• Regarding Concert Feedback
  • Introduction for Radio3 play - The piece has three main sections. The first section/stanza aims to depict the beauty and tranquility of the Loch Lomond area. The choir creates a bed of thick, lush harmonies that supports the two soloists who soar over the choir creating a feeling of space and expansiveness, just like the landscape itself.
    The second and third stanzas create the main body of the piece. The text talks about how the changing weather conditions are harming the area and yet Loch Lomond itself is a fantastic resource in the fight against climate change. There's a sense of urgency in the music with fast, constantly changing meters, an energetic piano accompaniment which drives the music and bold, homophonic declarations from the choir.
    There's a brief return to the opening material which fizzles away before the final section. To conclude the piece, I harmonised the original Loch Lomond folk tune almost in a hymn like fashion which the choir hum inwardly as a final homage to the area that means so much to them.
    - Aileen Sweeney

    I was very moved by ‘Breathing Space', how it captured the sentiments of the choir about your beautiful environment and the urgency of the climate emergency in harmony. The lyrics are moving but it was the use of the voice and breath that I felt really touched me, connecting the idea of human breath and the breathing of trees and the world. I could sense it's complexity but the choir really pulled it off and it was very confidently delivered. Fab, I really hope you perform it often now.

    You are all very inspiring to have worked so hard to put this together in such challenging circumstances. I thought your set up was great and I felt very safe as well as welcomed in the church.

    Congratulations on a wonderful evening! I hope you are pleased with how it went and that the recording has captured the magic.
    - Making Music Scotland Manager

    Please do pass on a massive thanks and well done to the choir when you next see them all. The concert was fantastic and I'm chuffed to bits!
    - Message from Aileen Sweeney (Breathing Place composer)

    I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed the concert on Sunday. The choir sang beautifully and the orchestra were wonderful. Vivaldi's Gloria is such a well-known piece that sometimes it just feels very ordinary but HOC's performance was so alive it had me carried away. I wanted to stand up and cheer at the end of that but didn't have the courage! "Breathing Space" was also very enjoyable and seeing the words and those beautiful photographs just added to it. I don't know how the choir managed to learn it, well done to them. The humming at the end was incredibly moving.
    So a huge thank you and well done to everyone for an evening that lifted us up and gave us great joy.

    Just a short note to say how much I enjoyed last night's concert. The Vivaldi was done with enormous liveliness by the choir and supported by two excellent soloists. Breathing Space was immensely effective and what a wonderful peaceful ending!

    Well done to you all


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