Rime of the Ancient Mariner

DEE ISAACS, composer, performer, animateur, and lecturer contacted me to deal with the live sound side of the project. We were to perform and record in the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was the first time that I’d worked with Dee but afterwards we were sure that we’d be working together again.

Below was taken from Dee’s website here, but do please read on…


Whilst we all began with our discovery and understanding of the text we have also worked from a musical score and added visual interpretation in animation. Colerdige’s text was a rich source full of colour and sounds. We have also drawn on complimentary texts by T. S. Elliot, Pablo Neruda and others who took their inspiration from the sea.”

Rime of the Ancient Mariner posterOn the 28th February and 1st March 2009, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic sea voyage, was retold through image and sound. Fifty musicians and artists transformed The Queen’s Hall and took the audience on a long and unforgettable voyage.

The performance was a collaboration between Music in the Community and Sound Design at The University of Edinburgh, and Animation at Edinburgh College of Art, starring John Bett as The Mariner.

The adaptation of Colerdige’s work took participants and audience on a transformative journey, crossing both physical boundaries, across oceans, and metaphysical boundaries into an otherworldliness. The music celebrated the richness of both Western and non-Westerns cultures.







Excerpt from The Rime
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch’s oils,
Burnt green, and blue, and white.

And some in dreams assured were
On the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.

And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

An! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.