Review: Luke Fowler – My Gourd Instruments, Sonica 2019

Glasgow-based artist Luke Fowler brings his unusual one-off musical performance My Gourd Instruments to the Hamilton Mausoleum as part of this year’s Sonica festival. Known to produce one of the world’s longest echoes, the venue proves an apt stage for Fowler’s deep listening production featuring 8 differently sized gourds he brought over from the US – but instead of using them as quaint autumnal decoration à la Marks & Spencer, he takes inspiration from African musical traditions and turns them into instruments.

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Review: The Unthanks

In many aspects, The Unthanks are the best band the Brontë Society could have chosen to give voice to Emily Brontë’s little-known poems. To celebrate the moor-wandering Yorkshire author’s 200th birthday, lead singers and sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, together with their producer and pianist Adrian McNally, were invited to use Emily’s original piano in her home in Haworth and record ten songs that shed new light on the Victorian writer’s work. With ten LPs steeped in predominantly North-East English lore, the band rise to their task with the goose bumps-inducing vocals and dark piano arrangements all fans love – although as their performance in Edinburgh’s The Queen’s Hall shows, it’s a hell of a task.

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Tawnya Selene Renelle: Giving permission to have those feelings as well

Some poets concoct delicate metaphors to say what they have to say – Tawnya Selene Renelle from Bellingham, Washington, is not one of those. Now based in Glasgow and working on her PhD in Creative Writing, Tawnya released her debut collection this exquisite corpse this June, which, according to British poet Louise Welsh, “evokes shades of Nan Goldin” and dissects experiences with grief, sex, family, fetish and the body with unceremonious candour. Back in Glasgow after touring her book for three weeks in the UK and at home in the US, Tawnya spoke to The Fountain about her approach to writing and creating a platform for people.

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