03 January, 2018

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a brilliant time over the holidays, and with lots of people starting back at work today I hope it hasn’t been back down to earth with too much of a bump!

It’s that time where everyone reflects on the last year and I’m really happy to say that 2017 was a great year that kept me busy with lots of different events and projects, in fact the year flew by in a bit of a blur! At the start of the year I was part way through the first phase of a creative learning project in primary schools (P4-P6), and as we start this year I’m part way through its second phase. I’m really enjoying the project and working with that age group, they have so much curiosity and enthusiasm – there’s never a dull moment!

I’ve had a busy year of weddings and corporate events that have taken me to lots of beautiful venues across Scotland, and my diary is already filling up for 2018 and 2019. I’ve also been busy with teaching at the Feis and workshops with the Glasgow branch of the Clarsach Society. My private teaching starts again next week after the holidays and as this new term starts I’m delighted to welcome three new learners. My current learners age from 8 to over 60 and from complete beginner to advanced, and it’s lovely to work with such a wide range of ages and abilities.

I also had a bit of a non-musical work adventure towards the end of the year as an extra for Outlaw King, the film about Robert the Bruce. It was a lot of fun to go through the process of costume fittings, hair and make-up, and to see how things works on a film set. I’m really looking forward to seeing the film when it comes out!

It’s been a busy year at home too, with some re-decorating and having a new kitchen fitted. It was quite disruptive while the work was being done as it made it quite tricky to work from home, but now that it’s all finished and looking great I can definitely say it was worth it! I also had lovely holidays to Split (Croatia) in May and Riga (Latvia) in October, and I’m looking forward to going to Berlin for a few days next month too.

Thanks again to everyone for reading and for all your likes, shares and comments on my Facebook page – it’s much appreciated!

10 July, 2017

It’s been almost exactly a year since I graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and what a year it’s been. I’d always planned to go freelance after I finished studying as I wanted to be able to work on a variety of different projects, and I’m happy to say that’s exactly what has happened! I’ve worked on two pilot projects over this year – 3 months as Musician in Residence in a hospital followed by 6 months as an Artist (Music) on a creative learning project in schools across Ayrshire. In addition to these projects, I’ve also been busy with music sessions for 0-4 year olds, harp teaching and performances.

My most recent performance was in Tales from the City, as part of the Village Storytelling Festival held at the CCA in Glasgow. The performance combined folk tales with the autobiographical experiences of three storytellers and the projects they lead, and I accompanied their stories with live harp music. Composing for a live storytelling performance is quite different to composing for a film or a recorded story where the script is set and timings are exact, there’s a lot more flexibility and things can change in the telling during a live performance. So rather than having a full score for the hour long performance I wrote music for different themes and events in each story, linking them together with improvised sections where I responded to the stories in the moment. It was an exciting challenge and I really enjoyed working with the storytellers through the whole process from planning to final performance.

With a busy few months at the start of the year, it was time for a wee holiday so in May I had a few days in Split, Croatia. I’d never been before and didn’t know too much about the city, so it was nice to explore somewhere new and a bit different. It’s definitely somewhere I’d recommend visiting! I’m hoping to have another short break to Riga, Latvia later in the year but we’ll see.

Thanks to everyone for reading and for all your likes, shares and comments on my page, it’s really appreciated!