About us

Frances Cooper, soprano and Joanna Nicholson, clarinet, performing as Turning the Elements, present programmes of spirited and lyrical music for this intimate combination of voice and woodwind.

Our name comes from two specially commissioned suites of song we first performed in 2015.  As they evolved and our performances developed, we realised that their title reflected perfectly what we do as a duo; taking music, both new and traditional, and turning the elements of each piece to fit our two instruments,  putting our own slant on their performance.

Alongside music written and arranged specifically for us, our programmes include 20th and 21st century repertoire for soprano and clarinet by European and American composers.

At the beginning of 2020 funding from Creative Scotland,  allowed us to commission  poetry and music for a three part song cycle,  No Trees to Whisper.

 ‘Turning the Elements is an intriguing blend of music and word intermingling to produce an emotive and entrancing audience experience.’ Friends of Aden Park

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JULY 2021 – we are thrilled, finally, to be able to take our project No Trees to Whisper further along its journey.  COVID-19 restrictions may have halted plans for live performances in 2020, and provided many challenges in other ways, but we have taken the opportunity to move  in new directions – and are excited about recording the three specially commissioned pieces at Castlesound Studios as the next step.  More to follow!

NOVEMBER 2020 – participants  in a very successful online poetry workshop organised by the Friends of Wighton as part of Book Week Scotland,  had the opportunity to hear extracts from No Trees to Whisper, which is supported by Creative Scotland and to work with one of our poets, Dawn Wood, and ourselves. Short tasters of the specially commissioned music from composers Aidan O’Rourke, Linda Buckley and Gemma McGregor and poetry from  Dawn Wood, Iain Morrison and Haworth Hodgkinson were introduced to an audience for the first time.


Listen to our recording of …Everyone is a Child of the Inbetween …  by Matthew Whiteside, with text by Helene Grøn

On Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/09g8KU1vgoefexFk3wLg5a?si=XY1dZvVgTOKXGO0QDXjyvw

On Apple Music – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/album/everyone-is-a-child-of-the-inbetween/1443960073?i=1443960074&mt=1&app=music&at=1010lsZC&ct=everyone-is-a-child


Watch our take on the Beck song ‘Do we? We do’ in this live recording as part of Sound Festival in Aberdeen in October 2018.


Listen to excerpts from our first commissions from Rebecca Rowe and Stuart Murray Mitchell here