Celtic Connections was a whirlwind this year! I’d six appearances in different guises: with Bella Hardy (Mitchell Theatre), Inge Thomson‘s Da Fishing Hands (Tron Theatre), in a duo with Fiona MacAskill (Art Club and festival club) and solo (Oran Mor and the Late Night Sessions). It was great to be in the audience for the opening concert’s mighty orchestral realisation of Martyn Bennett‘s seminal album Grit, Sam Sweeney‘s poignant Made In The Great War, the colourful Elizabethan Session, Ian Carr & the Various Artists in joyful quirky mode and Siobhan Wilson’s graceful New Voices gig to close proceedings. And, as always, to catch up with pals at the festival club…
I’m back at Gran’s House Studio this weekend for the final two days of tracking my New Voices album, Woven, before it’s mixed by Iain Hutchison next week. It’s a really exciting time just now, pulling together artwork ideas, updating the release plan and generally faffing about on Pinterest making moodboards.
It’s also action stations at Admiral Fallow HQ as we prepare to release our third album. First single Evangeline streaming here.
There’s a couple more projects in the pipeline: a new band playing Northumbrian music (more on this later) and the first launch of contemporary classical chamber ensemble, the Glasgow New Music Expedition.
A couple of my good friends and favourite musicians are up to exciting things at the moment: Hannah James and her new project Jig Doll and Jennifer Austin‘s adventures in Mumbai…read, share, check back for updates on their beautiful work.
Happy New Year, everybody!
I’ve had a lovely few weeks. On 21st December I was part of a reunion concert at Sage Gateshead, led by Eliza Carthy and celebrating 25 years of the Folkworks Youth Summer School. It was a twelve piece band of former Summer School participants – some of whom I hadn’t seen for a good few years! We had a day and a half to put together a concert’s worth of material, showing a bit of what we’re all up to now and with a nod to some classic Summer School tunes and songs along the way. It was great to catch up and play music with everyone, and there was a real celebratory atmosphere.
(photo by Mark Savage)
Then there followed a blur of after eights, jaffa cakes and cheese.
And yesterday the new year began with Scot:Lands, a multi-venue performance event happening throughout Edinburgh for its Hogmanay celebrations. I spent the day at the Assembly Roxy, looping a concert called Heart:Land with Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire, Withered Hand, Tommy Reilly, Andrew Mitchell and Alice Marra (The Hazey Janes) and some lad called Louis Abbott who I can’t seem to shake off. A lovely way to start the year! Here’s an end-of-show photo, stolen from Roddy:
Tomorrow I’m heading back to Gran’s House Studio with Fiona MacAskill and Mairearad Green for the second instalment of my New Voices album recording, with a few more days booked in for early February. Really looking forward to hearing the tunes coming together with the rhythm section parts laid down by Phil Hague, James Lindsay and Ali Hutton back in November. So stay tuned for more updates on Woven in the coming months..
Take care and all the best for a happy, healthy 2015 x
I have finally got round to setting up a Facebook music page, after a number of other Sarah Hayeses it would seem. And here‘s a link to my latest newsletter with a look back over some of this year’s musical moments (mailing list signup is on the right —>)
I’ve had a fantastic time working with two groups as part of New Rhythms for Glasgow‘s Belt It Oot community singing initiative. Looking forward to our FREE Christmas celebration on 17th December!
On New Year’s Day, Louis (AF) and I will be appearing at Scot:Lands, a series of performance events happening throughout Edinburgh as part of its Hogmanay celebrations. The afternoon features dozens of artists across ten themed stages around the city. Ours is ‘Heart:Land’, presented by Roddy Hart:
“Curator of the famously fabulous and ongoing “Roaming Roots Revue”, Roddy Hart, one of Scotland’s key (musical) players assembles a stellar line-up of brilliant and emerging home-grown musicians playing both material inspired by a place and paying homage to the great songs that connect them to their Scottish roots. An afternoon of hope and nostalgia, a unique journey into the Heartland of Scottish contemporary music.”
Featuring Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Withered Hand, Andrew Mitchell & Alice Marra (Hazey Janes), Louis Abbott & Sarah Hayes (Admiral Fallow) and Tommy Reilly.
The Celtic Connections train has begun its rumblings. Always an exciting time of year! I’ll be playing three concerts in different guises throughout the festival…
23rd January, Tron Theatre: Inge Thomson‘s Da Fishing Hands is a beautiful collection of songs and instrumentals inspired by Fair Isle and the sea. Inge has also recently been nominated for Composer of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards! tickets
24th January, Glasgow Art Club: This will be the debut outing of a duo with fiddler Fiona MacAskill; our Wildings bandmate Jen will be away on three month Live Music Now residency in Mumbai, so she gave us her blessing! We’ll be supporting the wonderful Finlay MacDonald & Chris Stout. tickets
29th January, Oran Mor: A solo show, with Adam Cohen headlining. tickets
I had a great time at Gran’s House Studio last week, recording my Celtic Connections New Voices composition, Woven. Big thanks to Phil Hague (drums and percussion), Ali Hutton (guitar), James Lindsay (bass) and Angus Lyon (engineering and patience) for their sterling efforts laying down the ‘engine room’ of the album. I’ll be back in the studio early next year to add the rest of the parts, along with Fiona MacAskill (fiddle) and Mairearad Green (accordion): can’t wait! The recording project has been made possible by an Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK, for which I’m very grateful.