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2019 - folk singer, jazz quartet, string orchestra c. 40'

Words from Dàin do Eimhir by Somhairle MacGill-Eain

I - Girl of the Red Gold Hair

II - You Were Dawn

III - Interlude I

IV - But For You

V - Interlude II

VI - Shores

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During my undergraduate studies I researched the relationship between jazz, Scottish traditional music and classical music. My dissertation was on this topic along with a string of additional research projects. This research focused on other people’s music, namely the contemporary jazz and traditional music being made in Scotland at the time, music that I was absorbing and experiencing live regularly, particular as part of the city's burgeoning jazz scene at the time. That being said however, my research and personal listening was largely kept separate from my own composing.


Upon entering postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I had plans to create a large scale work that brought together jazz, Scottish traditional music and classical music in a way that was fully representative of my musical identity and the music I am most inspired by. The piece balances jazz improvisation, folk influenced vocal writing and classically informed string writing.

The text that runs through the piece is by Somhairle MacGill-Eain. I am really drawn to the way that MacGill-Eain uses imagery of expansive landscapes to express deeply intimate feelings of love and longing. The four poems are part of a huge work of poetry called Dàin do Eimhir that intertwines themes of love, history, the politics of pre-WWII Europe and the landscape of MacGill-Eain's native Skye and Raasay. I am really grateful that the project received some support and encouragement from the Sorley MacLean Trust whose board members include members of Sorley MacLean’s immediate family. 


I composed Shores in spring 2019 for a performance as part of RCS Bridge Week in June 2019. The piece was later recorded as a full length album. Some of the musicians who participated in the performance and recording have made music that greatly influenced the writing of Shores for which I am hugely thankful, namely Fergus McCreadie, Matt Carmichael, Mark Hendry and Cameron Nixon.



First performed as part of Bridge Week at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in June 2019 alongside Endangered Species Suite by Mark Hendry

Watch entire concert

Recorded as a full studio album featuring Cameron Nixon, Matt Carmichael, Fergus McCreadie, Mark Hendry and Dominykas Snarskis

watch listen

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