The Glasgow School of Art Choir is delighted to announce that the world première recording of “Light Through Tall Windows – Music for the Mackintosh” was released today, 27 March 2017. The choral work – written about the Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art – is a collaboration between two alumni of the School, and was recorded in the Mackintosh Library in June 2016. All proceeds from the sales of the recording will go directly to the Mackintosh Campus Appeal.

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“Light Through Tall Windows was written in the months following the fire which partially damaged the Mackintosh Building in 2014,” says composer, Jamie Sansbury. “The fire was an emotional and traumatic event, not just for the School, but for its students and alumni, and for many of the citizens of Glasgow. This piece is an attempt to set down, in a tangible way, the joy the building instils in students and staff at the School, the enduring enlightenment it represents, and the impact that has upon them for the rest of their lives. By recording the work in the library in its damaged state, not only did we perform the piece in the very heart of the building, but we were able to allow some of the sounds of the city to make their way onto the final recording, capturing a unique period in the building’s history when the library was exposed to the elements: the irony of course is that although the piece is called “Light Through Tall Windows” there weren’t any windows in the library when we recorded the work.”

Writer and broadcaster, Muriel Gray, lyricist of the new work says “I first joined the GSA Choir when rehearsals were held each week in the stunning Mackintosh lecture theatre (the very place where, as a student, I used to shift uncomfortably during lectures). We took it for granted that we could make music as well as art in that lovely space, and that we would always be able to do so. The devastation of the fire left us reeling in shock and, after Jamie and I finished the piece, we agreed that recording and selling copies would be a hugely appropriate way for us to contribute to the Mackintosh Campus Appeal for our beloved building. The recording in the library itself is something that each and every choir member will never forget.”

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The Glasgow School of Art Choir recording in the Mackintosh Library at The Glasgow School of Art in June 2016.

“The logistics and preparation, in order to get more than fifty singers into the building during the restoration works, took a great deal of planning and assistance from a huge number of people connected to the School,” says Jamie. “We are so grateful to all those who helped us to realise this recording. The project involved many, many students, staff, alumni and citizens of Glasgow, all of whom have participated in this work in order to capture – as far as possible – how much the ‘Mack’ means to them. We offer this as a celebration of the building’s past, its present and its future.”

The work is now available to purchase online as a CD or mp3 download, and all proceeds will go directly to the Mackintosh Campus Appeal. The design is by After the News, and the CD booklet contains specially commissioned artworks and photographs of the Mackintosh Building, in addition to a foreword by Sir Richard Rogers.

For further information, contact: Kate Hollands on 0141 566 1446 / k.hollands@gsa.ac.uk