Sea Songs Salty and Serene
An anthology of English, Irish, and
Scottish nautical music
selected and arranged by Dorothea Barth
As an introduction to Flautilla, below are excerpts from the Preface:
"I’ve long wanted to arrange a book of nautical tunes for two instruments. Perhaps this is no surprise, since an immigrant ship, de Groote Beer, first brought me to America as a young girl.
For the past five years, my husband and I have lived in Vallejo, California, whose waterfront I walk most days. I pass the century-old Yacht Club and across Mare Island Strait view the massive, ghostly remnants of what once was the West Coast’s oldest shipyard, Mare Island Naval Shipyard. I’ve performed on Mare Island at the Admiral’s Mansions and at St. Peter’s Chapel, a rare and beautiful structure struggling for survival and revival along with the city’s economy. On a lighter note, the raucous and colorful Northern California Pirate Festival, now in its third year, is about to be held on Vallejo’s waterfront park.
For Flautilla, I drew the source tunes from Playford’s Dancing Master, O’Neill’s Music of Ireland, and the Gow Collection of Scottish Dance Music. I’ve kept the melodies true to their source, though as always I grant myself liberty to switch the tune between the two instruments, change octaves, and add embellishments on repeats--something that would also be done in spontaneous performance.
As in my previous collections, these arrangements were conceived for recorder and violin but may also be played on flute and violin or two violins. In this volume, the suggested recorder range is indicated, but the adaptable recorder player may experiment with different ranges. We prefer the soprano recorder (which sounds an octave higher than written) on reels, jigs, and hornpipes and the tenor recorder (or alto recorder depending on range) for slower, lyrical pieces.
Seafarers, captains, and all those who love the sea: This one’s for you. And remember to swing those hornpipes!"
Sound samples below recorded August 2009.