Music for six voices, composed by Corrina Hewat and
Performed by The Dunedin Consort was commissioned
by An Tobar, The Tobermory Arts Centre, in the Island of
Mull for a special outdoor performance, using the old Fishermens'
Pier in the centre of Tobermory as the stage. The piece is
in four sections, featuring six voices and incorporating
words and poems from EE Cummings
and Judith Jardine.
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|Corrina Hewat: Artist profile & catalogue of works|
Total running time
Thank yous from Corrina to the Dunedin Consort for their stunning performances, Gordon Maclean and Sheenan Walker at An Tobar for the enthusiasm, energy and inspiration to make this happen. Also to Judith Jardine for her inspiring words, and to Martyn Bennett for his words of wisdom outside An Tobar. A humungous thank you to Caroline and David for their love and support. Also big thanks to Jade Hewat, Ian A Macdonald, Carolyn Paterson, Helen Jamieson, Nod Knoweles and the SAC. Special thanks to Gillian Shaw, Damon Baxter, Mull Fishermens' Association, Ian, Gemma and Ruaridh Maclean.
And Colin Hynd for starting this whole malarky off in the first place in 1998.
Tobermory Fishermens' Pier 22nd July 2003
This music was a joy to write. The concept was to write a piece for The Dunedin Consort, to be performed on the pier overlooking the bay in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. I liked the idea of a visual picture of six singers silhouette against the backdrop of the sun on the water. Mull has always been a very inspirational place for me,and as I've got to know the island more and developed strong friendships with some of its people, I associate different sounds and colours with the different places on the island, specifically the north and south as most of my friends live there(or there).
Two months prior to the performance I spent a week on Mull trying to write down the sound and colours. The piece was premiered on July 22nd 2003.It was performed four times throughout the day, three times on the fishermen's pier (as planned), and this cd is a recording of the last performance, which actually took place in An Tobar itself as we were rained off the pier! This recording represents only one of many ways in which the piece can be interpreted, as each singer has the option to change their sound and respond to the sounds around them. Obviously, this only applies to the sections where the music is wordless, but I took the opportunity to incorporate a couple of poems that, for me, perfectly illustrates the spirit of the music I was trying ot write. They can be interpreted in any way you wish.
Many people will be familiar with the concept
of Rorschanch's Inkblots, where psychologists use cards with "ink-blot" patterns
and patients give their interpretation of what they "see" in
the picture. I like the idea that silhouettes can be different
things to different people, and to me, music is as good a medium
as any for creating shapes and colour. Just as two people
can look at a card with a pattern, and see two completely different
things (a face or a butterfly for example),two people can listen
to the same piece of music, and feel different sensations; perhaps
uplifting joy for one, could be experienced as sadness by another.
Fortunately though, unlike Rorschach's method, music is not designed
to interpret your mental disposition.
This CD features that final amazing performance recorded as one single take.
The Dunedin Consort:
Recorded at An Tobar, Isle of Mull
Founded in 1996 by Susan Hamilton and Ben Parry, the Dunedin Consort was soon hailed by the critics as “a group that has done so much to transform the vocal life of Scotland”. The dynamic ensemble has rapidly established its presence in the artistic life of its home country, appearing in venues throughout Scotland, from remote Highland churches to major concert halls. It has performed a diverse repertoire that ranges from Medieval and Renaissance music to contemporary works such as Stockhausen’s Stimmung, together with a range of commissions from composers both in Scotland and beyond.
The Consort has appeared at festivals in Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Spain and the Channel Islands as well as at the Edinburgh International Festival. It has worked in collaboration with ensembles including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia 21, Scottish Ensemble, Mr McFall’s Chamber, Paragon Ensemble, Florilegium, La Serenissima and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, has appeared on BBC 2 and BBC 4 television and been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Scotland.
Education and outreach have always been an integral part of the Consort’s work in the Scottish community. In winter 2002 The People’s Mass, a collaboration involving six Scottish-based composers, was performed with children’s choirs throughout the country and Harvey Brough’s Requiem in Blue, a project involving nearly 300 children from a variety of different schools and backgrounds, culminated in a performance at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.
The Consort has recorded works by Copland and Barber for the Linn label and appears on the recordings of Mozart’s operas Il Seraglio and Idomeneo with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Music by William Byrd and Thomas Tallis and a recording of The People’s Mass, have been released on the Delphian label, as well as Corrinna Hewat’s Silhouette, which the ensemble premiered on the Island of Mull in 2003.
Since late 2003, when Ben Parry left to become Director of Music at St Paul’s School in London, John Butt joined Susan Hamilton as artistic director. This provided an opportunity to consolidate the group’s existing strength in the performance of Baroque music, together with the development of the Dunedin Players as an ensemble dedicated to performance with historical instruments. One particular trend has been to perform familiar works from the Baroque era in unusual ways: for instance, presenting Handel’s Messiah successively in the variety of versions that Handel himself developed in nearly 20 years of performances; presenting Bach’s Passions in the lean vocal scoring of their original performances. Another direction is to commission new pieces to complement and play off the old: William Sweeney, Errollyn Wallen and Peter Nelson have, for instance, written works to complement the era of George Buchanan, the Song of Songs settings of Heinrich Schütz and the motets of Bach.
The Consort and Players reached a significant milestone at the end of 2006, with the release by Linn Records of Handel’s Messiah, in its first performing version (Dublin, 1742). Against stiff competition from two other international releases, Dunedin’s was the recording most favoured by Gramophone and BBC Radio 3’s CD Review. It was also listed as one of the four top classical albums of 2006 In the Daily Mail. David Vickers, in Gramophone, hailed the recording as ‘the freshest, most natural, revelatory and transparently joyful Messiah I have heard in a long time’.
Corrina Hewat is a renowned Scottish composer, a leading exponent of the small harp, a member of ground-breaking groups Shine and Bachue and co-musical director of the Celtic Big-Band phenomenon The Unusual Suspects.
Silhouette was commissioned by An Tobar, The Tobermory Arts Centre for a special outdoor performance, using the old pier in the centre of Tobermory as the stage.
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