Seasons of the Sea
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, past winner of the Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award. The work describes the seasons on and by the sea, and the words are inspired by the 13 moon season of the Coast Salish peoples who used the tides and seasons of the sea and the life it brings as their calendar.
Seasons of the Sea is equal parts Jeffrey Ryan's concerto for solo violin with string ensemble and harpsichord, and stories from several First Nations communities as told by Rosemary Georgeson, woven together into a seamless 40-minute journey. Seasons of the Sea is paired with Vivaldi's Four Seasons which provides a contrast and comparison between past and present and between cultures; it is an evocation and celebration of coastal living through the inspiration of the sea.
To the Coast Salish, a season is defined by the weather, the tides, the life that thrives at that time of year. Rosemary weaves stories of her family and stories that elders shared with her into the evocative narrative. The musicians then respond through the music resulting in a collaborative performance that reflects on coastal life from both indigenous and newcomer perspectives. The music of Seasons of the Sea is written to adapt to the spoken word, with room in the narrative for stories from each First Nations community we visit to be inserted should they desire. Thus, it is a living work that will evolve, allowing a sense of ownership and participation for First Nations' audiences, and enrich the work for all who hear it.
“...it was very deep and spoke to the soul. ”
— August Sylvester, Elder of the Penelakut Nation
Rosemary Georgeson, storyteller & narrator
Jeffrey Ryan, composer
Joan Blackman, project curator & solo violin
Vetta Chamber Players
Performances have included the following artists:
Carolyn Cole, violin
Ashley Plaut, violin
Jennie Press, violin
Roxi Dykstra, violin
Tanya Popoff, viola
Heather Hay, cello
Rebecca Wenham, cello
Dylan Palmer, bass
Michael Jarvis, harpsichord
Performances & outreach
- ArtSpring world premier – Salt Spring Island
- Vetta Chamber Music Series premier – Vancouver
- Community Performances – Salt Spring, Gulf Islands, Vancouver, Penelakut First Nations
- Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
- Baumann Centre, Victoria
- Victoria Summer Music Festival
- Heart of the City Festival, Vancouver
- Voices of the Sea Aboriginal online educational program
Listen & watch
Learn more about this project
Download a copy of our electronic press kit (EPK) or
email us to book workshops, educational outreach, and concerts in your community.