Return is a piece for four speaking voices, a string quartet, two pipers and two drummers. It’s an exploration into where long poem, ritual theatre and ceremony meet.
It weaves together and layers up text, music and performance as a celebration of the wheel of the year, of emerging and receding, and the common ground of death and renewal that unites us regardless and inclusive of all faiths and heritages.
It speaks of cycles and returns, of seasons, elements and the beyond human realms and rhythms; of expansion and contraction at our base and at our back that refuses the violence of fractured whiteness, patriarchy and linear consumer capitalism. It is a meditation on the need to both mark and lose all track of time; how we inhabit the greater whole and have it be frame, container and guidance.
Return will be performed in the round, and by candlelight in Govan & Linthouse parish church, over the full moon (occurring at 9.24pm) on Saturday October 28th 2023.
The venue is fully accessible.
Performance: 20.45- 22.00. (Doors: 20.30).
Tickets (please book below): £0-30. Pay what you can.
Return platforms women, non-binary and/or trans performers, and will be accompanied by program notes about the concept and construction of linear clock time, of timelessness, of marking time and connection to place.
Voices: Jj Fadaka, Lisa Fannen, Babs Nicgriogair, Susannah Stark.
Strings: Elena Inei (violin), Una McGlone (double base), Simone Seales (cello), Semay Wu (cello).
Pipes: Mairearad Green, Malin Lewis.
Drums: Eilidh Graham, Amy Redford.
Jj Fadaka (she/her) is a feminist writer and workshop facilitator living in Edinburgh. In a mix of non-fiction and storytelling, she explores community, feminism, and love as a path to change. Jj’s workshops are based on black feminist radical traditions that allow us to imagine the world without barriers. Jj was featured as Poet in Residence for the 2023 StAnza International Poetry Festival. Her poetry zine ‘3 Days in Community’ is available from Lighthouse Books.
Lisa Fannen (she/her)
Lisa has been writing, and sharing words solo and with musicians/ soundmakers, in particular as part of a duo Claquer with Jer Reid. She published a poetry collection Faultline in 2018 and released it as a collaborative recording project in 2021. Lisa is also a bodyworker and activist concerned with dialogue and information exchange about health in the broadest sense of the term as part of movement for social justice.
Babs Nicgriogair (they/them)
Babs Nicgriogair is a stornoweegie poetician, a lover of hybrid and liminal spaces with a commitment to worker power, community building and collective joy.
Susannah Stark (she/her) is an artist and musician from Fife, Scotland. Trained in printmaking, her interest lies in exploring places – both internal and external – connected with experiences of faith and being in everyday life. She currently works with pop music as a medium to explore different dimensions of the human voice and manners of speech, creating sparse sound collages orchestrated by voice, field recordings, trumpet and distorted percussion, working often in collaboration with trumpet player Philip Cardwell and drummer Laurie Pitt (Golden Teacher). Her debut album ‘Time Together (Hues And Intensities)’ out on Stroom, was described by Noel Gardner in The Quietus as “a seven-song serving of gossamer dub-pop experimentalism” and at a live show by Jude Browning in MAP Magazine as “music suspending weightlessness and opacity with the unfathomable facets of existence”.
Elena Inei (she/her)
Elena Inei is a violinist and improviser based in Glasgow. She is a member of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Collective Endeavours and The New Strings Collective. Elena also collaborates with Barrowland Ballet’s intergenerational dance company Wolf Pack, and plays in various other project based formations.
Una MacGlone (she/her)
Una works across improvisation, jazz, traditional and classical genres. She also collaborates regularly with dancers, actors and poets, using improvisation as a key transdisciplinary process. Some career highlights include recording with a film soundtrack and two albums with David Byrne; touring with Savourna Stevenson; recording three albums, touring and performing at two Celtic Connections festivals with Rab Noakes and playing at the Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. As a founder member of Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, she has an important role in performing and leading on creative projects such as an innovative annual exploration of Gaelic culture and improvisation with Ceòl ‘s Craic, a leading Gaelic Arts organisation. As well as these collaborations, her own music has been commissioned for and played on BBC radio 3.
A new album with Jim McEwan has just been released on Scatter:
Simone Seales (they/them)
Originally from Florida, Simone Seales is a Glasgow-based cellist who completed their postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2021. They focus on free improvisation, both tonal and atonal, and devising music for theatre.
Simone is passionate about exploring sound, how sound can reflect emotional states of being and how emotions are embodied. Their creative influences come from Black feminist leaders such as Audre Lorde, Assata Shakur and bell hooks. Within Simone’s creative work, they centre Blackness, sexuality, intersectional feminism and anti-racism. They believe Western Classical musicians are capable of making meaningful social change.
Semay Wu (sē mā wo͞o) (she/her) works as a composer, cellist/improviser, and media/sound artist. Greatly influenced by improvisational frameworks, Semay often uses interdisciplinary relationships to explore ideas of play, through collaboration and spontaneity. Recent performances and recordings have developed as solo cello and electronics, however, Semay’s other works have found shape as video pieces, performance/interactive-installations, graphic scores, as well as creating an online audio cookbook for Manchester’s communities.
Mairearad Green (she/her)
Having grown up in the West Coast Coigach peninsula of the Scottish Highlands – an area steeped in culture and local traditions – Mairearad was introduced to folk music at an early age. Renowned for her deft and lyrical accordion style, as well as her dextrous piping, Mairearad is in great demand as a performer and composer. Many of her compositions are well known in the Scottish music scene. Among the favourites are ‘Maggie West’s Waltz’ and ‘Dram Behind the Curtain’. As a visual artist also, Mairearad’s work can be described as impressionistic, and a visceral response to the landscape she is so familiar. Her latest limited-edition vinyl release ‘Hearth’ seamlessly combines Mairearad’s two passions – art and music.
Malin Lewis (they/them)
Malin is a queer multi-instrumentalist inspired by humans, queerness and the universe. One of Scotland’s most exciting creators, Malin melds tradition with innovation on a unique newly invented, self-made bagpipe. Malin’s long awaited debut album Halocline, is named for the layer between salt and fresh water. Halocline is a sequence of compositions reflecting on the liminal spaces between Malin’s outer and inner worlds as a trans person. Recently Malin has been touring the UK with Making Tracks international Residency, Recording film music in Berlin, studying folk music in Helsinki and learning the tradition of the extinct Finnish Bagpipes as well as writing and performing music for theatre and contemporary dance.’
Eilidh Graham (she/her) works in community cycling and community arts. Supporting people to take part in wellbeing and creative activities such as group percussion sessions, craft sessions from a cargo bike, group bike rides to explore nature, connect with people and services in the community. She has played in a Glasgow Samba Band for 15 years, and she cycles everywhere on her colourful bicycle!
Amy Redford (she/her)
Amy settled for a guitar at 16 because despite 4 years of pestering up until then, they just wouldn’t get her a drum kit. She’s been hitting guitars increasingly harder ever since. She finally realised the drumming dream when she joined SheBoom in 2009, where she now teaches and leads that drumming ensemble. On guitar, she’s currently co-fronting Sequence 369 and busting out riffs with They Theory. Previous acts include Electric Ladygarden, Blood Of The Bull, Touch And Go, and Stotally Toned. Amy is a nihilistic malcontent with a fair amount of existential dread, which is expressed in her riffs, solos, and frenetic drumming.