This recently-released piece, commissioned by Feis Rois and composed by world renowned accordion player John Somerville, was composed to tell the story of the emigrants who left Ullapool in 1773 aboard ‘The Hector’ to make the perilous journey across the Atlantic in search of a new life in Nova Scotia.
Hector was an old ship and in poor condition when she left and the arduous voyage to Pictou took 11 weeks, with a gale off Newfoundland causing a 14 day delay. Dysentery and smallpox claimed 18 lives amongst the passengers.
While the work was performed live in 2014 in Canada, Australia and in the UK, this CD is a studio recording by some of the Scotland’s finest traditional musicians launched in front of 300-strong audience in the brand new terminal in Ullapool harbour.
A beautifully crafted work performed by some of Scotland’s finest musicians, this CD really is one for every collection. It comprises eight tracks featuring a combinations of harp, fiddle, flute, whistle, bagpipes, keyboard and accordion, plus Gaelic vocals.
The music takes you on a journey of emotion from the thrill and excitement of departure, the melancholic fading of the home shores, the despair and sorrow of lost children and burial at sea, the storm and finally safe landing on Cape Breton.
Currently only available via the Feis Rois shop at www.feisrois.org at £12.
***** (FIVE stars, out of five)