News

Songs of Separation!

This is really exciting – it’s only ten days to go until the Songs of Separation project. This is a gathering of musicians from across the UK, to arrange, rehearse and record an album of mostly traditional songs, exploring themes – social, political, economic, personal – musically exploring human experience over generations, as told to … Read more

Working with young musicians

Feis Eige basses

I get so much joy from working with young musicians! Fun, inspiration, insight into music and the many ‘reminders’ of the positive role that music can play in people’s lives are encapsulated in a good lesson or workshop. Teaching recharges my own batteries, and my commitment to music and to passing on the skills I’ve … Read more

What would the Wailers say?!

DaimhMOR at CC 2015

I have had the good fortune to listen to a lot of reggae through my life. In fact, it’s been one of my ‘constant’ genres of choice, since I went to my first reggae gig at 6 years old. Others genres come and go, but reggae remains, always uplifting, always taking me to a place … Read more

Songs of Separation – Good to Go!

Songs of Separation

I am really excited to tell you about a new piece of work – Songs of Separation – that will bring together ten of the UK’s celebrated female folk musicians, to rehearse, arrange and record an album of traditional songs which touch on this complex and fascinating theme. The project begins with a period of … Read more

Celter Schmelter – Lights, Camera, ACTION!

Celter Schmelter

Back in the summer of 2014, Scottish Klezmer trio Celter Schmelter, got together at the newly built Eigg Studio on the Isle of Eigg, to record an album of traditional Jewish music, along with some self-penned klezmer material, which will go under the name of ‘Hen’s Khasene – The Eigg Sessions’, and will be released … Read more

Jelly and Icecream for the Jellyman’s Daughter?

Jellymans Daughter top 50 albums of 2014

A while ago I had the great pleasure of recording on the Jellyman’s Daughter’s first album. This young duo, comprising the compositional and songwriting skills of Graham Coe (‘cello and voice) and Emily Kelly (guitar and voice) impressed the socks off me when I first heard them. In places bluegrass inspired, with choppy cello riffs, … Read more

Metta magic – reviewing the reviews

Back in June, ‘Damian Helliwell’s Metta’ released their debut album. We received a huge amount of support from the Scottish music press, with inspiring reviews in the Scotsman & Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald, Living Tradition and more. Songlines (the magazine that all musicians hope to do well in!) said Metta is “beautifully produced, sharp, … Read more

Klezmerised…

On the balcony, Eigg

Just recovering from a fantastic week of studio work with Gica and Fin Loening, two thirds of the celebrated Scottish Klezmer ensemble, Celter Schmelter. Over its ten year history, Celter Schmelter has followed the path of the true klezmorim – playing everywhere we’ve been asked! – from high brow concerts, to bar/batmitzvahs and weddings, to … Read more

Damian Helliwell’s Metta – making the band visible

The music industry has changed hugely in the last ten years. Bands now not only need to put out great albums, but also need to have a handle on the ‘visual’ element, marketing their work online, being resourceful about ‘increasing their reach’ and getting to the people most likely to love their music. Damian Helliwell’s … Read more

Working with Singer Songwriters

Rory Butler and Jen Hill, Queen's Hall Edinburgh

I really do love working with good singer songwriters. It’s my all-time-favourite type of music making and there’s nothing quite like a late night session with a good lyricist, where the lines just flow from your fingers, in response to the theme and the words of the song. When the connection is just right, a … Read more