1957 FLYING SCOT
1957 Flying Scot Suite is an album that came out of a collaboration with poet Rab Wilson and my father, artist Hugh Bryden. The stand-alone album was originally written to accompany a limited edition handmade poetry pamphlet featuring a 15 part 'Sonnet Rebouble' by Rab, and 15 original linocuts by Hugh.
You can download the album on this page, order a handmade, foil-printed physical copy on the store page. And of course you can order the original pamphlet, including the sonnets, artwork and double CD, that BBC Radio Scotland described as "A most delightful artifact"
THE SONNETS //
'1957 Flying Scot' is a sonnet redoublé, or heroic crown of sonnets, that is at once an elegy and a celebration of the UK's, and more especially Glasgow's, great heritage of building high quality racing and touring bicycles. The eponymous marque of the sequence's title has been specifically chosen to exemplify the many companies who led the world in this vast industry. Once upon a time a Flying Scot bicycle was the dream and aspiration of many working class boys in Scotland. They were incredibly expensive, exotic and desirable objects in their day.
The poems celebrate the way these machines were revered, coveted and sought after; the skills that went into their construction and building; the artistry and aesthetic beauty of them and the characters who rode them to victory and glory.
THE MUSIC //
1957 Flying Scot Suite is a musical imagining of Rab Wilson's sonnet reboublé. It comprises fifteen original contemporary jazz compositions inspired by the sonnets and performed by a quintet of Ben Bryden (saxophone), Anna Webber (flute, saxophone) Tim Basom (guitar), Desmond White (double bass) and Martin Kruemmling (drums)
Each composition hinges on a ten note melody drawn from the final line of every poem, echoing the iambic pentameter of the verse. These melodies have then been expanded and extemporized upon to create short pieces which act as a launching pad for improvised solos. Each piece has been written with a specific mood in mind, designed to describe the constantly changing atmosphere and "whippiness" of a cycling run: "That 'thing' we can't define, that can't be said". The Finale, like the final sonnet, incorporates all of the previous ten note melodies to create a fourteen line musical sonnet.