Jim has composed scores for theatrical productions to critical acclaim.
Most recently, ‘Cargo’, a multi-ethnic, large scale, open air performance on the theme of migration, premiered at the Edinburgh Mela 2010 and went on to enjoy critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Aislings Children - The Gathering 2009

Aislings Children - The Gathering 2009

In 2009, 'Aisling’s Children', performed by the specially created True North Orchestra and presented as part of 'The Gathering', was one of the major events of Scotland's year of ‘Homecoming’. Its 9,000 sell-out audience filled the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

The Bridge - Boilerhouse

Jim has also composed the music for Boilerhouse on 'Sister Sister' (2003) and 'The Bridge' (2004). The latter holds the single audience record for a Scottish company when 18,000 people watched this large-scale outdoor aerial spectacular with chorus, cranes, live and recorded film performed in Angers, France! It subsequently toured more widely in France and the UK.
Jim also scored 'Into the Dark' for Visible Fictions Theatre Company (2004). This touring young peoples’ horror show was described in 'The Stage' as 'an edge-of-the-seat scream-fest of horror'.

Listen to Jim's music while you browse the site.

'The job of creating a universally appealing language to tell the story (Cargo) fell to La Banda Europa's Jim Sutherland, perhaps best known to Edinburgh audiences as the composer of the bustling score which chased wannabes and comedians up and down New Town streets in Annie Griffin's 2005 film Festival.'

Cargo at the Edinburgh Mela

Cargo at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

'I'm not a fan of 'world music',' says Sutherland. "I feel as though it's often a diluted version of culture, nothing more than the sum of its parts. What we've tried to do as we make this score is create something that exists for itself, a new music with real strength and integrity. We wanted to bring everything together, use the music to create this real, strange, new place with its own very distinctive culture." His six-strong team of composers includes traditional tabla players turned Glasgow bhangra DJs Tigerstyle, Sri Lankan-born composer Niroshini Thambar and Galvarino Ceron-Carrasco and Vahe Hovanesian, from Chile and Armenia.

The Scotsman

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Photo for Jim Sutherland Banner and biography Kerstin Gruenling