VIDEO: Having a ‘Hoot’ with Bute Arts Society

Four years after their last visit to Bute, musical duo ‘Hoot’ made a very welcome return to the island on Friday for the second in Bute Arts Society’s programme of concerts this winter.

This concert was an extra-special one, in that harpist Helen MacLeod and flautist Emma Wilkins were joined by artists Jean Bell and Don McNeil of Cowal for an art installation in celebration of Cowal Music Club’s 70th season.

Harp and flute duo, 'Hoot', performed Cowal Colours surrounded by paintings by artists Don McNeil and Jean Bell in Rothesay Joint Campus.

Harp and flute duo, 'Hoot', performed Cowal Colours surrounded by paintings by artists Don McNeil and Jean Bell in Rothesay Joint Campus.

One of Scotland’s finest composers, Edward McGuire, commissioned a piece of music called Cowal Colours, and as Don explained: “It all started with Eddie sitting in my studio playing my upright piano around the paintings.

“Our documentary takes you from the very beginning right through to the dress rehearsal. It’s very special to us, and I hope you’ll enjoy the experience.”

As ‘Hoot’ played the haunting themes a screen showcased clips from the documentary showing the artists on the shores of Loch Fyne and elsewhere in the process of painting. Corresponding with certain sections of the music, the finished paintings were, one by one, illuminated in the hall of Rothesay Joint Campus by lighting queues. The entire installation was a great success, with the audience showing their enthusiastic appreciation.

The eclectic programme of music ensured all tastes were catered for, from well-known works including Bach’s Sonata in G Minor to Debussy’s La Tille aux Chevaux de Lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair), to contemporary pieces like Taheke by New Zealand composer Gareth Farr.

Click on the video above to view a few short clips from what was a superb evening’s entertainment.