Seasons of the Sea weaves together contemporary classical music written by award-winning Vancouver composer Jeffrey Ryan with a narrative written and performed by Sahtu Dene / Coast Salish artist, writer, and storyteller Rosemary Georgeson, recipient of the Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award.
Seasons of the Sea is equal parts Ryan's concerto for solo violin with string ensemble and harpsichord, inspired by his experience of the sea as a newcomer (and with a nod to Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'); and stories collected both from Georgeson's own family and shared with her by Elders from several First Nations communities, drawing on the experience of generations of coastal Indigenous peoples whose daily activities are intricately linked with the seasonal changes of the sea.
Tracing a year on and by the sea, Seasons of the Sea starts on winter's longest night, when the sea is dangerous and people stay close (Cold Earth Time). As the year progresses, with each solstice and equinox marked by a solo violin cadenza, spring emerges (Rebirth Time), the salmon make their summer return (Hot Earth Time), the autumn fog rolls in and the wind picks up (Earth Cooling Down Time), until finally we return to the beginning and a new year.
As words and music travel together, their parallel paths merge into a seamless 40-minute journey that touches on Indigenous knowledge-keeping, tides, fishing, climate change, the cycle of coastal life, and above all the profound respect, awe, and gratitude we share for the sea that sustains us.
released November 1, 2021
Rosemary Georgeson, Narrator & Creative Lead
Jeffrey Ryan, composer
Joan Blackman, solo violin
Renae Morriseau, First Nations musician/drummer
Seasons of the Sea was produced by Vetta Chamber Music vettamusic.com
Joan Blackman - Artistic Director
Larry Blackman - Producer and Project Manager
Jennie Press, violin
Ashley Plaut, violin
Justin Almazan, viola
Zoltan Rozsnyai, cello
Dylan Palmer, bass
Jane Hayes, harpsichord
Denise Ball - Audio Producer
Don Harder - Audio Engineer
Gloria Leung - Cover Design
Jordan Nobles - Consultant
Recorded at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver, BC located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
A special thanks to all the Elders who contributed stories and content including
X̱aad Kíl Woodrow (Woody) Morrison (in memorium), X̱aayda (Haida) Nation
August Sylvester, Spune’luxutth (Penelakut) Nation
Laura Sylvester (in memorium), Spune’luxutth (Penelakut) Nation
Latash-Maurice Nahanee, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation
Delhia Nahanee, Nisg̱a’a & Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Nisga’a & Squamish) Nations
Marissa Nahanee, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh & Nisg̱a’a (Squamish & Nisga’a) Nations