Beautiful Sounds of Isolation

Our teaching Director Olwen Macleod lives in the Outer Hebrides and those who are taught by her may have been given the ‘webcam treat’ of looking out of her studio window onto the sea, which sometimes comes through her window when there is a stormy high tide.   Near where she lives is the island of Staffa, and Fingal’s Cave.  No-one lives on this Island and it is often difficult to land a boat there.  But many years ago composer Felix Mendelssohn visited the uninhabited island and wrote the famous Hebrides Overture describing Fingal’s Cave and his experience.

Can I suggest that you look up some pictures of Staffa and Fingal’s Cave – can you find a video?  And then I suggest you listen to the whole piece, yes the whole Fingal’s cave overture and shut your eyes and imagine you are there.  Mendelssohn paints all the pictures of the powerful lashing waves in his beautiful music.  Be transported there and listen to the birds, the smell of the seaweed and the salt water.  Mind you don’t get pooped on by a seagull!

Now, do you think you could compose a piece of music describing something in your house or garden?  Use the best of your imagination, Mendelssohn did; and then perform it to your teacher and record it and send it to us.  We want to make a page on our website ‘beautiful sounds of isolation’ and we’ll be putting all the best compositions up there and awarding prizes. ‘Beautiful Sounds of Isolation’ will appear in our website on the 31st May – we look forward to hearing from you.