Sketches of Shetland


Sketches of Shetland


Here is a five-movement, continuous twenty-minute piece depicting these beautiful islands. We first went there in 2008, and standing at the very top of Britain, at Hermaness, in freezing rain, watching the furious sea crashing on the rocks and the cliffs round the lighthouse, the gulls and terns whizzing around above the water, I knew this would be great for band. You could almost hear it. It took another ten years (see the Composing Page) for me to get going on it, but that’s where it started. The five movements are 1. The View; 2. Boat Trip and Cave; 3. Mousa by Midnight; 4. Hoswick Bay, and 5. Hermaness.  Five very different impressions of these spectacular, then adventure-filled, mystical, heroic and stormy islands. You must go.

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In the centre of he picture above is magical Mousa broch, which we visited on Midsummer Night, 2008. Well over 2000 years old, with a hearth, stairway and galleries, it loomed up in the midnight light and was ghostly and magnificent. All five movements of this piece evoke atmospheres and experiences these islands offer.

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