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MP3 Robin McGrath, Robert Joy, Rick Boland & Anita Best - Coasting Trade - a Performance for Three Voices

This performance for three voices with soundscape recordings by Chris Brookes follows the voyage of a Yankee trading schooner, circumnavigating the island of Newfoundland sometime after 1865.

4 MP3 Songs in this album (44:14) !
Related styles: SPOKEN WORD: Poetry, SPOKEN WORD: Prose

"Coasting Trade" follows the voyage of a Yankee trading schooner, circumnavigating the island of Newfoundland sometime after 1865. As the vessel puts in at various ports, the lyrical narratives weave back and forth through a century of change while the 19th century sailing directions remain timeless.

A smuggler who studies angels, a woman who knits a stove, green martyrs, a homesick immigrant, and a biologist studying the sexual characeristics of caplin all come to the attention of the navigator before he turns southward, to the joy of glad returning.

"Coasting Trade", a performance for three voices by Robin McGrath with navigation notes adapted from "Sailing Directions for the Island of Newfoundland" by J.S. Hobbes (1865)was produced for Rattling Books by Chris Brookes and performed (in order of appearance) by Robert Joy, Rick Boland and Anita Best.

Recorded and produced with soundscape recordings by Chris Brookes.

Audio Book Reviews:

From AudioFile Magazine:

In a performance of less than an hour, producer Chris Brookes and poet Robin McGrath transport the listener to a Yankee schooner circling Newfoundland in the late nineteenth century. The production, a Canadian tapestry for the ears, is beautifully embellished with sound effects that capture the waves, ship sounds, and local fauna. Robert Joy, Rick Boland, and Anita Best bring a lyrical beauty to this "Performance for Three Voices." McGrath provides fleeting glimpses into the lives of an immigrant, a biologist, a smuggler, and Newfoundland locals scratching a life out of the rugged terrain. The short performance is superb, with the rich voices of Joy, Boland, and Best meshing into a melody against the harmony of background sounds. H.L.S. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine

Artist Bios:

Robin McGrath (author)

Robin McGrath is the author of numerous books, including Trouble and Desire, a collection of short stories, Escaped Domestics, a book of poems, Hoist Your Sails and Run a children’s book, and the novel Donovan’s Station. She has published close to two hundred pieces in magazines such as Beaver, Inuit Art Quarterly, Parchment, TickleAce, Fiddlehead and Room of One’s Own. McGrath is a regular contributor to CBC Radio, has written and narrated three video scripts, and in 1999 won the Henry Fuerstenberg Poetry Prize, one of the Canadian Jewish book awards. Her first play, A Mountain of Shoes, was staged in March of 2002 in St. John’s.

Born in Newfoundland, Robin McGrath earned a doctorate from the University of Western Ontario and conducted research for 22 years in the Canadian Arctic on Inuit Literature and culture. She currently resides in Goose Bay, Labrador where she writes full time.

Chris Brookes (Producer)

Chris Brookes is an independent radio producer whose award-winning programs (eg. Peabody Award 2006, Prix Marulic 2006, Prix Italia 2005, Gabriel Award 2003) have been heard on public radio in the U.S.A, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, England, The Netherlands and Canada.

He has directed and produced documentaries for Canadian network television, and his television writing has been nominated for the Gemini award. He is also a published author and playwright, and has taught documentary feature-making and storytelling at radio festivals and workshops across North America and Europe.

Brookes currently directs the production company Battery Radio with studios at the bottom of the cliff where Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless message in St. John''s, Newfoundland.


Anita Best

Anita Best grew up on Merasheen Island in Placentia Bay which was abandoned during Newfoundland''s community re-settlement program, under Joey Smallwood. This early life in one of Newfoundland''s most culturally rich regions inspired a passion to preserve and interpret the traditions which seemed to be departing with the disappearing communities. Initially she began professional work as a classroom teacher, oral historian and folklorist and eventually incorporated these into careers as diverse as radio broadcasting, professional recording and university level instruction.

Anita Best was the host and writer of a popular local CBC radio series, "A Little Ball of Yarns" in 1995-96 which featured singers, storytellers and Newfoundland calendar customs, but it is her singing that has made her most famous. Best has been recorded on several folk albums and has two complete works to her credit, "The Colour of Amber", with Pamela Morgan, and "Crosshanded” unaccompanied renditions of twelve traditional Newfoundland songs. Anita Best''s careful and tasteful interpretation has enriched and extended an art form she has devoted her life to preserving.

Anita Best is the creator of Newfoundland Voices, her own production company, which ran an outdoor concert series from Cape Spear every summer for seven years as well as numerous concerts from local venues. Best continues to tour as a storyteller and traditional singer, and also freelances as a policy consultant. In 2001 she accepted an appointment to teach an annual semester course in Newfoundland traditional song at Memorial University’s School of Music. In 2003 the Folklore Studies Association of Canada (FSAC/ACEF) awarded her the Marius Barbeau medal for her contribution to folklore studies in Canada.

Rick Boland

Rick Boland is a veteran Newfoundland actor, director, producer and dramaturge involved in stage productions, film and television. He has appeared in Tales From Pigeon Inlet and The Divine Ryans. He is more recently known for the CBC TV series Hatching, Matching, and Dispatching.

Robert Joy

Now based in California, Robert Joy started out in Newfoundland as a Rhodes Scholar and founding member of the much loved theatre troupe CODCO. Over a 34-year acting career, Robert has worked with Louis Malle, Milos Forman, Woody Allen, James L. Brooks, George A. Romero, and Lasse Hallstrom, among many other fine directors. His mainstream film career started with major roles in ATLANTIC CITY and RAGTIME, and continued with memorable performances in films like Desperately Seeking Susan and Fallen. Recently he has starred in George A. Romero''s Land of the Dead and Alexandre Aja''s The Hills Have Eyes.

Robert Joy was part of the team that produced the seminal Newfoundland film The Adventures of Faustus Bidgood, for which he was composer, musical director and production manager, as well as playing a principal role. As an audio book narrator he is well known for his reading of E. Annie Proulx''s The Shipping News.

Robert is often on TV, having guest starred in many prime-time shows, including CSI:NY, Commander in Chief, Malcolm in the Middle, E-RinG, Medium, Everybody Loves Raymond, Alias, Boston Legal, Crossing Jordan, Two Guys and a Girl, Without a Trace, Star Trek: Voyager, and Law and Order.

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