Shanties! Live


A cross-Canada collaboration brings Montreal’s acclaimed La Nef, shanty master Seán Dagher, and Chor Leoni together for this exhilarating album of shanties, haunting laments, and sea songs.

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Montreal’s acclaimed La Nef and Vancouver’s JUNO-nominated Chor Leoni combine for this high-energy album featuring sea songs and shanties of all kinds: halyard, capstan, tack and sheet, and pumping shanties, laments and forebitters. These were the sound track of the days of sail.

SHANTIES! LIVE captures the one-night-only collaboration when Chor Leoni, directed by Erick Lichte, joined La Nef to perform these brand new arrangements and vocal orchestrations by Seán Dagher. Early Music Vancouver brought the two groups together to perform at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on February, 22, 2020. The concert was recorded in high fidelity to convey the excitement of this highly popular program and the enthusiasm of the public.

This program was originally conceived when several of La Nef’s musicians were hired to sing sea shanties for Ubisoft’s video game, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag. The songs proved so addictive that La Nef presented them in concert in 2014, and its album Sea Songs & Shanties, was released on ATMA Classique in 2017. La Nef has been touring this program ever since.

This special collaboration between La Nef and Chor Leoni was an opportunity to take the music even further. This choir is the perfect instrument to bolster and complement La Nef’s original crew. The partnership between La Nef and Chor Leoni happens in two main ways for this version of the program. Firstly, the choir is used as reinforcement in existing arrangements, taking things to a really grand scale. Secondly, some of the shanties have been re-imagined for this new joint ensemble, with new sections and new textures to fully exploit the possibilities offered by this collaboration.

These sea songs are buoyant, driving and devilishly catchy. They speak of travel, adventure and missing loved ones who are far away. These are themes that we can all relate to, conveyed by music that really brings it together.

La Nef

Seán Dagher music director, cittern, voice | David Gossage flute, percussion, voice | Bill Gossage bass, voice | Nelson Carter violin, voice | Nils Brown tenor | Michiel Schrey tenor | Clayton Kennedy baritone

Track List

  1. The Press Gang
  2. Haul On The Bowline
  3. Out On The Ocean
  4. Stormalong John
  5. Randy Dandy, O
  6. The Sailor’s Things
  7. Rolling Down To Old Maui
  8. Leave Her, Johnny
  9. Lowlands Away
  10. Shallow Brown
  11. The Captain’s (Hind) Quarters
  12. Go To Sea No More
  13. One More Day
  14. Le 31 du mois d’août


Catalogue number


Edited, Mixed & Mastered by

Erick Lichte

Recording Engineer

Brad Danyluk


February 2020, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver, BC, Canada