St Agnes Musician Creates Music To Row To

gig2_1A St Agnes musician has released a taster of a new CD of tunes celebrating Scilly’s long history of gig rowing.

Piers Lewin, who plays in the popular folk group The Rough Island Band, says his ‘Gig Jigs’ have been inspired by traditional melodies related to the wooden rowing vessels, and mix instruments with voices and even recordings from last year’s championships.

Piers says unlike most Celtic outposts, Scilly doesn’t have any traditional music. He thinks that’s because people were constantly coming and going over the years, always bringing new ideas cultures.

And he says gig rowing is the nearest thing we have to a native culture.

From Radio Scilly

Listen to Piers’ track ‘There She Goes’…

The tempo of the tunes has been inspired by his experiences rowing for 10 years in the Shah gig and he says he’s fascinated by the way words and sound can be mixed.

His tracks include a new take on a traditional melody used to start 19th century Cornish rowing regattas. ‘Off She Goes’ is interspersed with snippets of Steve Watts’ commentary from finishing line last year, as Falmouth Ladies took the top place.

Another tune, Ralph Bird, celebrates the work of the man who helped revive gig rowing and built over thirty of the boats that people will see on the water this weekend. He was a frequent visitor to St Agnes and often stayed in Pier’s guesthouse.

Pier’s says there’s more to come in the future and he’s hoping to release his album of gig-inspired music later this month.