Celtic Mass for the Sea

Now lay thine ear against this golden sand……..
and thou shalt hear the music of the sea

“Scott Macmillan and Jennyfer Brickenden’s Celtic Mass for the Sea CD is a runaway best seller in the classical market selling over 20,000 units”

Listen to Benedictus from the Celtic Mass for the Sea

In June 2013 Macmillan & Brickenden will join two performances of their iconic work commemorating World Oceans Day,  June 1st in Toronto, Canada & June 8th in Bonn Germany.

The  ‘CELTIC MASS FOR THE SEA’ is a feature interview on Silver Donald Cameron’s environmental web blog ‘THE GREEN INTERVIEW’. There you can see and hear our Community Celebration on the Halifax Waterfront, World Oceans Day concert June 9th, 2012 as well as a feature length interview with Scott Macmillan and Jennyfer Brickenden  about composing  ‘CELTIC MASS FOR THE SEA’. We are very excited about this and hope you check it out http://www.thegreeninterview.com/celtic-mass-interview

Scott in rehearsal for Celtic Colours International Festival 2007

300 hundred hearty Maritimers braved a foggy wet Halifax evening to join a Community Celebration Seaside, June 9th 2012 when ECMA winning guitarist composer Scott Macmillan,  performed his acclaimed works ‘Celtic Mass for the Sea’ & ‘Currents of Sable Island’ commemorating World Oceans Day.  Local media personality Olga Milosevich hosted this innovative gala concert featuring Scott Macmillan on guitar, the Halifax Camerata Singers, under the direction of Jeff Joudrey, the Blue Engine String Quartet, members of Symphony Nova Scotia, a Celtic Quintet, and Soprano Soloist, Laurel Browne. It was a truly memorable evening.

Background Info on the Celtic Mass for the Sea

In June of 1988, Scott Macmillan was commissioned through CBC radio producer Markandrew Cardiff and by the CBC Commission Office to create a “Celtic Mass for the Sea”. The instrumentation was to be similar to an earlier project Scott had worked on, “The OCTET”. This time there would be the addition of Irish bagpipes,Celtic Knot (Uileann pipes), celtic harp, a sixty voice choir, string orchestra and a text that would reflect a Celtic perspective of the sea and, at the same time, address our responsibility to our environment. The text was researched, edited and adapted for the Mass layout by Jennyfer Brickenden.

Since ancient times, mankind has sought prayer, meditation, incantations, sacrificial rites, blessings, omens, proverbs, etc. to define and gather strength for both praise and hope. In the “Celtic Mass for the Sea”, a text was compiled based on pre-Christian (pagan, wicca, druid), Christian and secular writings of Celtic origin, much of which dates back to before the 12th century. Up to the 12th century, Celtic Christianity was very pagan in its roots and in its application. Its foundation had been built around the superstitions and cultural heritage that had prevailed long before St. Patrick and St. Columba.

“Celtic Mass for the Sea puts Scott Macmillan up with the Bill Whelan’s and Shaun Davey’s of the world; a Celtic classical composer par excellence”
– John O’Regan; Broadcaster; Limerick; May 1997.

“One of the most significant events in Atlantic Canada in the last decade;”
– Dr. Walter Kemp, Head of Dalhousie University Music Dept., 1994

The music bases its themes on traditional Celtic rowing songs, sea-rapture songs, labour songs, funeral chants, pipe and fiddle tunes, as well as many original themes by Scott Macmillan.

During our research we were fortunate to locate highly respected Gaelic scholar Sister Margaret MacDonell, at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS.