First performed at the 2019 Glasgow Cathedral Festival (GCF), Dhatu by Edwin Hillier has been announced as the winner of the Electroacoustic / Sound Artwork category in the fourth annual Scottish Awards for New Music.
The Awards, whose winners were announced on 14th April, are described by Creative Scotland as celebrating ‘Scotland’s creatively ambitious and vibrant contemporary music scene, showcasing some of the most innovative, experimental and ground-breaking work taking place in Scotland’. This year’s call for entries received over 300 nominations, submitted across 12 categories.
Hillier’s new work was given its premiere as part of the GCF’s inaugural late-night concert, Twilight in the Crypt, presented in collaboration with Glasgow Experimental Music Series. Commissioned in line with the Festival’s mission to bring life to Glasgow’s oldest building, Dhatu placed audience members at the heart of the mediaeval cathedral’s crypt, enveloping them in music from singers, percussionists and electronics, manipulated by grainy analogue dictaphones.
Andrew Forbes, the Festival’s Artistic Director, commented, ‘Our audience loved the immersive power of Dhatu. It was a pleasure to work with Edwin to create this unique event in the cathedral crypt. I am delighted that our first major new music event has been received so well, and that the New Music Scotland judges have recognised Edwin’s uniquely intense compositional voice with this award’. Edwin Hillier, the piece’s composer, added, ‘Dhatu was a really special project for me as an artist. Very much a site-specific piece, it was composed in synergy with GCF and Glasgow Experimental Music Series, not only with the beautiful architecture and acoustic of the cathedral in mind, but also GCF’s audience. I was thrilled with the performance, and am honoured to have received a New Music Scotland award.
Image: Dhatu by Edwin Hillier performed at Glasgow Cathedral Festival 2019. Credit David Lee / GCF
A 1:47min mp3 audio excerpt is available here: