BEYOND THE HORIZON by LAUREN SCOTT
Updated: Jun 29
equality factor: female soloist empowerment
based in: UK
label: Avie Records
Today the debut album of Lauren Scott is released. Here you can learn more about this extraordinary woman in music, about the female factor in music history of the harp and of course the brand new album. But let's start first with a view in the past concerning equality in music!
Gender inequality in music was born within a historical context from centuries ago, one that is far removed from the history of contemporary music. Although it is not written about explicitly in the history books, musical history is undeniably shaped by the common misconception that certain instruments are better played by one gender or the other, but seldom both. Seeing a woman play an unconventional instrument might appear strange to some people, even today. In contemporary music, female drummers for instance, are still quite rarely seen.
Greek music theorist Aristides Quintiliano considered dividing instruments according to the effect of their sound into "masculine" and "feminine".
Technically, there is a set of rules or technical limitations determining what instrument can be played by a particular sex. Yet, an absurdly biased way of thinking has divided music instruments into gender-specific categories for throughout history. It' s absurd to think so, but the origins of gender inequality come from a period of history that we have little factual proof of the existence of today. It was assumably in the 3rd century AD that Aristides Quintiliano, (a Greek music theorist), considered dividing instruments according to the effect of their sound into "masculine" and "feminine". His beliefs have prevailed and continue to influence the understanding of musical instruments until the present day.
However, there are also other factors that throughout history emphasized this gender division even further, enlarging the gap between the sexes. When we speak of the harp, for instance, we are talking about an instrument of considerable weight - not only because of its size but also because of the tension of its strings, something that undeniably demands considerable bodily strength. But does this determine whether it' s a particular instrument played exclusively by one gender or the other? Of course not, and Lauren Scott is a great example of that.
Although British harpist Lauren Scott had long established a successful career in music before, it was not until 2018 that she began composing her own original works. Since then, she has published two volumes of leverage harp music. Today, her debut album "Beyond the Horizon", finally sees the light of day.
The album is a very harmonious work of art, whose melodies are perfect for dreaming, thinking and reflecting. The way Lauren Scott arranges the songs is both soulful and accurate. With "Beyond The Horizon" she has without question succeeded in creating a timeless work, which we humans need more than ever in eventful times like today.
Again and again, she manages to surprise the listener with technical refinements and to make him listen carefully. The majority of the pieces are provided with a lot of lightness, which is then again replaced by a wonderful musical depth. The love for her instrument can be felt in every detail of the album. For all pop music lovers "Across the Universe" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney is going to be an absolute highlight.
"Lauren Scott's passion for the harp inspires her performances of atmospheric works by 20th- century composers, from John Cage to Lennon & McCartney."
Lauren Scott fell in love with the harp when she was just four years old, after a visit to a museum in Australia. There, she saw a historic lever harp for the very first time and was instantly intrigued by the celestial-looking instrument. Two years later, when her family moved from her native Australia to England, she began studying the harp. She studied in the city of London, more precisely in the "Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance" - better known as Trinity College of Music - one of the most important music conservatories in the world. "Lauren Scott's passion for the lever harp inspires her performances of atmospheric works by 20th -century composers, from John Cage and Peter Maxwell Davies to Lennon & McCartney," her work is described on her website.
Lauren not only represents the path of her own projects, over the past 20 years, but she has also worked as a guest lead harp in many of the UK's leading orchestras and chamber groups:
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,
Royal Scottish National Orchestra,
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
BBC Concert Orchestra,
BBC Symphony Orchestra,
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,
Royal Northern Symphony,
Scottish Chamber Orchestra,
Royal Albert Hall
She's the lead harpist in :
Picture House Orchestra,
Northern Chamber Orchestra,
Psappha Contemporary Music Group
In addition to performing in the top orchestras in England, Lauren's artistic identity is shaped by a number of factors that go beyond her qualifications on stage or in the studio. Lauren also arranges harps, offers in-person and online private lessons, is part of the international harp community - which promotes harp projects by encouraging the next generation of musicians - and was president of the UK Harp Association for 5 years, inclusive, four of her pieces have been added to the Trinity degree program so far.
Her professional progress and influence on the harp repertoire make Lauren Scott an empowered woman who knew perfectly well how to take control of her life, daring to face her challenges, and questioning paradigms in her way.
Beyond the Horizon is an album where the equality factors predominate.
A lifelong passion for the harp and her husband (also a musician) as the main inspiration, Lauren Scott composed new music which she confesses is influenced by her diverse experiences in the music industry. That result of that can finally be heard on "Beyond the Horizon", her first studio album, an album where the equality factors predominate throughout eight of her compositions which she shares along with works by artists such as Peter Maxwell Davies and John Cage.