Based on the story “The Woman with the Net” by Fiona MacLeod
Artan: What does all this mean? Bird: It is not for you to seek a meaning, but to make a song.
Early in the year 563, a dispute between the fiery Irish monk Colum (or Columba) and his tutor led to a disastrous battle, in which three thousand men died. In expiation, Colum banished himself; with twelve followers, he crossed the Moyle in a coracle, and founded a monastery on Iona in the Hebrides. From Iona, Colum’s missionaries set forth against the Picts, to teach them the Celtic Church’s message of “Peace and the oneness-of-all.”
Colum, the Saint of Iona Artan, a Culdee of Iona Myrdu, King of the Isle of Mist Oona, his daughter The Bird (represented by a woman) Thorkeld, follower of Myrdu Necta, follower of Myrdu The Woman of the Caves (2 voices, unseen) A Culdee A Warrior Chorus of men and women 2 Whisperers, who also play bass drums
All these persons, save only Artan, Oona, the Bird, and the Whisperers may be represented by members of the Chorus.
1 sopranino recorder 4 flutes 1 trumpet 2 percussion Piano 1 piano accordian 1 celtic harp 4 violins 3 violas 3 cellos