Scotland

Anna Meredith's Varmints awarded Scottish Album of the Year

Vic Galloway, Anna Meredith and Janice Forsyth Image copyright Euan Robertson
Image caption Anna Meredith received her award from co-hosts Vic Galloway and Janice Forsyth

Composer Anna Meredith has won the Scottish Album of the Year (Say) award with her third album Varmints.

The former composer-in-residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra was awarded the prize at a ceremony at Paisley Town Hall on Wednesday evening.

Meredith, 38, said it was a "total honour and a privilege" to be on the long and shortlists for the award.

The award was developed in 2012 by the Scottish Music Industry Association in partnership with Creative Scotland.

Previous winners of the £20,000 first prize include Kathryn Joseph, Young Fathers, RM Hubbert and Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat.

The 2016 award ceremony, co-hosted by Vic Galloway and Janice Forsyth, was held in Paisley in support of its bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Meredith is an electronic and acoustic composer, as well as a producer and performer. She was born in London and brought up in Edinburgh.

'Ambitious' album

After receiving the award, she said: "It has been great getting to know all of the other albums and during these politically difficult times to see positivity, creativity and spirit coming out of the longlist and shortlist.

"Thank you to all of those artists. Huge thanks to the Say award and my long suffering and hugely talented band who helped me make this real labour of love."

In addition to her work with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Meredith has collaborated with beatboxer Schlomo, writing the Concerto for Beatboxer and Opera, and was a judge for the BBC's Young Musician of the Year.

Music journalist Rebecca Monks, from The List, said Varmints - which mixes classical music with electronica - was "so ambitious".

"It was a fantastic choice. I think what the Say award does so well is mix emerging artists with established musicians and Anna Meredith is kind of both in one," she told BBC Radio Scotland.

"It got so much critical acclaim when it was released - several five-star reviews. It was definitely the right choice."

'Unrivalled talent'

Dougal Perman, chairman of the Scottish Music Industry Association, said: "Scottish music goes from strength to strength. As Scotland's national music prize, the Say Award celebrates a selection of the best albums from the past year.

"The quality and diversity of the artists and albums on the longlist demonstrates the energy and vitality of Scotland's music industry."

Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland, said: "Congratulations to Anna Meredith who joins an increasingly prestigious list of Say Award winners.

"The 2016 longlist of albums was an impressive reminder of the unrivalled talent that shines right across Scotland's music scene, in every genre, from industry veterans to on-the-pulse newcomers."

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