THE creators of opening events at the Edinburgh International Festival, 59 Productions, have announced the attainment of a remarkable hat-trick of prestigious commissions this autumn. On October 14, in Washington, the company's work will animate the re-opening of the Freer & Sackler galleries at the Smithsonian as the centrepiece of a weekend of celebration of their renovation. That event, entitled A Perfect Harmony, will happen just as another work Reflections comes to the end of a four-night run at Bilbao in northern Spain. The canvas for that is Frank Gehry's remarkable Guggenheim Museum, which is marking the 20th anniversary of its opening.

The trio of public artworks begins with Bloom in Edinburgh' s St Andrew Square on Friday and Saturday of this week from 10pm, which is the third free public spectacular to be created by the company for the start of the Festival.

VETERAN troubadour Rab Noakes plays a series of gigs during August as part of his 70/50 celebrations. Noakes, who celebrated his seventieth birthday earlier this year, played his first paid gig fifty years ago, a duo performance in Glasgow with the late Robin McKidd of High Speed Grass, and will be singing songs from his recent release, The Treatment Tapes and his extensive back catalogue at Leith Folk Club on Tuesday, August 1. He also appears at the New Town Theatre in Edinburgh on August 10, the Fraser Centre, Milngavie on August 12 and in a duo with fellow Fifer Barbara Dickson at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on August 13.

GLENFARG Village Folk Club continues to bring music to its current home, the Green Hotel in nearby Kinross, throughout August. Singer-songwriter Duncan McCrone and his long-time musical partner and co-writer from the band Dapplegrim, Cy Jack appear on August 7 and the club’s popular monthly singaround, with all welcome to participate, takes place on August 14. Fiddler and banjo player Celine Donoghue joins singer-guitarist Neil Sturgeon on August 21 and popular trio Other Roads bring ballads and fiddle tunes to the club on August 28. The club has also announced the first visit, on September 4, by Somerset-based singer-songwriter, who numbers Texas troubadour Townes Van Zandt, English folk master Martin Carthy and the Who’s Pete Townshend among his admirers.