Seavaigers

Sally Beamish (1956)

Seavaigers 2011

strings (33221)
Duration 
25
Solist 
Publisher 

Seavaigers is a collaboration between its composer, Sally Beamish, and two of the foremost soloists in the Celtic tradition: Chris Stout and Catriona McKay. The score leaves space for much improvisation in the solo parts, and the piece was the result of many discussions and ideas from all three.

The title means ‘Seafarers’ and refers both to the seafaring people of the North Sea, and to the two soloists: Chris Stout, from Shetland, and Catriona McKay, from Dundee. The stretch of water between these two Northerly ports has claimed countless lives over the centuries, but is also one of the most beautiful and romantic seascapes in the world – home to seabirds, whales, dolphins and endless changes of light and weather. Strong emotions are always connected to dangerous journeys, and this piece reflects the anticipation, fear, comradeship and adventure of sea voyaging.
The first movement, Storm, begins with a shimmering dawn over the water before launching into a ‘reel’ which becomes increasingly unsettled and harmonically dark, before resolving into optimism.
The Lament refers to many seafaring tragedies. The music consists of one very simple melody, which repeats and overlaps with varying ornamentation, written and improvised.
The solo improvisations continue as the last movement begins – steering a final exhilarated course towards home. Just before the end, the opening music returns, as if land is in sight.

Sally Beamish

Performances 
22.1.12 Celtic Connections Festival, Glasgow: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
3.4.12 Edinburgh Harp Festival: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
20.9.12 Trondheim, Norway: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Trondheim Symphony Orchestra / Peter Szilvay
30.7.13 Aberdeen: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
3.8.13 Lerwick, Shetland Islands: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
29.4.14 Concert Hall, Perth: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
30.4.14 The Arches, Glasgow: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
1.5.14 Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
18.6.14 Village Underground, Spitalfields Festival: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
19.6.14 RWCMD, Cardiff: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
25-28.4.15 Brazil tour: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
2.5.15 Sage Gateshead: Chris Stout / Catriona McKay / Scottish Ensemble / Jonathan Morton
21.5.15 Winterthur, Switzerland: Pär Näsbom / Torbjörn Näsbom / Musikkollegium Winterthur / Douglas Boyd
3
Violin
3
Violin II
2
Viola
2
Cello
1
Double bass
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