lifetime type performance, and are really looking forward to it, the music itself is not difficult although absolutely stunning, but its all about the timing, the first two bars are repeated randomly for over 5 minutes as the band will start playing just as the doors to the venue are opened to allow the audience in to the darkened space , the performance also has adlib sections with players doing multi-phonics, air blowing and valve clicks so the end performance will be truly a one off.’

Members of the band were invited to the BBC last week where music from the performance and interviews with players were recorded for the BBC Radio Scotland programme​, Classics Unwrapped. Although the event is now sold out, family and friends are being invited along to a free showing during the final dress rehearsal this Thursday 29th June 8.00pm at the Bowhouse Farm, St Monans, Anstruther KY10 2DB.

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