Horsecross Arts has commissioned Perthshire musician Ian McLaren to write a song to mark a year since live performances were permitted in Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, and to recognise 365 days of its Keep Going Together blog.
Recorded in Perth Concert Hall by Ian, with Stuart Nisbet and a top line-up of local musicians, Keep Going Together is being released on the blog on Friday 19 March, a year since the pandemic-enforced closure of both the concert hall and the theatre.
Chief executive of Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, Nick Williams said:
“We started our daily Keep Going Together blog the day our venues were forced to close due to the COVID-19 crisis. Since then, every day without fail, the team has posted moments of culture and community for our audiences and friends to discover while they can’t enjoy live performances in our buildings. 365 days without live shows in Perth Concert Hall or Perth Theatre is not a milestone that we ever wished to reach, but we felt it important to mark the moment to highlight the fact that we are still here, there is light at the end of the tunnel and we will be back.
“Ian’s song highlights the remarkable resilience of our audiences and gives a message of hope for the future when we’ll be sharing live performances together again. While we work towards that point, we’ll continue to connect with each other through our blog and online as we, and many others, have done throughout the year.”
Ian McLaren, who has kept busy during lockdown creating a significant body of songs whilst navigating grief following the loss of his wife Susan a year ago, said:
“When I was writing the song, I envisaged an artist standing on stage at Perth Concert Hall and focusing on one person in the audience and then gradually zooming out to see everyone around them sharing the live experience. From this scene, and with the message of Keep Going Together in mind, I look back on some of the things that people have done to stay connected throughout lockdown, how important personal connections are, whether in person or via the likes of Zoom, and how live performance has the power to bring people together. At its heart, it’s an optimistic song about getting through and getting to the end of a difficult situation, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and looking forward to being in the same place sharing live moments with others rather than on screen.”
Since it started in March 2020, Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre’s Keep Going Together blog has reached over 500,000 people and covered a huge range of subjects; from flagging some of the great online work that is going on around the country to sharing the stories of some of the venue’s favourite actors and musicians. It has highlighted kids’ activities, debated history’s greatest composers, showcased actors performing their favourite monologues, shone a spotlight on local musicians and charted significant local and national events and campaigns.
Keep Going Together with Ian McLaren, Stuart Nisbet, Pete Honeyman (bass), Matt Rogers (drums), Alan Sutherland (keys), Ali Pibworth and Katie Whittaker (backing vocals) with the video directed by Mark Turner is available to view now at www.keepgoingtogether.co.uk.
Monday 22 March 2021