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Lyell Cresswell Shadows Without Sun (2001-2003) 75'
M-S Spkr / 1+1(1)1+11+11+1 2210 Pf Str Recording
First performed on: 12 Dec 2003
First performed by: Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Garry Walker (conductor)
First performed at: Academy Concert Hall, RSAMD, Glasgow
Notes: Supported through a SAC Creative Scotland Award and written for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Winner of 2001 Creative Scotland Award.
The History of the human race has been a history of exiles. People have been forced from their homes, or have left voluntarilyh for religious, economic, racial or social reasons. Central to any exile's life, second only to physical survival, is their identity. Who am I? What is the rruth about me? where do I belong? and, above all, What am I doing here? All exiles ask hese questions in different ways.
"Shadows Without Sun" looks at these questions in three different ways; through the stories of two individuals, Casssandra and the Reverend Norman McLeod, and through the recorded observations of contemporary exiles living in Scotland. I have not looked for any connection in these other thatn the basic concern of exile.
Cassandra was a prophetess, taken home by Agamemnon after the Trojan War. Her exile was involuntary and twofold. Not only physically dragged from her home, she was also cursed with telling a truth that no one acknowledged. She died in exile, humiliated and murdered. Cassandra's attraction is in her intensisty and defiance. She is a strong and daring woman with a firm grip on reality. She leads the Trojans in their grief when Hector's body is brought back, and looks forward to her fate in Mycenae, where she will precipitate the death of Agamemnon and the the ruin of his house.
Norman McLeod was born in Clachtoll, Assynt, in 1780. He left in 1817 and never saw Scotland again. Officially, his exile was voluntary. In fact, he was driven away to spare his followers the desperate poverty that followed the Highland Clearances. A rebellious and bloody-minded preacher, McLeod fulminated against the entrenched church rulers and the injustices of the social order. He cut himself off from the established church and led his own sect first to Pictou, Nova Scotia, then on to St. Ann's, Cape Breton Island, and finally, via Cape Town and Adelaide, to Waipu on the far north east coast of New Zealand in search of religious and economic freedom. He died at Waipu, New Zealand in 1866. His descendants still consider themselves Scots.
The recordings include prepared statements, readings and interviews with people who, for one reason or another, have chosen to live in Scotland. Some of them do not wish to be identified and have made statements to be read by others.