Premiere of RSNO film collaboration ‘Music in a Different Way’ Posted Wed 22 June 2022
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) partners with Goethe-Institut Glasgow, premiering a new film exploring how music can be translated through sign language interpretation.
On Wednesday 22 June, the Goethe-Institut Glasgow will welcome an audience including members of Scotland’s deaf community to watch a new film, made in collaboration with Glasgow City Council, Nuremberg City Council, the St. Egidien Sign Choir and the RSNO. The film, titled Music in a Different Way, looks at how music can be translated through sign language interpretation and explores both the challenges faced by the deaf community and also the advantages that sign language can bring. Both music and sign-language enable communication and expression in ways spoken word often can’t reach, and it is hoped this film will demonstrate the importance of music being enjoyed as a communal experience, bringing groups together.
RSNO Principal Horn Christopher Gough created three new arrangements for the RSNO Chamber Ensemble to perform alongside singer Carolyn Holt, including Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony which they recorded in Glasgow. The St. Egidien Sign Choir recorded their part of the performance in Nuremberg and the film unites both recordings, bringing the two cities together, which have been twinned since 1985.
The project was originally planned to coincide with events marking Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020 but was put on hold due to pandemic. The partners were committed to continuing with the Beethoven piece due to the important connection to the composer who suffered hearing loss throughout his career. With shared determination to continue the project the idea of the film evolved. RSNO First Violin Ursula Heidecker Allen has been working on the film since its inception and travelled to Nuremberg to meet the project partners and members of the signing choir.
Ursula Heidecker Allen said: “It was fascinating for me to witness the expressivity and beauty of sign language and learn more about how deaf people experience music. I’m still on a steep learning curve – we musicians are so dependent on our hearing and can’t imagine how we could live without it. The members of this choir showed me their beautiful way of expressing music and songs in their movements, and I would love to get to know the deaf communities here in Scotland and link up with them.”
There will be German-English translators and BSL interpreters at the event and the film is subtitled in English, with some speech accompanied by BSL. Following the film screening there will be an exchange with the audience and members of the Nuremberg Sign Choir and the Deaf Community in Glasgow.
Music in a Different Way is the joint project of the twin cities of Nuremberg and Glasgow, the St. Egidien Sign Choir from Nuremberg, the RSNO and the Goethe-Institut Glasgow.