Mr McFall’s Chamber
Known for its innovative approach to programming and stylistic plurality, Mr McFall’s Chamber was formed in 1996 as a response to the narrowing demographic for classical music in Scotland at that time. Initially an ad hoc string quartet, gradually adding a bass player and pianist as well as other, occasional members, the group played at first to nightclub audiences and offered a mixture of types of music, some popular, some way-out. Subsequently it took its bohemian approach and some, at least, of its bohemian audience back into the concert hall, creating music events which combined contemporary classical pieces with jazz, folk, progressive rock, cabaret and tango, all presented in a style which places the emphasis on informality and enjoyment.
Mr McFall’s Chamber has collaborated with a number of singer-songwriters, including Michael Marra and Valentina
Montoya Martínez (both of whom have recorded CDs for Delphian with the group). It is also dedicated to commissioning new work from both well-known and unknown composers, and has premiered and toured pieces by James MacMillan, Gavin Bryars, Eddie McGuire, Kenneth Dempster, Cecilia McDowall, Chick Lyall, Phil Bancroft, Fraser Fifield, Tim Garland and many more. Two McFall’s commissions, Martin Suckling’s What shall I give? and Martin Kershaw’s Closing In, were both shortlisted as finalists for the 2011 BASCA British Composer Awards.
The group has collaborated with artists and animators in multimedia projects, and has established many educational projects around Scotland, including North Ayrshire’s ‘Tango Fest’, launched in December 2012, in which more than three hundred young string pupils performed a programme of traditional tango numbers with the group. In 2014 Mr McFall’s Chamber toured and recorded five songs by classical singer-songwriter Errollyn Wallen, and a new set of songs by Errollyn has been commissioned for October 2015 as part of an ambitious curated programme of music from Scotland and the Caribbean, with support from a prestigious PRS for Music Foundation award. In December 2014, Mr McFall’s Chamber was named in The List’s ‘Hot 100’ countdown of Scotland’s top hundred cultural icons.