Recording sounds for ‘St Abbs symphony’

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Pupils from Eyemouth and Coldingham Primary Schools turned recording artists this week when they visited St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve.

There, they recorded sounds of seabirds and the sea for a newly commissioned piece of classical music to immortalise St Abb’s Head and everything that makes it special.

Pupils worked with sound artist Pippa Murphy from London-based arts organisation Sonic Postcards, which encourages pupils to explore their environment through sound. The recordings are the first step to creating the brand new piece, to be written and played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The project is part of the National Trust Scotland’s pARTicipate project to encourage people to explore heritage through art.

Trust property manager Liza Cole said: “This is a really exciting project. Involving the pupils is an excellent starting point, helping them to explore their environment through sound and learn more about what makes St Abb’s so special.”

Liza explained that pupils would then pass on their recordings to Howard Moody at the SCO, who will take inspiration from the sounds.

“Who knows,” she added, “the piece may one day become as well-known and loved as Fingal’s Cave by Mendelssohn, which is also inspired by a place in the trust’s care.”

Kathleen Easton, headteacher at Eyemouth Primary School said that the project provides many benefits for pupils.

She said: “First of all they are building on their skills in the use of ICT for music making. They are also gaining confidence as they work with other professionals from St Abb’s Head Nature Reserve and the Voluntary Marine Reserve.

“Pupils are also having great fun and friendships are being made with pupils across the two schools which will benefit transition to high school in the next school session.”