Alasdair Gray to appear on film soundtrack

Alasdair Gray will feature on a soundtrack to a documentary film called A Life In Progress. Picture: John Devlin
Alasdair Gray will feature on a soundtrack to a documentary film called A Life In Progress. Picture: John Devlin
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SCOTTISH artist Alasdair Gray is to commit his “melodious and distinctive” voice to a record for the first time next month.

The 79-year-old polymath will have his voice sampled for a soundtrack to accompany A Life In Progress, a documentary by Kevin Cameron.

Composer Scott Twynholm, who worked on the film’s music, enlisted Gray’s voice by taking audio excerpts from the film. Tywnholm also wrote music based on what Gray had originally conceived to be sung along to his poem, A Sentimental Song.

The soundtrack will be released on January 26 on De-Fence records, and will be broadcast in edited form on BBC 2 Scotland tomorrow.

Twynholm said: “Alasdair’s delivery was a major part - in some songs I sample his voice, while in others it acts as a lead instrument, sitting on top of the musical texture as he delivers readings from his novels; it’s such a melodious and distinctive sound.

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“There’s also footage of Alasdair singing in a rather splendid tenor voice while he works. With this in mind I wrote music based on his poem, A Sentimental Song.

“When we spoke I discovered he also had a melody for it; we sang our versions down the phone and agreed to record it, but, unfortunately, when the time came, he was busy with other projects.”

Gray will turn 80 this week, with a major exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum providing a major focal point for his birthday celebrations.

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