for SSATB & piano or string orchestra The Shipping Forecast is in 3 movements: 'Donegal', 'They that go down to the sea in ships', and 'Naming'. The first and last movement are settings of poems by the poet, broadcaster, and academic, Seán Street. In 'Donegal' snatches of the shipping forecast (spoken) are woven into the atmospheric texture of the poem. The second movement is a setting of the Psalm 107: 23-26 | 28-29: 'They that go down to the sea in ships'. The setting has the feel of a Celtic lullaby, moving from a simple statement to a centre of turmoil then back to overlapping phrases, melting into tranquillity at the end. In the final movement,
'Naming', the text becomes 'a meditation on the fortunes of the sea as reflected in other names, gathered from coastal maps of Newfoundland'. Energetic, in perpetual motion and rhythmic, 'Naming' drives the whole work to an upbeat finish.
Cecilia McDowall (b.1951)
They that go down to the sea in ships