EcoCentrics - Confronting environmental issues with live performance and music

Fragility of Flight

Fragility of Flight is a surreal anthropomorphic tragi-comedy as birds and humankind face profound change. Karen Wimhurst’s clarinet trio (Neyire Ashworth, Sarah Homer and Karen Wimhurst) brings together birdsong with a virtuosic chorus of clarinets big and small accompanying artist Keith McIntyre’s filmed images.  Fifty minutes in length, this show can also run alongside a first half of music, from Bach to be-bop……clarinets as you’ve never heard them before!  Suitable for concert or galleries, McIntyre can offer an accompanying exhibition.

The Making of the Show

Long term collaborators, McIntyre and Wimhurst were commissioned by arts centre Taigh Chearsabhagh on the far flung islands of North Uist to produce this film as part of a larger gallery exhibition.  Inspired by the incredible landscape of the RSPB reserve Balranald, teeming with life and birdcalls filling the air, this piece was developed.  


Keith McIntyre and Karen Wimhurst are both experienced workshops leaders.  Accompanying the show/exhibition we have developed this workshops suitable for students, artists and musicians.

Lark (ing) - An exploration of bird migration and sound in a pictorial space.

Working in collaborative groups visual artists and musicians will create new synergies inspired by the life cycle, songs and the archetypal inspiration of birds in our lives.  Through drawing, structured sound improvisation and lens based documentary processes, the groups will test new ideas around survival and profound changes to the natural world.   

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McIntyre and Wimhurst

Karen Wimhurst and Keith McIntyre have a long history of collaborative work.

Their collaborative pieces include;

  • ‘Anna Campbell’ – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 1987 (a multi-media production based on the Gaelic ballad, written by Norman MacDonald.)

  • ‘Jock Tamsons Bairns’ – Tramway, Glasgow (opening event for 1990 City of Culture) and documentary for the Southbank show.

  • ‘Songs for the Falling Angel’ ‘A Requiem for Lockerbie’ – Edinburgh International Festival and Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow 1991 writer Douglas Lipton.  On ehour documentary for ITV on the fourth anniverasary of the Lockerbie crash.

  • ‘Cauld Blast Orchestra’ CD design for the ‘Savage Dance’ and ‘Durghas Feast’ albums

  • ‘New Constellations for Wind, Sole and Drawing Instruments’ 2004 – BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (produced and commissioned by the SAGE Gateshead.)

  • Darwin and the Barnacle 2009 A chamber opera commissioned by the Plymouth Darwin Festival

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The Trio

Sarah Homer studied clarinet at the Royal College of Music 1980-1984 after which she spent a year as principal clarinet of Bilbao Symphony Orchestra. She then began work at the National Theatre where shows include The Shagrain, Whale, Magic Olympic Game, Wind In the Willows, Lady in the Dark, Without Words, and Therese Roquin.  Shows at the Globe Theatre include Two Gentlemen of Verona and Pericles, Prince Of Tyre. She has also performed at Sadlers Wells with Mathew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands.

Sarah has performed and recorded with Looses Tubes, Django Bates (Delightful Precipice), Dagmar Krause, Gavin Friday, Hans Koller (Magic Mountain, Shopping Trolley); Charles Haywood Regular Music, Andrew Poppy and Johnny Phillips.  She has set up her own improvisation group with martin France and Tim Harries.  Sarah performs on film sessions and works with Howard Moody on workshops and music dance workshops for adults with profound and multiple disabilities.  

Neyire Ashworth is one of UK’s most versatile clarinettists working as performer, composer, writer and music director. Currently with National Theatre’s award-winning production, ‘War Horse’ in London’s West End.
As busy chamber musician, was founder member of Britten-Pears Ensemble (CDs - Andre Jolivet and Frank Martin for ASV, Aldeburgh Festival, BBC Radio 3, Wigmore Hall). With clarinet quartet, No Strings Attached won Royal Overseas League Chamber Music prize, prize winners in Gaudeamus International Contemporary Music competition. Now with The New London Chamber Ensemble  (CDs of John Woolrich and Carl Nielsen - Meridian) and The Zimro Trio , and often appears with UK’s finest chamber orchestras..
Her passion for combining music and theatre has led to search for innovative, performances which immediately connect with audience. Her latest solo show, ‘Stolen Voices’ (music/words Neyire Ashworth), supported by National Theatre Studio, premiered to critical acclaim at London’s Tete-a-Tete and Grimeborn music theatre festivals, Buxton Fringe (Winner Best Performer Award) and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Neyire teaches clarinet at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (juniors).

Karen Wimhurst (clarinets) founded the Cauld Blast Orchestra,  (twice winner of the Scottish Jazz Awards) She currently performs with the free-improvisation group Zaum, (‘ the most exciting group in Europe today’ Penguin Guide to Jazz ‘06), Misbehavin’ and the seven piece celtic band, Big Top.

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The Film Editors

Andy Mackinnon has worked in creative & collaborative documentary production since graduating with a BA in Visual Communications in 1986, Andy Mackinnon was a key player in the Glasgow Film & Video Workshop
(now G-MAC) for many years.

In 1995 he embarked on a 5-year co-production with Wark Clements as director and cinematographerof the £300k budget documentary feature TRANSITION. In 2000 he teamed up with TaighChearsabhagh to make the feature-length collaborative documentary Passing Places – TheRealOuter Hebrides. He has lived in North Uist and worked with Taigh Chearsabhagh ever since, and became the Arts Officer, responsible for arts curating and programming, in 2003. Through Taigh Chearsabhagh he has produced many time-based media projects including Ceolas 2004 documentary, Changing Places with Ettie Spencer, A Confluence with Ian Stephen, Real Escape with French artist, Jocelyn Cottencin, The Fragility of Flight with Keith MacIntyre an Karen Wimhurst, Andy Goldsworthy – North Uist Works, The Flying Fiddles promo, Bàird Uibhist in collaboration with Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath and most recently BREATH/ANAIL video installation with Chris Drury.

Technical Requirements

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