Rory Boyle wins British Composer Award
Huge congratulations to Professor Rory Boyle for winning a British Composer Award last night for his work Muckle Flugga.
The annual British Composer Awards ceremony celebrates the best in contemporary music composition in the country, and we are thrilled Rory’s work has been recognised at such a prestigious event.
Held in the British Film Institute in London, the audience were addressed by keynote speaker Jessica Cottis – the first recipient of the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship. Jessica was described by her peers on the evening as a ”˜fast rising star conductor’.
Rory’s composition is inspired by mythology and the Scottish landscape. Muckle Flugga is a tale about a small rocky island in the Shetland Islands, where, according to local folklore, two giants fell in love with the same mermaid and fought over her by throwing large rocks at each other, one of which became Muckle Flugga. To get rid of these rivals, the mermaid offered to marry whichever one followed her to the North Pole but both drowned since neither could swim. During the Crimean War a lighthouse was built on Muckle Flugga. For much of the time the lighthouse was being built, the weather was so violent that the sea crashed over the summit of the rock taking materials with it, and the workmen had to crawl outside on their knees for fear of being pitched off the rock and out to sea. Evidently, from the day it was finished in 1857 to this day, the lighthouse has not let in a drop of water such was the brilliance of this pioneering Stevenson family whose lighthouses can be seen all around the Scottish coast.
After a short introduction, Rory’s music deals with giants, the drowned, and the lighthouse, all in the context of the wild seas and violent winds which are indigenous to this rocky outcrop.