The rest of my summer flew by, with a Cuckoo’s Nest house band support slot for Kevin Dempsey in Leek, North Staffordshire; two wedding ceilidhs – one subbing with The Monster Ceilidh Band; a few sessions and pub performances – including subbing with The Boat Band; Berg Herzberg Festival, Germany performing with Mitigation and leading a fiddle workshop at Glebe Farm Bluegrass and Beyond Camp. Then on 19 August, I was off to Helsinki pursuing my dream as a new entrant studying for a folk music masters degree at Sibelius Academy. (I’ve included a video of the Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band below.)
Now settled in and really enjoying the course, I am especially excited about a new band, performing music from my Provenance album. More news to follow shortly…
In the meantime I would like to thank everyone who has purchased a copy of Provenance so far. Your support is greatly appreciated and whilst I’m a long way off covering costs, the income is helping me with everyday outgoings in Helsinki. Thank you and I hope you are enjoying my music! 🙂
Now back in the North East I played at a wonderful bluegrass gig depping with Assembly Lane, and jamming on the train back from Hexham as well as playing a ceilidh and pop set with Elliot & The Rush Hour for a wedding in Cornhill Castle (pictured below).
All 11 samples of Provenance are now on soundcloud so you can have a sneak peak before the release on Friday 6th July:
To kick off the release I’ll be playing some of the album with Michael Biggins around noon, 6th July!
This will be on my facebook page.
The latest samples of ‘Provenance’ are up on SoundCloud featuring the mighty Sam Partridge on Bassoon.
More exciting news – I’ve been accepted on the Folk masters programme at Sibelius Academy, Finland, where I can’t wait to continue my studies, after having a wonderful time there on Erasmus 2016-2017!
I’ve been enjoying the last couple of days at Emma Bridgewater Factory for Festival in a Factory playing around the site and welcoming audiences to their seats before the speakers. As I’ve only just got back to North Staffordshire playing in a pottery factory seemed like an apt return gig.
They also generously gave me my own personalised mug!
My Final Concert on Thursday 31st May concluded my studies at Newcastle University. The performance went swimmingly all thanks to my wonderful friends, Hannah Lord, Niles Krieger, & Sam Partridge for playing so well and my supportive tutor Peter Tickell helping me put together and prepare for a recital I’m really proud of.
To celebrate, I’ve made physical copies of my debut album ‘Provenance’ available for pre-order and have started uploading samples weekly to my SoundCloud in the run up to the 6th July, when the album will be released.
Those who made it along to Hexham Gathering and/or The Sage on Thursday may recognise the first track, Hole in the Ceiling.
The album in CD format is priced at £12 with free worldwide postage and is available via the button below.
Today I write from St Pancras Station, you see yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to Sámi musician Hildá Länsman and Helsinki-based sound designer and music man Tuomas Norvio. It was wonderful and I’m now full of fresh ideas!
Starting next week I’m going to release short samples of each track from the album every Friday, until the release date of July 6th. So keep your eyes peeled if you’d like to hear it pre-release snippets.
On Saturday 26th, 12:10, I’ll be playing on the bandstand at Hexham Gathering with Hannah Lord and on Wednesday 31st May, 19:00, I have my final recital at the Sage Hall 2, both are free and the more there the merrier. The recital at the Sage is ticketed so to avoid disappointment I recommend getting your free ticket from here in advance.
Also, here’s a bit of a mazurka I’ll be playing in my recital next Wednesday, composed by Edward Elgar: featuring Niles Krieger & Sam Partridge.
Well since my last blog, back in September, I’ve continued playing sessions and gigging in and around Newcastle with Chester and The Fog and subbed with The Cajun Specials at Yorkshire Cajun & Zydeco Music & Dance Festival and The Kentucky Cow Tippers at a wonderful wedding in Otterburn. I also played a bit of fiddle on Jez Lowe’s rendition of ‘Byker Hill’ for his new album ‘The Dillen Doll’, which accompanies his novel of the same name.
The most exciting news for me though is the completion of my debut album Provenance. I’m elated by the results and all is ready for official release on Friday 6 July 2018! More details are available on the page Provenance plus here are some photos of the first CD opened.
I’m also back playing with one of my favourite bands Chester & the Fog and after having a wonderful gig at The Ship Inn, Low Newton we are starting a bluegrass concert and jam night at Bar Loco, Newcastle. This will take place on first Thursday of every month; the first couple will be on 2nd November and 7th December.
‘Provenance’ is still coming along grand, with everything recorded now bar a few fiddle and vocal tracks. This time in the studio featured Coral Reid on Oboe and more Will Hammond on the vibraphone. Release is now set to be late October/early November.
Here’s a clip I took of Ian Stephenson recording his part on the first track of the album.
Here’s a snap Ian Stephenson took of myself and Will Hammond in the studio at Thropton.
We’re now just over halfway through the recording process of my debut album ‘Provenance’ and so, being too excited to wait for any editing/mixing to be done, here’s some snippets:
The album is being recorded and produced by Ian Stephenson at Simpson Street Studios‘ Northumberland complex in Thropton. It’s been greatly enjoyable; the guest musicians have been fantastic and hearing the music come to life makes all the work put into writing the scores feel completely worth it.