TORONTO, ON – June 2nd, 2017 – This morning Heather Rankin shared a stunning new video via CTV Morning Live Atlantic for her song “Titanically” from her JUNO nominated album A Fine Line.
The video was inspired by the story of Wallace Hartley, the Titanic’s bandmaster and violinist, who would be celebrating his birthday today.
Wallace Hartley’s violin case was recovered strapped to Hartley’s body, buoyed mostly out of the water by his life jacket, and thus preserved in good condition. It was taken to Halifax by the Mackay-Bennett Cable Ship that recovered many of the Titanic’s victims in April, 1912. Several newspaper articles listed the items recovered with Hartley, including a “music case.” From Halifax, the violin and its case was returned to Hartley’s fiancée, Maria Robinson, who had given the violin to him, engraved with their names, as an engagement gift.
For decades Titanic historians did not know that the violin and the case had been given to Maria, they were only aware of the items Hartley’s father signed for in Liverpool, as a record was kept of his receiving them. Thus the “music case” that was referenced in initial newspaper clippings remained a mystery. Titanic enthusiasts and scholars were divided about whether the case was reported mistakenly and the violin lost, or whether it had been lost between Halifax and Liverpool. Meanwhile, Maria, who never married and had no children, left the violin and its case to a bandmaster at a Salvation Army, who gave it to a music teacher, who gave it to a violin pupil. In 2006 it was found it in the attic of the pupil’s son. In 2006 Hartley’s violin and its case came to light, and it was auctioned for 1.7 million dollars in 2013, making it the most expensive Titanic artifact to date.
“Titanically” is told from the perspective of the violin yearning to be returned to the man who loved and played it. It was directed by Thom Fitzgerald and it is an exploration of the immortality of music, of the musician’s spirit and of the enduring stories surrounding the Titanic. It features a Wallace Hartley kind of character, played by Callum Dunphy, who accompanies Rankin through water, mud and time, all while continually playing his beloved violin. The story also has an emotional connection for Rankin, whose brother John Morris Rankin, was also a violinist and like Hartley, died tragically in the Atlantic Ocean, leaving behind a deep musical legacy.
Upcoming Tour Dates
June 3 – Port Hawkesbury, NS – Shannon Studio
June 8 – Moncton, NB – Capitol Theatre
July 6 – Cape Breton, NS – NS Kitchen Fest
July 14 &15 – Kempt Shore, NS – Kempt Shore Maritime Acoustic Festival
August 10 & 11 – Lunenburg, NS – Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival
Promo Photo: DOWNLOAD | Album Art: DOWNLOAD