The first Lochan Sketch was written by Rylan Gleave for Nevis saxophone player, Jenny Akroyd, and commissioned by Jenny Gillies, a sea captain with the Fletcher Group. Written for soprano saxophone and tape, not only is the piece beautiful, the score comes complete with extraordinary illustrations. Of the piece, Rylan says:
“When speaking with Jenny Gillies, she told me a beautiful story about sailing across a stretch of ocean carpeted with disco-light jellyfish. Her words formed as images and movement as she spoke, the wildlife practically blossoming on the screen in front of me. The contrast of bright, pulsating sea-creatures against dark water captured a certain, soft magic, which I have tried to recreate in winding through seaweed, comprised of tape and live soprano saxophone, pre-recorded and played live by Jenny Akroyd.”
Nevis Ensemble’s Lochan Sketches are a series of 10 commissions for composers to write short solo works for specific members of the orchestra. Each composer is paired with individuals from across Scotland to take inspiration from the country’s coasts and waters.
Each work received its broadcast premiere on BBC Radio Scotland’s Classics Unwrapped programme. The series is part of Nevis contributions to the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.
Rylan is a composer from the north of England, currently based in Glasgow. His compositions have recently included pieces for d/Deaf actors, chamber works about navigating neurodiversity, defiantly Queer sound art, and relaxed concert music for children with Additional Support Needs. Rylan is currently studying a Master of Music degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, supported by an RCS scholarship.
Jenny Akroyd is a 23-year-old saxophonist based in London. She is soon to graduate from her Masters in Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where her studies have been supported by Leverhulme Trust and Guildhall School scholarships. Before Guildhall, she completed a Music Degree at the University of Birmingham, majoring in saxophone performance. As a freelance musician, she regularly performs on and teaches various woodwind instruments, including playing in a saxophone-percussion duo. She has been a member of the Nevis Ensemble since their first outing and has been involved in almost all of their tours.