Carrick-a-Rede

for saxophone quartet

Susannah Self

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Composer Susannah Self
Composer

Year of Composition

Instrumentation

, , ,

Duration

ca. 6'

Student Difficulty

Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-ss1car1

Notes

Carrick-a-Rede (from the Scots Gaelic ‘Carraig-a-Rede’) means “the rock in the road”. The road in question is the sea route for Atlantic salmon on their westward journey past Carrick Island on the North coast of Northern Ireland (near the Giant’s Causeway). For over 350 years, fisherman have strung a rope bridge 30m above the sea to allow them access to the best places to catch migrating salmon. It occurred to me that Jesus is often referred to as ‘ichthus’—the fish—and in a similar way the salmon seem to willingly put themselves forward for sacrifice to the fishermen. This is why a large part of the piece is quite upbeat! I was inspired by Celtic music and the arias by Bach about death which are always joyful. One music historian recently put forward the idea that this was because so many of his children died that he wanted to make death a light, joyful event, so as to comfort his living children.