Sea-themed music score is breath of fresh air

A senior lecturer has completed a musical collaboration with Edinburgh schoolchildren that explores people’s relationships with the sea.

Dee Isaacs worked with pupils from a school situated close to the city’s shoreline as part of the University’s Music in the Community programme.

Programme leader Ms Isaacs, an esteemed composer, collaborated with children from Victoria Primary in Newhaven, as well as a writer and an instrument maker.

Excerpts from the musical score were recorded by Edinburgh music students at a performance held in the University’s McEwan Hall.

Eight cities

Where the City Flows celebrates the ties that bind cities to the sea and focuses on eight coastal cities around the world.

The project has involved 160 pupils as well as Angolan instrument-maker Victor Gama and acclaimed writer Gerda Stevenson.

Cities that have inspired Dee Isaacs’ music include Honolulu, Cape Town and Kingston, Jamaica. The project involves a new poem by Gerda Stevenson, written in Scots.

Rich history

The poem highlights the rich history of Newhaven, which was once a thriving fishing village and a centre for shipbuilding.

Victor Gama designed two eye-catching percussion instruments as part of the project. The pupils then made the instruments and played them at a performance in school.

The University’s Music in the Community programme was launched more than 20 years ago. It was started by the renowned Edinburgh music professor Nigel Osborne when he began working with children in Bosnia, and used music to help them recover from trauma.

This collaboration celebrates the richness of music that exists across different cultures and has been inspired by the idea that all of us are connected by the seas around us.

Dee IsaacsReid School of Music

Related links

Reid School of Music

Gerda Stevenson

Victor Gama

Newhaven on Forth