Francis Macdonald – Hamilton Mausoleum Suite (Video Premiere)
Watch the behind-the-scenes documentary-style video for Teenage Fanclub drummer Francis Macdonald's upcoming album, Hamilton Mausoleum Suite
Recorded with the support of Creative Scotland, Hamilton Mausoleum Suite is an album of original chamber music (string quartet & harp) composed, arranged and produced by Scottish BAFTA-nominated composer/songwriter and Teenage Fanclub drummer Francis Macdonald.
The Hamilton Mausoleum Suite music was inspired by – and the album was recorded in – the historic Hamilton Mausoleum that stands on the edge of Strathclyde Park in Lanarkshire, just a few miles outside Glasgow. The Mausoleum has one of the longest echoes of any man-made building in the world – until recently, it held the Guinness World Record for longest echo at 15 seconds.
Macdonald went to secondary school nearby and remembers a family visit to the building when he was a young boy. A couple of years ago he got the idea to record in the building, celebrating its unique reverberant qualities. Museum officer Linda Barrett was encouraging, so Macdonald set to work composing and planning – the resulting album was recorded in one day.
The Skinny are delighted to be premiering a video documenting the day of recording the album in the Mausoleum. Narrated by Macdonald, you can watch the short behind-the-scenes video in the player above, and learn a bit about the history of the Mausoleum while you're at it. “I think Hamilton Mausoleum might be my favourite building in the world,” Macdonald tells us. “Once I'd had the idea to write music inspired by it – and to record the music in it – I was slightly paranoid that someone else was going to nick in and do it before me.
“I decided to write for a manageable ensemble of string quartet and harp." He continues, "I need to pay tribute to the musicians, all soloists from The Scottish Festival Orchestra. Not only did they play beautifully, but they had a great attitude. They respected the music – while wearing blankets, woolly hats, fingerless gloves and nursing hot water bottles to fend off the cold.”
The musicians that appear on Hamilton Mausoleum Suite are:
Violin I – Justine Watts
Violin II – Stewart Webster
Viola – Emma Peebles
Cello – John Davidson
Harp – Sharron Griffiths
If you're not yet convinced by the project, listen to the utterly beautiful Sarcophagus – the opening track from Hamilton Mausoleum Suite – in the player below.
Hamilton Mausoleum Suite is released on 26 Jan 2018 via TR7/Shoeshine Records; the album will be available on CD, download, stream and limited edition heavyweight vinyl – you can pre-order it here.