Thanks to Rachel Milward, Sam Lee and the Nest Collective for having us to play at this gorgeous evening! xx
Hi everyone... A lot of people have been asking me about learning different styles of music on the cello so i'm happy to announce i'm currently taking on private students who would like to explore creative cello playing, learn to play by ear, Klezmer, different folk traditions and improvisation. It will be fun and inspiring. I look forward to sharing many of the things I have learned during my travels and studies over the past 10 years. Please get in touch if you are interested and spread the word! Thanks, Francesca x
It looks like spring is finally here in a rainy/sunny kind of not that warm type way, and tonight I did what any self-respecting foodie on a low budget would do at this time of year...MAKE PESTO. It's Wild Garlic season and i had everything i needed in the flat. So here you go. Please find my recipes for Wild Garlic Pesto and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto below. Beware - these are vegan recipes. I don't even like Pecorino in pesto anyway, unless it's from Genova. That's a different story altogether!
Chuck it all in a high-sized plastic pot or a
Nutri-bullet and BLEND.
Season and adjust quantities to taste.
Eat with EVERYTHING!!!
Variations: you can use any nut or seeds really - sunflower or pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews etc. Something not too strong and creamy :) OR add pecorino. the chilli is optional. you can also use carrot tops if they are fresh, instead of wild garlic.
Serving Suggestion: Obvs with pasta :). but what about roasted veggies or grilled big chunks of courgette, or as a dressing with a salad or fresh asparagus.
Mmm mmm mmm...
I'm excited to announce that the much awaited debut album by my duo Fran & Flora is almost completed!! It's been 3 years in the making and an epic and beautiful journey. However we cannot finish it without your support. So we have put together a nice video and an IndieGoGo Crowdfunder Campaign which we'd love you to check out.
Please follow this link to take a look - there are lots of interesting 'Perks' you can receive in exchange for your donations, and anything however large or small would go a long way towards helping us finish the Album.
I'm very excited to be working with the Goldsmiths [big] String in late-Feb/early-March, focusing on Eastern European string music, groove, melodies and improvisation. This is opennto all string players so please get in touch if you would like to take part...xx
Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is treating you all well.
I've just arrived back in the UK after another stint of travels, this time to Berlin and New York to visit my long lost international Klezmer family.
Fran & Flora made a special guest appearance at the vibrant and raucous Shtetl Neukolln Festival in Berlin and we look forward to returning in December 2018 for the next festival.
Later in December I headed over to New York to be a guest faculty member at Yiddish New York in the heart of Manhattan. It was wonderful to be immersed in Yiddish culture during the festive season, eat amazing Chinese food (a Jewish tradition on Christmas day!) to see old faces, meet new ones, spend lunchtimes learning Hassidic dance medleys with the one and only Frank London, play a dance set along side Veretski Pass - a life long dream of mine!, and burning the candle late into the night at epic jam sessions. I also managed to pop over to the beautiful snowy Vermont with my old buddie and musician-extraordinaire, Zoe Christiensen, for a few days and frolic in the snow :) One of my favourite places in the entire world. AND eat some of the yummiest food in the world. Good old NYC - never disappoints!
I am greatful to Help Musicians UK Transmission Fund for their support in helping me to make it to Yiddish New York.
Don't forget to check out my Facebook page to find hear about updates, latest releases and gigs...
Thanks to all of you for your support and good vibes. xxx
Back in November I took part in a residency curated and led by Mercury Prize Nominated Field Music with brothers Peter & David Brewis and their team, in collaboration with the creative music charity Brighter Sound.
In 5 days we created 10 tracks which are currently being mixed and will be released later on in 2018. Here are some photos from that epic week and I look forward to sharing the music with you in due course...
A nature and foodie van adventure waiting to happen with my old time best buddie, adventurer, journalist and recent Canadian emigre Jessie Levene. We drove and ate our way through British Columbia in her trusty and very comfortable van, ending up in the beautiful haven which is Vancouver Island where we explored the rivers, lakes and sea, Denman and Cortes Island. The trip culminated in a reunion of our old pop-up restaurant World Brunch Club, with all local seasonal produce, which went down extremely well in the town of Cumberland, BC...
Check out Jessie's blogs, journalism and adventures in sound here.
WORLD BRUNCH CLUB
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!