Page last updated at 08:55 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 09:55 UK

Composer inspired by Holy Island

Kathryn Tickell and Courtney Pine
Courtney Pine met Northumberland piper Kathryn Tickell

A jazz musician has spoken about how a small island off the Northumberland coast changed his approach to music.

Courtney Pine said his visit to Holy Island was "inspirational" and altered his usually urban-influenced composing.

He was commissioned to compose a piece using his impressions of the island for part the BBC's Made in England series.

The island - also called Lindisfarne - was an important early centre of Christianity in the north-east of England.

The composer also took advice from Northumberland pipe player, Kathryn Tickell.

Monks and Vikings

He said he was moved by the stillness and calmness of the island.

He said: "I'm an inner-city north London youth and going somewhere so different to my cultural background could be so wrong.

"But it was so right because the music took a journey. It started at one place and it goes somewhere."

He said he was surprised to find that that the island can only be accessed by a causeway, which is flooded for up to seven hours, twice a day and drew from the island's history of early monks and Vikings.

Kathryn Tickell, who has worked with pop stars including Sting, added: "The Northumberland pipes have a kind of coldness and clearness that I think you find in the air in this place, because when you're up on the fell sides and hill sides in Northumberland it's a bit bleak but it's very beautiful and very clear."

Courtney Pine's composition can be heard on Made In England, to be shown on BBC1 at 2240 BST on 23 April.


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