Scotland at Night

six poems specially written by Alexander McCall Smith, set for SATB a cappella with divisi, duration 13 minutes.

"Cunningham's music is truly collaborative, adorning McCall Smith's pithy imagery with a complementary dimension that is as enhancing as it is essential", Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman, July 2009.

When Edison perfected his electric light bulb, he must have had little idea of the consequences. Some of these have been of great benefit to humanity; others have not. Night as a time of quiet and dark has been replaced by night as a time of work and activity. Artificial light has also largely cut us off from the heavens, as light pollution floods the world and obliterates the stars from view. Imagine a world without darkness – what a prison it would be.

Here and there, though, the magic of night persists, and we glimpse a world that is subtly different from the world of day. In these poems an attempt is made to reveal some of that other Scotland – the Scotland that begins at dusk.

Alexander McCall Smith, August 2007

This set of six poems was written for Cappella Nova who gave the first performances on 21-22 December 2007 in Glasgow and Edinburgh.  

Scotland at Night was chosen by Art Collector as one of its 10 new Classics of Contemporary Art Music from around the world that deserve to stand alongside the great masterpieces of the past as 'classics' of art music.

The six songs are published and sold by Goodmusic/Roberton.  You can see the whole score and hear it played on your computer on their website.

You can view a live performance of three songs on YouTube.

A recording by Laudibus is available on Delphian Records DCD34060.
Listen to these short excerpts:
Scotland at Night - Dusk
Scotland at Night - Ceilidh
Scotland at Night - Simmer Dim in Shetland
Scotland at Night - Lullaby

If you have Spotify, you can listen to the whole CD here.