Press Release: Mike Vass/Mairi Campbell The Dead Stations
11th January 2016
Mike Vass and Mairi Campbell collaborate on exciting new project and tour
Scottish musicians Mike Vass and Mairi Campbell have joined forces for the exciting new creative project The Dead Stations, which is touring Scotland in early 2016.
The Dead Stations combines live music, recorded audio drama and animation to tell the thrilling tale of what happens after a passenger alights at a deserted train station in a forest. The show is inspired by a train journey on a remote rail track, and by abstract ideas about Little Red Riding Hood.
Award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Vass has composed the music for the project. And in his first serious foray into songwriting, Vass has written the two stunning songs, Sleepless and Eyes Fixed, especially for the project. Vass’s last album In The Wake Of Neil Gunn was nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award 2015.
Campbell, who has just won Instrumentalist of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards, gives voice to Vass’s epic songs, which combine classical, electronic and pop influences.
Campbell and Vass will perform the score to The Dead Stations in the project’s launch tour, which culminates in a performance at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh. In the live piece, Campbell sings and plays viola and Vass plays tenor guitar and violin.
“I’m really proud of how the songs have turned out,” said Vass. “Mairi was the obvious choice for the songs and for this project. I love the tone, character and emotion that she conveys with her voice and with the fiddle.”
Campbell said: “I’m excited to be part of Mike and Charlotte’s vision to bring music and story together. Mike has such a unique and interesting songwriting voice. The songs he has written for this project are just gorgeous.”
The Dead Stations is written and directed by Charlotte Hathaway, an exciting new Glasgow-based writer, and is supported by Creative Scotland, Arts Trust Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art.
Vass and Hathaway first worked together creatively on the Remembered/Imagined project in 2013, which saw composers and writers pair up to create a new work that was performed by Mr McFall’s Chamber.
Hathaway said: “Mike and I wanted to build on our first creative project to make a more ambitious and immersive piece, and it’s been really exciting to tie all the different elements of that together. The actors, recording engineer, animators and sound designers have all been fantastic to work with, and Mike and Mairi are the most incredible musicians so this has been a creative dream team for me.
“In terms of the narrative of the story, I don’t want to give too much away at this stage. It’s quite dark, but I’m intrigued to see how the audience will feel about the characters in the end.”
HEAR SLEEPLESS ON SOUNDCLOUD:
HEAR EYES FIXED ON SOUNDCLOUD:
Scotland tour dates
26 February – Skye @ SEALL Sabhal Mor Ostaig
27 February – Inverie @ Knoydart
28 February – Ardfern @ Craignish Village Hall
5 March – Banchory @ Woodend Barn
6 March – Drumnadrochit @ Glenurqhart Public Hall
@saystheking (Mike Vass)
All show information www.charlottehathaway.com
Mike Vass, Mairi Campbell and Charlotte Hathaway are available for interview or comment
About Mike Vass
Winner of the prestigious ‘Composer of the Year’ title at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in 2012 and nominated ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in 2014, Mike has been described as ‘one of the most original composers working in the field of acoustic music’ (Richard Lindsay, Ullapool Guitar Festival).
He is in great demand as a performer, composer, producer and teacher; regularly touring with Scots singer Fiona Hunter whose critically acclaimed debut solo album he produced and arranged. He has performed extensively in the past few years with a number of acts including leading Scots Song band Malinky, the Paul McKenna Band, The Battlefield Band, Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes, Siobhan Miller, Robyn Stapleton, in a duo with twin sister Ali, and with International super group Fiddle Rendezvous, featuring Bruce Molsky, Maryann Kennedy and Gerry O’Connor.
Mike’s New Voices Commission ‘String Theory’ debuted in 2010 at Celtic Connections, and was described as ‘the most direct and honest since the idea was first conceived … precision, subtlety and attention to detail’. One of the highlights, the avant-garde piece ‘Man’s Search’ inspired by Viktor Frankl’s best-selling book, was described as ‘utterly compelling’ and was subsequently featured by the Victor Frankl Institute in Austria to commemorate Frankl’s birthday.
In 2012 Mike went on to release his critically acclaimed solo project ‘DecemberWell’, a highly original, kaleidoscopic work inspired by the Scottish Winter month of December. In the summer of 2014 Mike undertook his most ambitious project yet: ‘In the Wake of Neil Gunn’, a Creative Scotland Traditional Arts Commissioning project featuring a mirror voyage of writer Neil Gunn’s 1937 odyssey and a new album of original music inspired by the trip. The resulting album was longlisted for the SAY Award 2015 and shortlisted for Album of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2015.
About Mairi Campbell
Mairi Campbell is an influential and pioneering figure in Scottish music. Her music has a rooted and powerful quality and her musical interests are wide ranging: from playing Scottish dance music to pushing the boundaries of the traditional music scene with her soundings and improvisations.
Mairi recently won Instrumentalist of the Year 2015 at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards; and has previously won Scots singer of the year and tutor of the year. She has also won the Live Ireland Music Award for best female musician of the year, as well as the award for best composition of the year.
Her voice was heard worldwide when her version of Auld Lang Syne (with David Francis as The Cast) was used in a pivotal scene in the film Sex and The City (2008). She has performed the song at the Kennedy Center Awards before President Clinton and at the Scottish Parliament.
Mairi is a skilled and experienced free improviser who has continuously developed her practice and found collaborators and mentors in this field. Most recently she has worked with Kath Burlinson (Authentic Artist Collective) and Paul Oertel and Nancy Spanier. She is also trained in InterPlay, a cross-form arts and community building practice. In 2007 Mairi founded her own music retreats on the Isle of Lismore.
For all press enquiries please contact Charlotte Hathaway on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07986121370