Cumnock Tryst 2019 Artist Q & A - Michael Murray

Our latest artist Q & A is with a great friend of the Tryst, local Auchinleck composer Michael Murray. He tells us a little more about what the festival means to him and what he has planned for this year’s event.

Left - Right: Sean Shibe, Michael Murray, Sir James MacMillan. Credt - Robin Mitchell

Left - Right: Sean Shibe, Michael Murray, Sir James MacMillan. Credt - Robin Mitchell

As a local musician and composer, what does it mean to you to have an event like the Tryst in your home town?

As a composer the Tryst is a very special annual event. I get to meet and talk to fellow composers with a true sense of community spirit, all thanks to the fantastic team behind the festival. Mostly, however, as a music fan I get excited whenever I read the words “world premiere” on a programme (and not just my own music). To be at a performance of a new work is thrilling and it is one of the Cumnock Tryst’s core values to celebrate the composer as well as the musicians

Having had work premiered at the Tryst before, how has the festival impacted your musical career?

With the friends I have made through the Tryst and from the great advice I always receive from Sir Jimmy, opportunities and experiences have opened up for me that I wouldn't have believed possible. If you would have told me years ago that I would be going to America to attend a premiere of my music I wouldn't have believed you, but not only has it come true, I also have more music to come elsewhere and its all thanks to the Tryst festival and team.

You have a world premiere of new commissions at the Tryst this year – what can audiences expect from the pieces?

To be asked to write for the Tryst again was a great honour. The two works I have written are true collaborations, with fellow festival friend and poet Steven Ferguson. Steven studied violin and has strong musical views, so when it came to his poems he created them musically which forced me to compose poetically. So without wanting to sound too “arty-farty”, in the bigger work “Last Fantasy” the instruments become characters within the story so the audience should listen out for the dialogue. Meanwhile the short work is what I would describe as a short oratorio, entitled “Shades Psalms”. All I am going to say is, expect the unexpected.

Michael’s new commissions will be premiered at the opening concert of The Cumnock Tryst with Mr McFall’s Chamber and Cappella Nova. More details and tickets are here: