Between Scylla and Charybdis

Plug 2013: Between Scylla and Charybdis, Live Recording

My piece for 4 harps opening this year’s Plug Festival at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Amazing performances by Ysella Almqvist, Ewelina Brzozowska, Katherine Waters and Carolina Marcelino, conducted by Fergus Macleod.


Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters noted by Homer; later Greek tradition sited them on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and the Italian mainland. Scylla was rationalized as a rock shoal (described as a six-headed sea monster) on the Italian side of the strait and Charybdis was a whirlpool off the coast of Sicily. They were regarded as a sea hazard located close enough to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding Charybdis meant passing too close to Scylla and vice versa.