Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday November 28th

Things I have been thinking about/enjoying/listening to in the past week..

Reading Ted Hughes's book The Iron Man to Martha at bedtime, what a pleasure to rediscover this story again; finally getting some dates in the book for the Metamorphic/Royst tour in June 2013, especially in my hometown, Sheffield, at the wonderful Lantern Theatre on June 17th; working on -  and endlessly listening back to in an attempt to try and get it right- my new composition, Dark Thundering Moon, in collaboration with Martha, who's writing a story with the same title; mulling over the presence of women in jazz and the music world today, especially instrumentalists, and wondering about approaching some women musicians to interview about this; watching Martha ride a bike all on her own for the first time; rediscovering Ahmad Jamal's album The Essence which I used to listen to a lot in Paris, an album which epitomises my time living in this beautiful city, a city I still miss; and enjoying the sun when it appears, shyly, after the deluge. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tuesday November 20th

I've been to some really nice gigs in the past week. The first was Shabaka Hutchings premiere of his piece Babylon with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Sons of Kemet/Jason Singh/Leafcutter John, followed by a short but incredible set from Sons of Kemet. I really liked the textures and layers of sound in Babylon, and I was blown away by the huge energy, fantastic vibe and killer grooves of Sons of Kemet. Next was the Brad Mehldau Trio at the Barbican. This was harder to enjoy as we were sitting so far away from the stage, but it was still a treat to see this trio, especially Mehldau's amazing left hand, although I missed Jorge Rossy on drums. Then onto the Leaf night at The Hyde Park Cinema. Despite some sound issues, this was a really interesting night of film and music, the highlights being Tony Morley's Kubrick soundtrack to the beautiful film The Red Balloon and pianist Matt Bourne improvising to Le Chien Andalou. Wow. As I later said to Matt, I find listening to pianists accompanying silent films- especially when the pianist is Matt!- really moving, as my great grandfather Sidney Walker was a silent film pianist, and violinist, who died at the age of 45 from TB. I am going to dedicate the second Metamorphic album Coalescence (out on the F-ire label Spring 2013) to him. Then last night, my favourite trio Troyka kicked up a storm at Sela. A great gig. We had the idea of gig hopping over to the Brudenell to see Trio VD later on but that turned out to be ambitious and I really didn't want to miss any of Troyka's set. Shame that the programmers couldn't have organised it differently. It was really nice to hang afterwards with Kit and Chris and Thea and their friends, nice chats were had. Thea asked how I got into jazz and it got me thinking about it again and remembering. It was a moment. The moment when my piano teacher put on the Keith Jarrett Trio playing God Bless The Child from Standards Vol. 2 for me. Having previously studied classical grades, after this moment I was completely hooked,  and remember clearly thinking, now THAT'S the music I want to play. 

And here I am years later- after the road taking me down some unexpected forks and presenting me with some dead ends; after retracing my steps; after standing still; after edging backwards; after running forwards; after facing crossroads; after tripping and falling but finding my feet again somehow; - doing just that. I feel so humbled and grateful that I am able to, after the twists and turns that this road has thrown at me, and will continue to. The road has become part of it.  

Monday, 12 November 2012

November 12th 2012


I have decided to start a blog to share some thoughts and feelings on music, creativity, motherhood, womanhood, friendship, love, mental health, or whatever feels important the moment I decide to write a post. A little window on stuff I think about.

My thought today is that windows have many meanings/functions: they enable you look out at the world; they enable the outside world to look in; they reflect while being transparent; they can be open and they can be closed; they can be shut out from the inside; they let in light and shadows; they allow us to observe without being observed; they can have cracks; they are ultimately fragile yet vital.