Creator: Scott Macmillan
Nominator: Barbara Butler
Scored for a unique mix of traditional and orchestral instruments, Within Sight of Shore is one of Scott Macmillan’s finest compositions, and certainly his most personal, describing the sinking of his father’s minesweeper as it approached Halifax harbour in the last days of World War II. Programmatic in the best sense of the word, the composition cleverly and movingly draws the listener into its story through a remarkable integration of musical genres. The torpedo blast, the ASDIC ping, the calls of the survivors in the frigid Atlantic waters are all graphically realized without surrendering the musical integrity of the work. This is a mature, complex example of contemporary serious music, with an emotional staying power that leaves a profound and lasting impression.