Funds raised from the sale of the music will go towards seafaring charities Mission to Seafarers and the Sailors Society as well as RNLI Salcombe where the Baltic has supported lifeboats for over 100 years.
Recorded in Portsmouth Cathedral and performed by Portsmouth Cathedral Choir and the Convivium Singers, the collection includes anthems, hymns, songs and folk songs on the theme of the sea.
The highlight of the collection is the Anthem for Seafarers, a brand new composition based on the most famous of seafaring hymns “Eternal Father, strong to save”. The hymn, originally written in 1860 by William Whiting, is associated with both the British and American navies as well coastguards and marines. The Anthem for Seafarers is an updated version of this hymn composed by Malcolm Archer, a leading light in the music world and the former director of music at St Paul’s Cathedral. First performed in 2010 in Vancouver to commemorate the International Maritime Organization’s “Year of the Seafarer”, the piece forms the centre piece of the collection.
Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Jeremy Penn said: “This is a really wonderful project and one which I hope will raise the profile of merchant seafarers around the world. As shipbrokers and charterers, Baltic Exchange members are at the business end of the shipping industry and we all rely on the dedication of the 1.3 million men and women who sail the world’s ships to keep global trade moving. ”
Composer Malcolm Archer said: “For many years I had wanted to compose an anthem version of the text “Eternal Father, strong to save” when Michael Drayton, the chairman of the Baltic Exchange, approached me with just such a commission for dedication to the Exchange and to mark his retirement as Chairman. It also seemed appropriate that I should set these words to music since the author of them, William Whiting (1825-1878), was Master of the Quiristers at Winchester College, a position which I now hold as their Choirmaster.
“With that strong link the anthem is assured of performances within the College and it is my sincere hope that it will not only be performed regularly for the Baltic Exchange but become a popular choice amongst the many seafaring communities around the world.”
The CD retails at £9.99 or £6.99 (digital download) and is available from www.musicforseafarers.com