Peter J. Witchell - Blog

Shetland in November

There is a wonderful band of musicians in Shetland called ´ffancytunes ensemble´; this is a flexible group of instrumentailsts and singers which performs around the islands at functions such as weddings, village celebrations and concerts.  Their repertoire includes classical and folk and their programmes are fitted to the occasion.

ffancytunes ensemble - you can see their website - has played several of my pieces and it was a pleasure to be present last November at the première of my Sonata for Cello & Piano.  The weather on the Saturday of the concert was wild, wet and windy, and I´d reckoned this would put the audience off coming.  "No way!", I was told ,"we´re used to this".

And so there was a sizeable turnout of about 50 - 60 in St. Magnus Church.  My music - four movements labelled Soliloquy, Colloquy, Interloquy - Meditation and Terpsiloquy - was the ´serious item´ in an otherwise light-hearted programme of short pieces.  The audience was extremely well-behaved and didn´t move a muscle for the 25 minutes of so of the sonata;  the performers, Peter Coates & Meilo So, did me proud.  I hadn´t realised what a challenge I´d given them, but they rose to the occasion with great gusto and feeling.

As it happened, the other days of my visit were bright and sunny, and I was taken to Uist to see the northernmost house in the UK ,and to other notable spots on the islands. - a lot of ferries were involved!

But, by God, was it cold!