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to the hands that tend it

2021 - string quartet and wind trio c. approx 10'

Commissioned by Nevis Ensemble as part of their Water Stories project. 

I am currently working to build an online shop for pdf scores.

In the meantime, to access the full score for perusal or purchase please contact me via the contact page

This piece was commissioned in January 2020 and was intended to be part of a project in which I worked with residents of Eigg to create a piece together through a series of workshops. This was unable to happen and the project was delayed by a year. The workshops instead became one brief visit with limited time for any workshop activity. Instead the visit became about conversations with residents about the island and what Eigg meant to them personally.


A common theme in these conversations was the community of Eigg that is shaped by, and shapes, the island itself. One person said that "if you look after the island, the island will look after you".  This statement became the focal point of the piece. I wanted to touch on the history of the island but focus mainly on the communities that have formed on the island through its history.


There is a great book called Eigg: The Story of an Island by Camille Dressler, herself an Eigg resident. Her book documents the island from prehistory to the vikings, through to clan conflict, the clearances and the monumental community buyout in 1997 for which many of the current residents were present. 

The piece has three main sections, each characterised by a different melody. These melodies were learned from wax cylinder recordings made in 1913 by Marjorie Kennedy Fraser of three woman who lived on Eigg at the time; Mrs MacDonald, Ishbel Macleod and Kirsty Mackinnon. 

There is a lot of flexibility written into the score. It was initially written for a Nevis Ensemble tour in which they perform multiple gigs a day meaning the piece could change and morph with different musicians playing the solo sections and even additional musicians joining. The instrumentation is somewhat flexible and would work with a larger string section or can be adapted for other wind instruments. It would also be well suited to a youth ensemble or amateur ensemble. 

This piece has never been performed live. If you have an ensemble who would be interested in giving this piece its live premier, please do get in touch via the contact page



Recorded by Nevis Ensemble in Glasgow, November 2021. Audio by Campbell Parker, video by Jamie Wardrop


Violins - Fergus Hall, Lisa Robertson, Daria Patroniak

Viola - Sagnick Mukherjee

Cello - Keena Wildman

Clarinet - Cathal Killeen

Alto saxophone - Richard Scholfield

Trombone - Dylan Findlay


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