“Tributum for Celtic Bagpipes and Orchestra,” originally created for the Celebrate World Music Concert produced by Burmer Music and The Composition Lab, recently won a silver medal at the 2022 Global Music Awards. The composition was created by local composer Nan Avant and first appeared in a CD concert compilation recorded at Studio X in Seattle. In 2021, it was recorded on the Navona Records label for full orchestra with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Global Music Awards, established in 2011, is an international competition celebrating independent musicians. The music is evaluated on its merits, not on record sales or fan base. Judging is a multi-layered process that includes listener impact, technical quality, uniqueness and styling.
The Celebrate World Music concert, which presented world-premiere works that highlighted instruments and rhythms from around the globe, was a sell-out event at Benaroya Hall when it premiered in spring 2013. On the stage that day were eight composers (including Avant), 11 solo artists, more than a dozen traditional instruments from around the world, one Grammy-winning conductor, and a top symphonic orchestra.
To prepare for the concert, each composer was invited to create an original work for an instrument associated with a particular country or culture. The instruments were selected based on their seminal role in the music and dance of that region.
Avant chose Scotland and Ireland because “I love the music of these countries and the dramatic tone of the drones,” she said. “I was familiar with the Great Highland Bagpipes of Scotland because my husband had been taking bagpipe lessons for several years. Then I heard recordings of the Uilleann Pipe from Ireland, which I was not as familiar with. But the music of Ireland, the lyrical folk tunes and heartfelt storytelling really resonated with me. As I began the composing process, I researched these instruments and learned from experts in the field.”
In addition to the Global Music Awards, the Celebrate World Music concert CD was named a winner in the Contemporary Classical category of the 13th Independent Music Awards Vox Pop poll, the fan-determined portion of the prestigious international award program for independent artists. A second IMA Vox Pop award that same year went to Avant for the “Tributum” composition.
“Composing ‘Tributum for Celtic Bagpipes and Orchestra’ was an inspiring, satisfying and rewarding time,” said Avant. “With a great deal of research and study into these unfamiliar instruments, excellent guidance from skilled pipers, the music flowed freely and the melodies are poignant. ‘Tributum’ is exactly how it was meant to be.”