Scots wha hae? James MacMillan and the paradoxes of Scottish cultural identity.

McGregor, Richard (2009) Scots wha hae? James MacMillan and the paradoxes of Scottish cultural identity. In: Sixth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900, 2-5 July 2009, Keele University.

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Abstract

In the year in which James MacMillan reaches his half century and Scotland celebrates the International Year of Homecoming, it seems appropriate, indeed essential, to consider whether MacMillan has succeeded in establishing an individual dentity as a composer. Or is it rather that, in McCrone’s words, written just at the point when he was about to make his first major impact with The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, he adopts a ‘pick and mix’ approach (e.g. Scottish composer, Catholic composer, Scottish Catholic composer, British composer, international composer), according to the needs of the moment.

In an interview for the 1998 Vancouver New Music Festival MacMillan said: ‘Sometimes [through] one’s local and specific groundings, whether it (sic) be a geographic or a specific denominational thing one can achieve a sense of identity which is then transcended’

This paper considers how far MacMillan’s music is indeed grounded in the local and specific; whether he has succeeded as a composer in ‘transcending’ the sense of place and time which has so firmly contributed to his individual identity and how this has been shaped by the extent to which his audience expects from him a certain cultural identity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title: Conference
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Institute of Education > Secondary PGCE
Additional Information: A powerpoint is available for this lecture and can be obtained for personal use on application to the respective author
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 14:12
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2017 18:49
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/139

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