Radio 4’s Shipping Forecast set to music for choir
HAMPSHIRE, UK — Radio 4’s Shipping Forecast is the
inspiration behind a concert being performed by a Portsmouth choir.
The well-known broadcast has been set to music to mark the 40th
anniversary of the city’s 70-strong festival choir.
Composer, Cecilia McDowall, said: “There is great beauty in the
rhythm. It’s something that’s mesmerized me for years, because it
The performance is being held in Portsmouth Cathedral.
Broadcast four times a day on BBC Radio 4, the forecast is a
vital source of information for sailors, but the terminology is
puzzling to some people.
Ms McDowall added: “There’s something rather beguiling and
mysterious about the Shipping Forecast which sounds so poetic, but
at the same time is very crucial to people at sea.
“There is also this baffling thing, I don’t understand it. ‘Now
falling, sometimes good’, I know they mean something to somebody,
but even though they don’t mean anything to me, I enjoy them.”
The piece of music also uses words from a poem by
Portsmouth-born poet and broadcaster Sean Street.
Andrew Cleary, the choir’s conductor, said: “They are very
colourful words, and are very well-known to everybody.
“The first movement of the piece is like a seascape, you can
almost smell the sea and see the fog, the second movement is a
psalm, a prayer for those at sea, and is quite calm and