SHORE TO SHORE
An international collaboration in folk song and music
Newfoundland was the first colony of the British Empire. From 1565 its shore was seasonally frequented by Devon and Dorset crews fishing inshore for cod. In 1578 Humphrey Gilbert obtained from Queen Elizabeth l the charter to plant a colony in North America. His first attempt failed, and cost him his whole fortune. He sailed again in 1583 for Newfoundland, and in the August of that year he took possession of the harbour of St. John's, but on the return voyage he went down with his ship in a storm south of the Azores.
Cupids Cove was the original 'plantation', founded in 1610 in Conception Bay, on the English Shore - the east coast of Newfoundland, which stretches from Trepassey in the south to Bonavista in the north. Sponsored by the Newfoundland Company of London and Bristol, John Guy led thirty-nine colonists to 'secure' the local fishery, encourage a fur trade through friendly contact with the Beothuk natives, and experiment with agriculture, lumbering, and minerals. After reasonable success through two mild winters, Guy brought out sixteen women in 1613. Trade and industry developed, and the population grew with further waves of settlement. Today, more than 50% of the population of Newfoundland trace their ancestry back to the Westcountry of England.
Shore To Shore brings together leading singers and musicians from Newfoundland and from Devon in a project that charts the development of folk song on both sides of the Atlantic from the early 1600s to the present day.
The project is a collaboration between Wren Music: an artist-led folk and community arts development charity, based in Devon, and A Crowd of Bold Sharemen, one of province's finest bands, specializing in the traditional songs and tunes of Newfoundland.
A Crowd of Bold Sharemen (Newfoundland)
This band is widely regarded as the finest in Newfoundland traditional song and instrumental music. Each member is an accomplished performer in his own right, and together they provide an unbeatable musical experience.
Jim Payne has been long known as a leading performer on melodeon, and a collector of Newfoundland traditional music. He is also one of the province's most prolific songwriters, as well as creating soundtracks for theatre, plays and documentaries.
Fergus O'Byrne is one of Newfoundland's most renowned banjo players, as well as a facilitator of programmes for young folk and traditional musicians.
Gerry Strong has a vast knowledge of traditional tunes and in addition to playing a wide variety of flutes and whistles is also a composer, arranger and storyteller.
Daniel Payne is talented, young multi-instrumentalist and singer with a wealth of knowledge of the musical traditions in Newfoundland.
Wren Music Combine (Devon)
Drawn from the array of professional musicians that make up the Wren Music team, Combine consists of both vocal and instrumental dexterity from internationally recognised artists.
Marilyn Tucker & Paul Wilson are renowned for their strong vocal harmonies and instrumental variety. They are skilled exponents of folk song in all its forms from Devon and the south of England.
David Faulkner is at the forefront of the English bagpipe pipe tradition, and has won multiple awards for his playing. His work has included tours and performances across Europe and USA.
Becki Driscoll is one of the leading lights of the new generation of Devon-based folk artists, specialising in traditional and contemporary English music on fiddle and voice, with a particular emphasis on tunes from the South West.