Private Project

Travelling Dreams

A train emerges from the darkness. Passengers rest, quietly look out the windows, and dream their own worlds into existence. The landscape outside twists, turns and renews. Slowly, the hum of the urban world starts to appear.

In this 5-minute music video, the pulsing throb of the final movement of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 3 subsumes the rhythm of the train-tracks. Press play and join Scottish Ensemble and senior players from the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland on a train ride fuelled by musical steam.

As part of our year-round work with young people, we support the next generation of pre-professional string players to explore new ways to perform and share the classical repertoire. This collaboration with NYOS gave seven young players the opportunity to experience the process of creating a short film and to be part of our cutting-edge digital work – which looks to find a new filmic language for classical music.

Supported by Creative Scotland | Glasgow City Council | Royal Philharmonic Society Audience Fund in association with the Rachel Baker Memorial Charity

  • Sven Werner
  • John Archer
    Executive Producer
  • David Brown
  • Jonathan Morton
    Music Director
  • Stuart Burns
  • Project Type:
    Music Video, Short
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 28, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    15,992 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Sven Werner

Sven Werner is an artist and filmmaker best known for the richly atmospheric worlds of magical realism he creates in both, his films and his immersive narrative art installa-tions.

Sven is currently developing his new feature film, Cinema of Dreams with Inflammable Films and Selkie Productions, a hy-brid of miniature film sets, live action and animation. Pre-vious films written and directed by Sven include Travelling Dreams (2021), The Inescapable Arrival of Lazlo Petushki (Scottish BAFTA for Best Short in 2017), and the animation for BBC 4 documentary Calculating Ada: The Countess of Com-puting (2015).

Sven is currently developing a new art commission for Kaunas 2022 - European City of Culture. Previous work include the 1-year public art commission, Poulsen Arc Dream Radio at Storyhouse in Chester (2019/20), Observer Cinema at the Roy-al Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2018), Station Stories (Ab-erdeen Train Station, Waverley Station, Edinburgh and Glas-gow Queen Street, 2015), and the Tales of Magical Realism trilogy, which was selected for the Made in Scotland as well as the British Council showcase at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013.

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Director Statement

This project has been a real joy for me. Being a serious Philip Glass fan myself I was delighted when this commission was brought to my attention. I spent several days listening to Symphony No 3, allowing myself to enter that meditative poetic trance-like state Glass’s music so beautifully evokes sometimes and letting images wash over me.

Scottish Ensemble mentioned how this performance was the first time they all emerged from several months of lockdown and come together as musicians again and so the dynamic frenetic energy of Movement IV transpired into a journey towards people – after crossing solitary desolate and seemingly endless landscapes, the morning sun lights a train that arrives in the city, the music spreading through the windows across the streets and turning heads triggering surprised smiles and nods.

The musicians welcomed the ideas and there was real excitement from the start. A beautiful process unfolded between the film crew and Scottish Ensemble, in particular with its Artistic Director Jonathan Morton, who helped guide us through the various musical dynamics within the movements making sure we know where to put our attention at various points in the piece. Everyone on the team was flexible and in good spirits, even after having to manoeuvre heavy instruments in and out of a narrow train set, wearing masks and complying to a 2 metre distancing policy. My biggest challenge was not to let myself sink into the wonderfully performed music every time they started playing on set and focus on the filming instead.