Programme: Music - PhD

Year: 2014

In this article, we focus on Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, a pianist and co-founder of the innovative ensemble, Piano Circus. Having completed her first degree here in 1989, Kirsteen graduated in 2014 with a PhD in musicians’ mental rehearsal strategies, in which she used brain imaging techniques combined with qualitative methods. 

This is Kirsteen’s account of her first year since leaving Edinburgh College of Art…

Since graduating, I have recorded Dream Tree, a cycle of solo piano music by long-term collaborator Vroni Holzmann. I’ve performed the work live in Edinburgh and Germany.

Other performance highlights include Waltz with Bashir Live, with the Philharmonia Orchestra at London Southbank’s Meltdown Festival 2014, and a Remote Performance in Glen Nevis.

Remote Performance

Remote Performances comprised a series of 20 specially-commissioned pieces broadcast live from Outlandia, a unique artists’ field-station in Glen Nevis, Lochaber, Scotland.

For my remote performance, the idea was to write music in collaboration with local people who don’t consider themselves ‘composers’; I spent three days working with shipwright and folk fiddler, Charlie Menzies, and with college lecturer and engineer, Miriam Iorwerth.


Remote Performances comprised a series of 20 specially-commissioned pieces broadcast live from Outlandia, a unique artists’ field-station in Glen Nevis, Lochaber, Scotland.

I played the resulting compositions in the forest below Outlandia on an old piano, detuned through its relocation, producing a rather ethereal effect!

The piece was originally broadcast in August 2014 on the world’s first art radio station, Resonance104.4fm, with listening posts at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) as part of Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF). Outlandia has been reconfigured inside the Tent Gallery at ECA for EAF 2015 and you can listen to my piece there until 30th August 2015.

 

SCO Connect

Since October 2014, I have been Director of SCO Connect (Maternity Cover).

SCO Connect is the Creative Learning Department of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, running an extensive and imaginative programme of projects for people of all ages and abilities across Scotland.

I direct a small, energetic team and collaborate with international performers, conductors, animateurs, composers, researchers and other arts organisations to devise and oversee projects and concerts in a range of formal and informal contexts.

For example, we are currently running SCO ReConnect, an interactive music project for people living with dementia delivered in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and with the Royal Edinburgh Hospital; preparing for a performance by SCO Vibe, a fusion orchestra for 11-18 year olds, at the Edinburgh International Festival; and beginning a two-year residency at a primary school in Perthshire during which a composer and SCO musicians will enable pupils to devise and perform their own music.


Are you interested in studying Music - PhD/MPhil/MSc by Research at Edinburgh College of Art?