Beyond The Shore

By Deby Benton Grosjean

Three comments

Beyond the Shore

I‘’ve enjoyed this collection of Deby’s for four years. I’m attracted to the breadth of material and the orchestrations. They are beautiful without being gummy and predictable, as some recordings that go beyond the traditional often do. More recently my favorite cut has been the jazz-styled piece that ends the cd, “Spootiskerry.” I suppose it’s the fact that as a “learning fiddler” that’s one of my newer trad tunes and to hear it in different rhythm is just a kick. Stan Poplin’s string bass is wonderful. Great California musicians, solid new material, some written by Deby, and some older trad tunes as well. An excellent album that respecfully mixes the old and the new. Liam

Re: Beyond The Shore


Deby Benton Grosjean - Beyond The Shore

Lovely album.

Her website:

Tune composer info available here:

And from her record label’s website ( ):
1. The Mermaid
This slow Scottish air evokes the image of a barren, rocky cove with dark waters lapping at its shore. On a lone outcrop sits a lovely mermaid, looking seaward, lost in reflective thought as deep as the ocean. In Brian Froud and Alan Lee’s illustrated book Faeries, mermaids enchant human lovers with their songs. Is this mesmerizing piece of human or merfolk origin? (Celtic harp, wooden flute, English horn, fiddle)

2. The Ships Are Sailing / Da Full Rigged Ship
The first reel comes from Ireland, and the second from the Shetland Islands. In an attempt to explore new musical latitudes with these tunes, we improvised as we recorded, reeling in bigger ideas with every hopeful cast. (guitar, congas, fiddle)

3. The Female Sailor / Crabs in the Skillet / The Gray Foam on Stormy Seas (D. Benton Grosjean)
The first jig in this medley, which goes by many names, is a colonial American piece that I have played for contra dances. My husband and I chartered a sailboat down in San Diego in an attempt to glimpse the women sailing America3 during the ’95 America’s Cup races. These capable women won the hearts of many sailors with their great skill. What an exciting time! The second tune in this medley is an Irish jig I caught while fishing on the internet. I added sextuplets and octaves to this arrangement which made it a slippery catch. The last piece in this medley is my original slip jig (9/8 meter). Several techniques create the imagery of the unpredictable rocking of the ocean’s rolling waves. Polyrhythms are introduced by the guitar’s harmonics (3/4 within a 6/8 meter) and then reflected in the following stringendo (compressed rhythm) passage of the fiddle. The erratic imagery is further reinforced by my uneven phrasing in the last piece of the medley. The deep, agile cello lines create a stirring undercurrent and the airy ponticello (bowing lightly near the bridge) and harmonics whip up the froth in the foam. (Mile Buoy of Santa Cruz, ship’s bell, fiddle, violoncello, guitar)

4. The Sandpiper (D. Benton Grosjean)
This 6/8 pipe march took form while I was walking along Sunset Beach and watching the comical shore birds. I invent melodies in my head as I breathe the briny air of the Pacific and chuckle at the sandpipers racing in and out with the waves. They poke the wet sand with their beaks and in a blur of fast feet, they run away squawking. The Sandpiper marched its way to a second place award in its category at the 1996 National Scottish Fiddle Composition Competition. (bass and snare drum, fiddles, Scottish cauldwind pipes)

5. My Love Has Gone to Sea
6. The Flowing Tide / The Gypsies / The Roaring Hornpipe
7. The Bonnie Ship the Diamond
8. Gray Whales in the Monterey Bay (D. Benton Grosjean)
9. Maol Donáidh (The Fisherman’s Call to the Seals)
10. Rolling Waves / Cook in the Galley
11. Crossing to Erin
12. Spootiskerry (Ian Burns)