Time and Tide: Peterhead

organised by Intuitive Music Aberdeen

who performed original live music alongside the stories and poems read by Marka Rifat and Ken McRae

How do tides affect our lives? How has that changed through history?

Making a living on or by the sea – fishermen and pirates, wreckers and dockers – making a new life across the sea – escaping pograms and wars, and the endlessly travelling – to paddlers and wild swimmers.

A unique bit of feedback, one of the writers Christine Richie sent us a poem about what it was like to be at the festival

Time & Tide (Peterhead)

I’ve heard the swish of sea on pebbled shores
And, later, landbound, shell held to my ear,
Relived the wash and backwash of the waves.

But here, it’s wind and gong and bow
Bringing the sea-sounds to our ears.
A murmur, faint at first, then gently rising
To crescendo as the wave builds up and up and up
Then crashes to the shore,
The air alive with poetry and with tales
Of seas and ships, of sailors, fisher folk,
Strong women, who with fortitude and style
Could triumph over penury and loss
And row a boat as well as any man.

And always, just beyond man’s creativity,
The sea sings low.

A shift of focus to the bay beyond,
Slight corrugations hinting at a gentle breeze.
From this same shore there sailed, in days gone by,
A fleet of whalers bound for Greenland shoals.
Hard men, who’d fought through living gales and frozen seas,
Passed through the harbour mouth,
Their minds already on the prize, far, far beyond this shore.
The women, wrapped against the biting wind
In worsted shawls, left standing on the quay.
Their destiny to work and wait and hope.

And wind and gong and bow and words create
And recreate the rise and fall of tides,
The flow of time.


A Conjuring Poem by Simon Whitfield
Clearance by Christine Ritchie
False Light by John Richardson
Frocks of Passage by Mandy Macdonald
Hawser by Sarah Tait
How Women Came to Tristan da Cunha by Claire Booker
In the Shadows, On the Shore, Leith by Jane Aldous
Ovčice, Croatia by Ian Macartney
Points of Interest by Olivia Dawson
The Watchers by Elizabeth Parker
When Will We See the Sea? by Joy Howard
Woman from North India on Bostadh Beach by Elinor Brooks

The Answer, My Friend… by Paul Foy
Listen, Mrs Noah by Roppotucha Greenberg
The Fisherman’s Wife by Linda McMullan

Supported using public funding from Arts Council England,

and Aberdeenshire Council

and private funding from 50 crowdfunders, and Arachne Press.