“…Scotland's most ambitious and daring new music project .” (The Herald)
PLUG started off from a lack of enthusiasm for what had become the official annual
contemporary music festival. We felt that the canon of what is generally accepted as
contemporary music in the UK was no longer relevant to our students so we wanted to
create something new.
As a result our first instincts were to concentrate on composers that are relatively
ignored by most of the performing organisations in the UK – composers such as Ingram Marshall,
Claude Vivier, Henry Brant and Jani Christou.
As well as this unusual repertoire it was becoming increasingly clear, as the Composition
Department grew, that some of the interesting music around was coming from our own composers.
So, we decided to give them their own platform to showcase solely their works. And that idea
became the concept for PLUG, our annual festival of new music. Since those first days, PLUG has
grown from strength to strength and is heralded as one of the most exciting festivals in the UK, if
not wider, for new music. It not only means a hectic week of hundreds of new works at the
Royal Conservatoire but last year also saw the compositions of two of
our students premiered at the City Halls, with Ilan Volkov conducting our own ensemble
MusicLab. The concert was part of BBC Hear and Now, was filmed for the BBC and recorded for BBC
Altogether we have premiered over 300 new works since PLUG has been running. For our
students it is a phenomenal opportunity to have their works played by wonderful musicians. Last
year we even had tap dancers, furniture builders and a performance by two of our Modern Ballet
Plug Film 2012
Composition students talk about the experience of writing music for two Conservatoire films and
then showcasing them at the 2012 Plug Festival.