Wood you believe it - magical church timber inspires new music

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A SERIES of knots on a piece of wood which look remarkably like musical notes have inspired a new composition.

Ronnie Williamson, who has been a member of Springfield Cambridge Church Chorus for 52 years, was the first person to notice the unusual pattern above the church’s chancel.

He told the Herald: “We sit facing this wood every Sunday. One day I noticed that it could be musical notes. I said to our conductor ‘would you look at that - there’s a tune there’.

“I wasn’t creative enough to know what the music would sound like, but I just thought it was interesting.”

Conductor Alan A Craig, who is director of music at Glasgow’s Langside College, studied pictures of the pattern and decided to follow Ronnie’s hunch.

Alan explained: “It’s certainly the most unusual source material I’ve worked with. I spent a few hours transcribing the notes from the wood and the finished melody is extraordinary close to what is on there.”

Lyrics were then added to the music, courtesy of William Bullock’s popular hymn ‘We Love The Place’.The finished piece was given a world premiere at the church earlier this month.

Alan told the Herald: “I was very pleased with how it turned out. The choir worked hard to do the piece justice. The words are about loving the church building itself, so it was very appropriate.”

MUSICAL INSPIRATION: Congregation members Ethel Robertson, Sheila Dunbar, Ronnie Williamson, David Cairns and Mike Walker are pictured in Springfield Cambridge Parish Church. The knotted wood panel can be seen in the background.

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