Nevis Water Stories

Nevis Ensemble is thrilled to be giving 60 chamber music concerts in nine of Scotland’s local authorities as the culmination of the orchestra’s Nevis Water Stories projects as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21. Delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic, chamber groups will premiere new works written by four composers, following an Open Call, in collaboration with young people and community groups in four areas of Scotland:

  • Aberdeen: Lisa Robertson (young people from across the city)
  • Isle of Eigg: Fergus Hall (the whole island community)
  • Saltcoats: Harry Gorski-Brown (primary school children)
  • Port Seton: Huan Li (adults with learning disabilities)

Taking place between 16 and 26 November 2021, and visiting Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute East Ayrshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highland, and North Ayrshire, performances will take place in a variety of community and social care venues, such as schools, hospitals and care homes, as well as public spaces and venues.

To The Hands That Tend It | Fergus Hall

To The Hands That Tend It was written for and inspired by the community on the Isle of Eigg. After a long delay, we managed to send Fergus to Eigg earlier in 2021 to meet and speak with people on the island and gather material for the piece. We had been trying really hard to get to Eigg to perform it, but alas that will have to wait, so we gathered some of our musicians together to record it be able to share it online.

Fergus Hall is a musician, composer, improviser and teacher from the west of Scotland, based in Glasgow. As a composer Fergus written a range of works such as a large secular oratorio in collaboration with Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith, a site-specific work for the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, a large suite for big band and narrator based on the poetry of Norman MacCaig, a range of chamber and electroacoustic works and scored a number of short films. Fergus graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2018 and from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2020 with a Masters in Composition.

Audio: Campbell Parker
Video: Jamie Wardrop

meet you at the beach | Lisa Robertson

meet you at the beach was written for and with young people from Aberdeen as part of our Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 projects following a series of online creative music workshop sessions with the young people, Lisa and Nevis musicians.

From home I can see the sea,
but it’s far away in the distance.
I walk to the beach with my family.
A lot of people go there when it’s sunny.
It’s where they see their friends and family.

Going to the beach you can get lost.
There are loud city noises, lots of cars.
It feels chaotic.
The sea can be chaotic too –
crashing waves, menacing and dangerous.

On a quiet day, the beach is a calm place
to collect your thoughts.

There are seagulls everywhere in the city.
There are dolphins in the harbour.
There are seals in the river,
down where the river connects to the sea.
The place where the city meets the sea,
it’s a place where people gather.
People, seals, seagulls and dolphins
– a place that brings us all together.

Lisa Robertson is a composer from the West Highlands of Scotland, particularly interested in combining sounds from nature and traditional music; examining relationships between people and the land and highlighting environmental concerns. Her music has been performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, EXAUDI, Red Note Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, Lucy Schaufer, and Heather Roche, among others. Her piece was also originally scheduled for a performance in 2020 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard. 

Audio: Campbell Parker
Video: Jamie Wardrop

Saltcoats Eight Bit | Harry Gorski-Brown

Saltcoats Eight Bit was written for and with the 2021 P7 pupils of St Anthony’s Primary School in Saltcoats after a series of workshops as part of our Water Stories projects supported by the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21. If you listen carefully to the tape you can hear the children speaking words that they picked as being important to them. The piece is for string quartet and tape, and you can see that the musicians are playing their instruments with spoons rather than bows!

Harry Gorski-Brown is a composer and musician based in Glasgow. Much of Harry’s music explores electronics and the visual elements of performance. He currently performs in a duo with Andrew Herrington, another with fellow RCS graduate Patrick Shand and improv group Popko Blink.

Audio recording: Campbell Parker
Mixed by: Harry Gorski-Brown
Video: Jamie Wardrop


Auchenharvie Swimming Pool | 19 November 2021 | 11am
Saltcoats Road, Stevenston KA20 3JR

Rivergate Shopping Mall | 19 November 2021 | 1pm
5 Fullarton Street, Irvine KA12 8EJ

Scottish Maritime Museum | 19 November 2021 | 3pm
Harbour Road, Irvine KA12 8BT

Aberdeen Art Gallery | 20 November 2021 | 11am
Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1FQ

Aberdeen Art Gallery | 20 November 2021 | 12pm
Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1FQ

Union Square | 20 November 2021 | 1pm

Aberdeen Beach Promenade | 20 November 2021 | 2pm
Esplanade, Aberdeen AB24 5QA

Aberdeen Beach Promenade | 20 November 2021 | 2.40pm
Esplanade, Aberdeen AB24 5QA

Duthie Park | 20 November 2021 | 3.30pm
Polmuir Road, Aberdeen AB11 7TH

Newton Dee Village | 20 November 2021 | 5pm
Newton Dee Village, Old Ferry Road, Bieldside, Aberdeen AB15 9DX

Crathes Castle | 21 November 2021 | 11am
Crathes, Banchory AB31 5QJ

St Margaret’s Braemar | 21 November 2021 | 2pm
Glenshee Rd, Braemar, Ballater AB35 5YQ

Dunbar Battery | 21 November 2021 | 11.30am
Dunbar EH42 1HY

Fisherrow, Musselburgh | 21 November 2021 | 2.30pm
Links View, Musselburgh EH21 6JT

Social Bite Village | 21 November 2021 | 5pm

Port Seton Resource Centre | 22 November 2021 | 1.30pm CANCELLED
South Seton Park, Port Seton, Prestonpans EH32 0BQ

Leith Community Croft | 22 November 2021 | 3.30pm CANCELLED
4 John’s Place, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 7EL

Hayocks Primary School | 24 November 2021 | 11am
34 Lumsden Place, Stevenston KA20 4HF

St Matthew’s Academy | 24 November 2021 | 1.30pm
Jacks Road, Saltcoats KA2 1NT

Saltcoats Town Centre | 24 November 2021 | 3pm

Lockhart Campus | 25 November 2021 | 9.30am
120 Boglemart St, Stevenston KA20 3JL

Lockhart Campus | 25 November 2021 | 10.45am
120 Boglemart St, Stevenston KA20 3JL

Lockhart Campus | 25 November 2021 | 11.30am
120 Boglemart St, Stevenston KA20 3JL

St Anthony’s Primary School | 25 November 2021 | 1.30pm
Dykesmains Road, Saltcoats KA21 6DE

St Anthony’s Primary School | 25 November 2021 | 2pm
Dykesmains Road, Saltcoats KA21 6DE

St Anthony’s Primary School | 25 November 2021 | 2.30pm
Dykesmains Road, Saltcoats KA21 6DE

Stevenston Cross | 25 November | 3.30pm

East Ayrshire Carers | 26 November 2021 | 11am
7 Bank Street, Kilmarnock KA1 1HA

CentreStage | 26 November 2021 | 12.30pm
15 Elmbank Drive, Kilmarnock KA1 3AE

CentreStage | 26 November 2021 | 1.30pm
15 Elmbank Drive, Kilmarnock KA1 3AE

St Martin’s Church, Craigmillar | 26 November 2021 | 2pm
4 Magdalene Drive, Edinburgh EH15 3DB

Returning to live audiences over the last few months has been important for Nevis Ensemble’s musicians, and we are delighted to be able to visit some of our regular venues for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, as well as visiting many new places for the first time.

The performance tours, as well as the community composition projects that have taken place through 2021 are supported by Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government to help Scotland’s events sector plan and deliver events in response to Covid-19.