“Glasgow is a magnificent city,” said McAlpin a character in Alasdair Gray’s magnum opus Lanark. “Why do we hardly ever notice that?” To which Duncan Thaw replies: “Because nobody imagines living here…. think of Florence, Paris, London, New York. Nobody visiting them for the first time is a stranger because he’s already visited them in paintings, novels, history books and films. But if a city hasn’t been used by an artist not even the inhabitants live there imaginatively.”
At the cultural festival of the European Championships in Glasgow, alto saxophonist Paul Towndrow and The Keywork Orchestra are to unveil ‘Deepening The River’ which certainly realises the importance of the city and its great river, which forms the very lifeblood of the place, the Clyde.
Paul writes in an email: “‘Deepening The River’ aims to become a powerful musical analogy, combining themes of hope, potential, social cultural and industrial history, movement of people, exchange of ideas, and deepening of thought, tolerance and understanding.”
Key to the concept is the 17th Century Merchants House of Glasgow where the concert will take place in the Grand Hall. The city merchants had historically lobbied for the deepening of The Clyde which then enabled the passage of ships, and thus facilitated greater trade. “The performances open the doors to one of Glasgow’s most central, yet lesser known music venues,” he adds.
Paul Towndrow, above. Photo: SNJO
The concerts take place on 10 and 11 August.
If you want the official version, that is a few words of background and yep sell, sell, sell you will find it all here.
Otherwise in your shell-like just listen above to the saxophonist who some Beyoncé fans will know more than a little about and into jazz has influenced whether directly or indirectly a new generation of young female players, for instance Cassie Kinoshi and Camilla George in the UK.
Tia Fuller is never sounding better as the jazz journey she has long embarked on goes to new places.
Bonus back catalogue listening: via a 2014 marlbank Spotify playlist.