Currents of Sable Island


2017 Music Nova Scotia Awards: ‘Currents of Sable Island’ TIES with Symphony Nova Scotia for Classical Recording of the Year.

‘Currents of Sable Island’ garnered the 2017 ECMA  ‘Classical Composition of the Year’ Award.

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Have you every dreamed of going to Sable Island?       

Now you can…Watch and listen to the 2017 ECMA Classical Composition of the Year.


On Sept 9, 2016 Scott Macmillan’s composition Currents of Sable Island was released on the Centredisc Label through the Canada Music Centre. First premiered in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 3, 2008, Currents of Sable Island was recorded in front of a live on audience March 22, 2015. Set to the evocative poem Sable Island 44ºN 60ºW from Jill MacLean, the Currents of Sable Ensemble features top Nova Scotia Symphonic and Celtic musicians. Scott is delighted to introduce soprano soloist Laurel Browne.

Sable Island horsesIn August of 2007 I had my trip of a lifetime.  On March 21st, 2015 our live studio audience was transported to that mysterious island as part an exclusive audience for a LIVE recording of my evocative lyrical composition Currents of Sable Island’ set to Jill MacLean’s poem ‘Sable Island 44ºN 60ºW’. Photographer Damian Lidgard’s strikingly beautiful images of Sable Island screened during the performance.


Our Performers; Composer/Guitar: Scott Macmillan,  Soprano Soloist: Laurel Browne, Violin: Jennifer Jones, Cello: Hillary Brown, Flute/Whistles: Glenn Coolen, French Horn: Mary Lee, Harp: Karen Rokos,  Bass: Max Kasper, Percussion: D’Arcy Gray.

Sable Island 44ºN 60ºW

Jill MacLean ©2003

the island bends
to current, winds and wave,
marram grass
netting the dunes, which bury and disinter
seal rib, sparrow rib, rib of feral horse
arc of a dolphin’s spine, sand
where the heart was


at dusk, a yearling’s carcass
taints the air,
the mare’s first foal shivers in the wind,
its legs buckling,





while grey seals
enter the ocean single-minded as sperm,
in water their bodies flow like water,

and from the waves they watch you

tread unstable sand in which garnets are ground small




at dawn, the mare lowers her head to her dead foal,
kicks at the stallion who’s nudging her along

later she wanders off to graze, wades
the western ponds the foal moors a small dune

curve to your own mortality, see how
grasses grow through an empty hoof
and watch the migrant finch, its feathers
the blue of ocean, intensified
as a lens bends sunlight to burning

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