Luminescence: A Creative Collaboration at St Giles’ Cathedral

edinburgh fringe music

An Unforgettable Experience at Edinburgh Fringe

Luminescence is a captivating collaboration between visual artist Maria Rud and saxophonist Tommy Smith, taking place at the historic St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Fringe. This unique performance showcases the fusion of music and visual art, creating a mesmerizing experience for the audience.

Luminescence Performance

The Artists: Maria Rud and Tommy Smith

Born in Moscow, Maria Rud grew up surrounded by music. Her Ukrainian mother was a composer, and from an early age, Rud discovered that music inspired visual images in her mind. As she explains, “That’s the way I hear music, through visual images rather than just the sound and the notes.”

Maria Rud

Tommy Smith, a renowned saxophonist, first met Rud at a reception in the National Museum of Scotland, just a short walk from St Giles’. After a brief conversation, they both agreed to collaborate at some point. Their first project together was when Smith, the artistic director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, invited Rud to create images in response to the Orchestra’s dedications to saxophone pioneers like Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman in their Where Rivers Meet concert series in May 2021. Luminescence premiered in a single performance at St Giles’ Cathedral in November that same year.

Tommy Smith

A Unique Performance Every Time

Luminescence is entirely improvised, making each show a one-of-a-kind experience. Smith has no idea what he will play as the cathedral falls into darkness, while Rud creates her live “storyboard” in response to the music. She describes the process as a conversation between the two artists through their respective mediums.


St Giles’ Cathedral itself plays a vital role in the performance, with the massive east window providing a canvas for Rud’s projections, giving the show an impressive scale. The incredible architecture, magical acoustics, and the long history of the cathedral – celebrating its 900th anniversary in 2024 – contribute to the atmosphere, which the audience can undoubtedly feel.

St Giles' Cathedral

More Opportunities to Experience Luminescence

For those interested in attending this unforgettable performance, there are two more nights of Luminescence at St Giles’ Cathedral. Read a five-star review of Luminescence from Arts Reviews Edinburgh to learn more about this enthralling event.

Luminescence Booking

About Me

I’m Dr. Miles Beaumont from the charming town of York in the UK. I’ve spent over three decades as a medical doctor, helping people and contributing to important research. I graduated from Oxford University, and ever since, I’ve devoted myself to improving the health and lives of others.

When I’m not practicing medicine, you’ll find me soaking up the world of jazz music. It’s been a passion of mine since I turned 30, and I’ve been an active part of York’s jazz scene ever since. Whether it’s going to local gigs, listening to records at home, or just enjoying the rhythmic and improvisational magic of jazz, it’s a big part of who I am.