See, walk, hear the music of Rackwick

An exhibition, a performance and a walking talk – coming soon to Hoy Kirk.

HOY MAX exhibition

12-25 JUNE open 11am-4pm

The exhibition HOY MAX celebrates Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ time living in Rackwick, Hoy. Exploring how the island and its people shaped the composer’s life and music, and in turn how Max contributed to this small community. Included in the exhibition are letters, newspaper clippings, scores, films, photographs and audios. Many of these are donated for the exhibition by his neighbours and friends in Hoy.

Underpinning the exhibition is a series of portraits of Max in Hoy made by his friend the photographic artist Gunnie Moberg.

D135-2-86editMax at home in Bunnertoon, Rackwick. Image Gunnie Moberg

A walking talk with archaeologist Dan Lee

SATURDAY 17 JUNE 10am (ferry from Stromness 9:30am returning 6:30pm arriving back at 7pm)

Andante (walking speed). With the music of Max in mind, the walk will explore the landscape of Hoy, taking in the archaeology, heritage and folklore through the valley from Moaness to Rackwick. Recent archaeological surveys have recorded numerous sites and points of interest. We will finish above Bunnertoon, Max’s home during his most prolific years, with a view across the township.

Dan Lee is the Lifelong learning and Outreach Archaeologist with the UHI Archaeology Institute. Dan has had a long interest in Hoy, conducting projects around Rackwick and Braeburn. The archaeology research material at Hoy Kirk has been gathered by Dan. He often collaborates with artists and uses the arts in his work.

The walk starts at Moaness pier at 10am. Bring lunch. There will be a bus back from Rackwick to Hoy Kirk to see the exhibition. The walk, of approx 5 miles can be difficult in places. Wear appropriate gear, it can also be wet underfoot. The event ties in with the ferry service between Stromness and Moaness, departing Stromness at 9:30am and returning from Moaness at 6:30pm. This service is operated by Orkney Ferries.

Contact to book


D135-2-126edit.jpgA St Magnus Festival Party at Bunnertoon, Max’s home. Late 1980s. Image Gunnie Moberg

St Magnus Festival performance with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Voices

TUESDAY 20 JUNE 2pm – 3:15pm

Timothy Dean conducts a programme that includes Peter Maxwell Davies’ Lullaby for Lucy with lyrics by George Mackay Brown written to celebrate the birth of Lucy Rendall.

George Mackay Brown writes about the piece from the Independent in July 1994:

‘By the time he [Max] arrived, there was just one farmer left on the island, Jack Rendall, a bachelor in his fifties. So the future of Hoy depended on this very tenuous thread – a lonely bachelor. Then Jack met a girl, an English girl visiting the island. They married, and Lucy came along in due course. She was the first child to be born on Hoy for over half a century, so we decided to do a little piece for her. I wrote the lyric, Lullaby for Lucy, and Max did the music. He used all the white notes, symbolising the innocence of childhood. It’s a very popular piece.’

For the concert, as well as Lullaby for Lucy, the mixed programme brings us songs from the British Choral tradition from its earliest examples by Tallis and Sheppard to the more recent music of Britten and Vaughan Williams. Poulenc’s Salve Regina written in 1941 adds music from the French tradition to this programme. The Royal Conservatoire Scotland Voices will also include a range of Broadway songs and Spirituals.

Tickets at the door £5 No booking required.



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