Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Sunday, 4 May 2008 19:00 UK

Cosmic garden music gets premiere

Garden of Cosmic Speculation
The Dumfries and Galloway gardens proved inspirational Michael Gandolfi

A musical composition inspired by gardens in south west Scotland has received its UK premiere in Glasgow.

American composer Michael Gandolfi took his inspiration from the Garden of Cosmic Speculation at Portrack House in Dumfries and Galloway.

Robert Spano conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performance at Glasgow's City Halls on Saturday night.

The gardens themselves - created by landscape architect Charles Jencks - were opened to the public on Sunday.

Mr Gandolfi said the site brought together a number of his interests.

The reason for this unusual title is that the garden is a spur to think about and celebrate some fundamental aspects of nature
Charles Jencks

"I have long been interested in modern physics," he said.

"And it seemed proper for music to participate in this magnificent joining of physics and architecture."

However, just like the garden, he found the project continued to grow.

"As I began the actual process of composition, it became clear that the vast subject matter would be best served in a series of works which I intend to realise over the next several years," he said.

When the piece was first premiered in America it was a four-movement orchestral suite.

It has since expanded to 11 movements.

Garden of Cosmic Speculation
Mr Jencks says designing any garden asks philosophical questions

The garden itself was created by Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie Keswick, the founder of the Maggie's cancer caring centres.

He said that designing any garden provokes a number of questions - some practical and others more "philosophical".

The Garden of Cosmic speculation was no exception to this.

"The reason for this unusual title is that the garden is a spur to think about and celebrate some fundamental aspects of nature," he explained.




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