Gemma McGregor is a composer from Orkney who is interested in depicting consciousness and exploring images of time and place in layers of sound. In addition to writing contemporary choral and instrumental music, she has been part of many interdisciplinary performances and collaborations, created soundart and written for film.
Gemma McGregor (BA Hons. Pg Cert.) is a composer from Orkney, a doctorate student at Aberdeen University, and a recipient of the Ogston Postgraduate Scholarship. Gemma studied composition as an undergraduate at Dartington College of Arts. Gemma has received many commissions to date, including pieces performed at the St. Magnus Festival, the St. Asaph Festival and the Aberdeen Sound Festival. Watercolour Studios released an album of Gemma’s chamber music performed by the Eris Ensemble in August 2011. Gemma is interested in interdisciplinary performances and has collaborated with writers, dancers, actors, archeologists and historians. She has written music for two films by Mark Jenkins – ‘Gunnie’ (2009) and ‘Pund’ (2011). Her collaboration with sculptor, Craig Ellis, has resulted in two soundart/sculpture installations – “The Fabian Strategy” which was exhibited at Gallery 17, Aberdeen in November 2015 and “Found” which was displayed at Grays School of Art in November 2014.
Gemma has written music in many genres including vocal, instrumental and choral. Her piece for chamber orchestra, “Greylighting”, commissioned by Orkney Camerata, was premiered in June 2015. Her chamber opera, “The Locked Door” received three performances at the Aberdeen Sound Festival in November 2015. Her choral piece, “Hear My Cry” was performed by the Quodlibet Chorale at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh in 2015. Gemma’s work for male voices, “Regina Caeli” was performed by the Devanha Chorus at Saint Magnus Cathedral in April 2016. Her piece “Egilsay Kirk” was selected for performance at a workshop held by Judith Weir and the BBC Singers in September 2015.
Gemma is currently working on a solo piece for pianist, Rolf Hind, and a commission for the next Saint Magnus Festival. This will be a work for soloists, chorus, ensemble and organ that will tell the life story of Magnus Erlendsson, patron saint of Orkney. 2017 will be the nine hundredth anniversary of Magnus’ death.