“tended with gossamer-like precision by Romanes, who makes a slow-burning ritual out of Sharp’s heartfelt text which, by embracing the life left behind, honours the dead with the most beautiful of tributes.”
“…although this is a high-risk play – more great flight of lyricism than conventional drama – it makes a hugely fitting coda to Muriel Romanes’s 20 years at Stellar Quines,”
“The Air That Carries the Weight’ marks a very considerable achievement, creating a distinctive and thought-provoking piece where linearity and literalism would have utterly failed to do so.”
“Cleverly framed and delicately staged on what could well be John and Jeanine Byrne’s most evocative and cleverly constructed set yet, there is an aching beauty to Stellar Quines’ latest production.”
“stellar performances and the talent on display both on-stage and backstage shows just why this award-winning Scottish theatre company is so highly regarded.”
“Isobel, played with emotional clarity by Melody Grove.”
Melody Grove, who plays Isobel in our up and coming production The Air that Carries the Weight has been nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a supporting role for Farinelli and the King by Claire van Kampen at Duke of York’s theatre.
We’re absolutely delighted for Melody who will join fellow nominees on the 3rd April at the Royal Opera House, London.
The Olivier Awards are British theatre’s most sought-after awards have been a mark of theatrical greatness since they were inaugurated in 1976 as the Society of West End Theatre Awards. The society is now known as Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and its glittering awards are now the Olivier Awards in honour of a theatrical legend.
Pippa has shared two examples of the evocative sound used in the piece:
Corrina Hewat – Harp
Pippa Murphy – Piano
Sandra MacKay – Gaelic Voice
How would you describe your current job and what do you like best about it?
I’m a Composer, Sound Designer, arranger and lecturer. I work with many different people in many different art forms. I love the variety of projects I work on, and the diversity of the people I work with.
What was your first ever job?
Little known to many… My first proper job was as a Customer Development Manager at the Forensic Science Service as it became an Executive Agency of the Home Office. The Home Office was keen for the FSS to take on forensic work from corporate companies and barristers representing the accused. I worked full-time there for 3 years whilst I was studying for my PhD in composition. I had a team of 10 and learnt many skills that have equipped me for life including people management, contact management, marketing, sales and customer liaison. After 3 years I left to move up to Scotland, complete my PhD and become a freelance composer. I haven’t had a salaried job since.
Has there been a particular person or an opportunity that you feel has made the most difference to your career?
In 2001 I was lucky enough to be involved in a creative team who went to Iran for 4 weeks to lead a series of theatre and film workshops with students at Tehran University with the British Council. Together we created 4 pieces, 1 led by design, 1 by music, 1 by text and 1 by movement. It was an intense but unforgettably beautiful experience working alongside 40 incredibly dedicated Iranian students. We had a very strict set of parameters to work within and a list of what we could and couldn’t do creatively. Women are not permitted to sing solo, so I created a scenario that the lead woman was mad and worked with sonic utterances and melodic gobbledygook vocal (song) lines to enable a female musical presence in the show. It passed the censors because it wasn’t ‘musical’.
I’ve never since been part of something so passionate and raw.
What do you like the best about working within the arts?
I love the richness of creating music, theatre, dance and film with others; discussing, distilling, nourishing and bringing something alive to share with others.
What advice would you give emerging female musicians/composers in the arts today?
Be yourself, get to know your peers, be prolific, keep listening, share your thoughts with kindness and work with as many different people as you can.
Who would your Stellar Quine of the month be and why?
Many of my Stellar Quines are already on the list but I’d like to suggest Dana McLeod (now at the British Council) for her dedication to presenting all art forms in many different cultural and geographical landscapes and for her unsung gift of being the wise instigator of many life-long creative partnerships across Scotland and beyond.
For more information on Pippa’s work go to pippamurphy.com
Listen to examples from the score Pippa has composed for The Air That Carries the Weight.
Discover more about the landscape of Argyll in particular around the home of Marion Campbell – Kilberry Castle, in this article from online magazine The Hazel Tree.
One of The Air that Carries the Weight’s main characters Yvonne lived in a cottage on the estate and the spirituality of the area is a major influence of the play’s storyline.
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