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Music + Environment

Scotland has a close relationship with its natural environment which is celebrated all over the world. At Chamber Music Scotland we want to explore the connection between music and our environment through projects and commissioning new work. This includes not only celebrating Scotland, its landscape, people, and natural resources, but also using our voice in the arts to communicate important issues surrounding sustainability and helping to protect the wider environment. Some of our recent environmental projects include:

The Flood

"The Flood" is a work for harp, string quartet and film created by composer Esther Swift and film maker Tom Swift, and was created in response to the environmental issues impacting the Peebles community. A learning project was also developed which explored composition and the environment working with schools and care homes. "The Flood" was co-commissioned with Music in Peebles.

This project is a chance for me to delve into the complex and relentless sound world of water using string quartet, voice, and harp.

Esther Swift

Matilda Brown

We have worked with composer Matilda Brown over the years on several projects with an environmental focus, ranging from sustainable travel to Scotland’s wildlife. These include:

  • "His Wings", a commission inspired by birdsong
  • An eco-tour in the Scottish Isles, where musicians travelled on foot and bicycle to deliver performances, participate in a beach clean, and host workshops where participants created music with recycled goods.
  • "Alongside Autumn: A Composer's Walk", which formed part of Matilda's 500 mile walk through Scotland, featuring music composed en route.


"Transplanted" is a project which celebrates the rich diversity of Scotland’s plantlife and music. Inspired by Scottish Baroque composer James Oswald’s Airs for the Seasons, Sequoia Duo commissioned 8 of Scotland’s leading composers to write new miniatures exploring native plants, some endangered, and their uses over the centuries.With support from Plantlife Scotland, Grow Wild and Glasgow Natural History Society, we developed a learning project working with young people to compose music inspired by the plantlife and find out more about the plants and flowers in their local parks and gardens. You can listen to the project and read more about the project on the Sequoia Duo website.

Colour of Drifters

"Colour of Drifters", a new work for piano trio by Shiori Usui, explores the destructive impact of plastic use on our environment. The piece was premiered by the Kapen Trio at the Sound Festival in 2019.