Composers Craig Armstrong and Calum Martin have today released on Modern Recordings their brand new collaboration ‘The Edge of the Sea’, an album exploring the unique spiritual tradition of Scottish Gaelic psalm singing.
‘The Edge of the Sea’ consists of two new works: ‘Martyrdom’, and ‘Ballantyne’; with the concept being realised by bringing together a curated congregation by Calum’s from the Isles of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, along with the outstanding talent and enthusiasm of the Scottish Ensemble.
Alongside the release of the album, Craig and Calum have also today shared a brand new film by Scottish artists Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion, ‘Your Shadow’, which features the piece Ballantyne Movement 5 from ‘The Edge of the Sea’.
The film features birds native to the Outer Hebrides where Scottish Gaelic psalm singing is most prevalent, including: Crow, Gannet, Bonxie (Great Skua), Gannet (hovering).
‘Martyrdom’ is based on an existing traditional melody of the same title, from the late eighteenth century and is still used in Gaelic church services today. The combination of its melody and the variations created by the composer was to become the beginning of a unique collaboration between Craig and Calum.
‘Ballantyne’ was originally commissioned by Alex Macdonald from the Lewis arts centre, An Lanntair, as part of their Creative Places Awards concert in August 2016.
‘Ballantyne’ is originally based on the Ascension story of The Acts of the Apostles (chapter 1, verses 6-11). Compositionally ‘Ballantyne’ also contains a melody by Calum Martin and features original composition by Craig. It features Duncan Chisholm, one of the leaders in traditional Highland fiddle music.
We are extremely happy through the financial support of National Lottery through Creative Scotland and the PRS Foundation that this recording has been able to happen to create this special album.