On my last night in Canada I did a magical gig with the band Birch from Cumberland, BC. We performed in a beautiful old Abbey in Cumberland with great acoustics. This was the best way to send me off back home to the UK. Thanks to everyone who came and to Destanne, Jesse, Scott and Jessie for making it such a fun evening :)
Here is a live recording from the gig...
This was a special two weeks as part of my Canada trip, back at the Banff Centre on a self-led residency. I hauled myself away in a cute cabin in the woods equipped with lots of random and fun things including my cello, drums, gongs, colouring pencils, a grand piano and a mini studio set up. The outcome of this creative hibernation will be released in dribs and drabs as it becomes really over the coming months. Some of the material I hope will go towards my first album, but in the meantime I made a series of improvised recordings inspired by the mountains which I hope to release a little sooner. I learned lots in this two weeks even though it felt painfully short - a good start to a journey of creative self discovery. The main surprise was that I started writing songs, which wasn't my main aim. But i'm proud of what came out. I'm going through an intense period of creating things, which has been a long time coming. And i'm so excited to slowly share everything with you over the coming weeks and months.
Here is a video made by my friends Oona and Damian, of me improvising with solo cello and a bit of singing too, in the forest next to my cabin. It was a beautiful sunny day, until right after we filmed this when it snowed heavily. Magic!
I am honoured that I was invited by the wonderfully talented singer Rhonda Head from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Northern Manitobato to attend a Thanksgiving meal with the Snow family in Morley in the Stoney Nakoda First Nations Reserve. They were the loveliest friendliest and most generous people, I learned and ate A LOT, and got to explore their beautiful land. Looking forward to going back there for a longer visit next time...
I feel rather lucky that I got to attend theJazz & Creative Music programme at the Banff Centre in Canada this August, directed by the incredibleVijay Iyer and let by an astonishing faculty of talented musicians. I didn't know what I was getting myself into on the way there but was a changed woman on the way out! Thanks to all the wonderful tutors that I privileged to study and work with, get to know, cry, share, and make music, especially all the strong women! Imani Uzuri, Jen Shyu, Linda Oh, Gretchen Parlato,Okkyung Lee, Tia Fuller, Stephan Crump, Matt Stevens, Robin Eubanks, Gary Bartz, Rich Brown and Tyshawn Sorey as well as many others. Please check out each and everyone of their music and websites!!!
Here are some recordings of collaborations made during the course and a short solo improvisation I did at one of the sharings. I'm proud of all the music we created together and that I got to explore new creative territory and meet a whole new bunch of incredibly talented musicians which will be friends for life!
Every night Tyshawn Sorey, a 2017 MacArthur Fellow led us in Conduction adapted from Butch Morris's earlier method. For anyone who hasnt experience Conduction - get on it pronto!! We were taken into a whirlwind dream land of improvisation, soundscapes and collaboration. Tyshawn is now is one of the most talented musicians and humans I have ever had the pleasure to meet, hang and study with! Here's a video of our performance from one of the concerts at the Banff Centre...
After the course I went backcountry camping with my buddy Ethan Cohn, round Cascade mountain and communed with the trees, deer, comets, rivers and bear prints - luckily we saw no bears!
Once again i'm blessed with the generosity of those around me and have spent the last week down in the beautiful seaside town of Margate at the house of Stephen, who runs Moshi Moshi records. The problem is, there is so much good food here, i've been spending far too much of my time planning how to fit it all in, around the challenging tasks i've set myself for the week including recording a MixTape of material I worked on last year for my MMus at Goldsmiths and finally getting this website running... The set up looks a bit like this... I'll be editing and putting together all the material from this venture very soon but in the meantime heres some footage of baby seagulls and their mummies and daddies canoodling :)
I set off into snowy Transylvania early in 2017... Great way to start the year, with Sauerkrout, freezing temperatures outside, whilst sitting at the feet of one of the best violinists in the region, Marcel Ramba. Marcels wife Daniella made sure we were never hunrgy, constantly cooking up incredible feasts of meet, potatoes and homemade pickles, whilst we drank Tsuika (plum brandy) and tried to keep up with Marcels pace. Here's some photos and videos from the trip. I hope to go back again and go deeper into the music and culture of Transylvania, its somewhere i've wanted to visit for many many years :)
What an achievement, the first time I performed solo in many many years and to all my nearest and dearest. This is was the first solo endeavour of this length that i recall making since 2010! Me, a cello, a vocal mic, some mash-up sounds coming through my midi-controller, some expensive lipstick and barefeet. It was a challenging and wonderful experience that i spent 6 months preparing for. Footage and recordings from the show will be released soon :)