Amplify

Nevis Ensemble delivered this project alongside The Survivor Arts Community (formerly known as Uncovered Artistry), which supports the artistic practice of survivors of domestic violence.

Due to Coronavirus restrictions, this project will take place in two parts. A series of online workshops focussed on the composition of a new song cycle with composer Aileen Sweeney and songwriter Claire Hastings, where participants worked on lyric and melody writing with Claire and Aileen.

Whilst COVID-19 restrictions have meant a live performance of the cycle has not been yet possible, we recorded the songs in March 2021, sung by Claire, participant Rebecca Williams and a group of Nevis musicians and conducted by co-Artistic Director Holly Mathieson. Once it is safe to return to in-person workshops, we will then focus on conducting and musical performance skills.

I – Future, Past & Present

Lyrics and Music: Michelle Meech
Arranged by: Aileen Sweeney

Voice: Claire Hastings
Conductor: Holly Mathieson
Violin 1: Laetitia Pannetier, Violin 2: Brianna Berman, Viola: Sagnick Mukherjee, Cello: Keena Wildman, Double bass: Eloise Kretschmer, Flute: Gabriela Jaros, Clarinet: Laura Hundert, Drumkit: Ruaridh Neil

Audio: Duncan Sutherland
Video: Jamie Wardrop

II – Love Yourself First My Love

Lyrics and Music: Jo Beth Gray
Arranged by: Aileen Sweeney

Voice/Guitar: Claire Hastings
Voice: Rebecca Williams
Conductor: Holly Mathieson
Violin 1: Laetitia Pannetier, Violin 2: Brianna Berman, Viola: Sagnick Mukherjee, Cello: Keena Wildman, Double bass: Eloise Kretschmer, Flute: Gabriela Jaros, Clarinet: Laura Hundert, Drumkit: Ruaridh Neil

Audio: Duncan Sutherland
Video: Jamie Wardrop

Men & Beasts & Beings

Lyrics and Music: Whitney Nielson
Arranged by: Aileen Sweeney

Voice: Claire Hastings
Voice/Guitar: Rebecca Williams
Conductor: Holly Mathieson
Violin 1: Laetitia Pannetier, Violin 2: Brianna Berman, Viola: Sagnick Mukherjee, Cello: Keena Wildman, Double bass: Eloise Kretschmer, Flute: Gabriela Jaros, Clarinet: Laura Hundert, Drumkit: Ruaridh Neil

Audio: Duncan Sutherland
Video: Jamie Wardrop

Beautiful Company (H.O.P.E.)

Lyrics and Music: Rebecca Williams
Arranged by: Aileen Sweeney

Voice/Guitar: Rebecca Williams,
Voice: Claire Hastings
Conductor: Holly Mathieson
Violin 1: Laetitia Pannetier, Violin 2: Brianna Berman, Viola: Sagnick Mukherjee, Cello: Keena Wildman, Double bass: Eloise Kretschmer, Flute: Gabriela Jaros, Clarinet: Laura Hundert, Drumkit: Ruaridh Neil

Audio: Duncan Sutherland
Video: Jamie Wardrop

In this series of creative music sessions, participants learned about conducting, composition, song-writing and, if they chose, musical performance. A trained support worker was present at all online and in-person workshops.

Participants learned new ways to tell stories through music and song. Conducting a group of musicians is an act that requires confidence, and the sensation of having full control over what a group of musicians does can be transformative. By placing survivors in a leadership role in this project, we hope to offer a subtle, supportive and creative environment in which they can voice their identities and possibly effect change in their own lives. 

Workshops are open to self-identifying female survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse aged 18+. This project is for all cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centres the experiences of women.

The Survivor Arts Community

The Survivor Arts Community is a non-profit organisation, based in Glasgow, that celebrates the creativity of survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse. It is founded on the belief that the arts can be healing and empowering. The Survivor Arts Community runs free creative projects and one-off workshops for survivors, aimed towards creative output to the public and a strengthened community of survivors.

​This project has been generously supported by The William Grant Foundation and the Weir Charitable Trust.

Aileen Sweeney

Aileen Sweeney is a Scottish composer, accordionist and arranger based in Glasgow. She is currently studying for a Masters in composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is grateful to have received scholarships from The Dewar Arts Fund, The Countess of  Munster Musical Trust and The Cross Trust.

She is on the LPO Young Composers Scheme, and has had her work performed by groups including the Hebrides, Red Note and Psappha ensembles.

Aileen has a varied career as a freelance musician. Her work is cross-genre, taking influences from her interest in Jazz and Scottish folk music.

Claire Hastings

Claire Hastings is a Scottish folksinger, songwriter and ukulele player based in Glasgow. In 2015 she earned the prestigious title of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year, and has since delighted audiences at home and abroad with her ‘natural, effortless Scots voice.’ (FRUK)

​A graduate of the Scottish Music degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Claire specialised in Scots Song with expert tuition from Gordeanna McCulloch (The Clutha) and Rod Paterson (Jock Tamson’s Bairns). Since graduating, Claire has toured successfully in the UK, Europe and New Zealand, and has performed at international festivals including Festival Interceltique de Lorient and Celtic Connections. 

As well as performing, Claire has also been involved with several teaching projects throughout Scotland including Feis Rois’ Youth Music Initiative, The Gaitherin (Aberdeenshire) and Feis an Iar Dheas (Dumfries). Claire is particularly passionate about her work with Live Music Now Scotland; a charity based organisation which brings live music to a range of audiences in community settings.