The Circassian or ‘Magic’ Circle is a Scottish folk dance from the 1880s where a large group forms two circles inside each other and changes their dance partners with every repeat of the musical theme. The ‘magical’ element lies in this fast swapping, meaning that everyone taking part in the dance gets to meet all the other dancers in just three minutes.
Recording every Hankai bilingual department student and teacher who can play the difficult, fast, Celtic melody in our school studio, I tried to build my version from only two instruments at the start, up to a rousing, loud finale with electric guitars, African drums, and even a cello.
Frank and I set up the video as a procession where a growing musical group walks past a neverending row of pianists, ending with dozens of musicians, joined by dancing and jumping primary school children. Interrupting this procession are clips of the studio with 17 musical instruments we recorded, adding where they are originally from, and when they were invented.