SOUNDING: Modern Studies & Lomond Campbell with The Pumpkinseeds Chamber Orchestra is a multimedia concert that was debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe during August 2017. Tonight the special event is being revived at the multi-arts venue Saint Luke’s in Glasgow as part of the excellent Celtic Connections festival.
Lomond Campbell is a member of arts collective and band FOUND, but more recently he has been recording and performing music as a solo artist. His latest release is the exceptional album Black River Promise. Lomond Campbell opens the evening alongside The Pumpkinseeds Chamber Orchestra and sets the tone of the event. Campbell has a brittle and haunting element to his music and this poignancy is taken to a new level when performed live with a string section. Lomond Campbell is the perfect opener and a taster to what is to come during the headline performance.
Modern Studies are a collection of musicians from throughout the UK who have come together to make beautiful and evocative music. In 2017 they released their acclaimed debut album Swell to Great on Song, by Toad Records, but more recently have been working on more ambitious music for the follow up. Tonight they are performing these songs with The Pumpkinseeds Chamber Orchestra and are also accompanied by a brass section and backing singers. There is barely enough room on the stage to hold all the musicians, but the grand and striking nature of the music requires a vast array of performers in order to bring it to life. Modern Studies make moving and tender music with deep vocals and layers of shade and light. As with Lomond Campbell the strings give the songs room to breathe and with the addition of backing vocals there is an extra degree of warmth and heart within the music.
During the show the band performs under a large screen on which educational videos, motion graphics and animations are projected. These videos do little to add to the songs themselves, but definitely give a visual edge to the concert and make it feel like a multimedia experience. The set ebbs and flows with each track performed with a majestic quality that leaves the audience engrossed and spellbound. With a new album due later in the year, it will be interesting to hear how these songs sound on record and it would be another brilliant experience to hear the songs again with the addition of The Pumpkinseeds Chamber Orchestra. Celtic Connections continues until Sunday 4thof February with a full range of concerts, performances and workshops at various venues throughout Glasgow.