Singing had been a lifelong passion. I had always had a quiet belief that I could sing but for a variety of reasons, I kept it hidden. I have still never sung in a choir, played an instrument, not even karaoke!
I had a 21 year career in the Fitness Industry culminating in being Head of HR for a leading health club chain. Upon moving to Kent from London in 2004 I pursued a new career in Interior Design and ran a micro boutique B&B from home. As I approached my 50th birthday I finally accepted my partner Marg's suggestion and started to take singing lessons.
Then in 2011 I was diagnosed with M.E. Aged 52. Once I was told what my health problems amounted to life as I knew it came to a halt. I stopped working and singing. But I did continue with vocal coaching lessons when I could and after a while and as part of a collection of things I was encouraged to do to assist with recovery was to keep a journal.
Some of that journalling gradually turned into song lyrics, I started to come up with musical “doodles” in my head, I set about learning as much as I could and developing those song ideas, and in early 2014 I met up with, Janette Mason, who agreed to become the arranger and producer of my Debut Album.
This Girl, This Woman, was released on September 10th 2016 with a multimedia Launch at Creek Creative in Faversham, Kent
It was an extraordinary and magical evening with the performance space at Creek suitably transfomed for the night into cool, basement nightclub befitting the feel of several of the songs on the album.
This included an exhibition of lyrics, images and stories; a 'talking heads' video installation; a live performance by Kent based international jazz and soul singer Sarah Jane Morris; an 'in conversation' about the making of the album with Rosie Millard (author, broadcaster, Independent columnist, BBC arts correspondent,Chair Hull UK City of Culture 2017); and a celebration - a '60s twist' was certainly evident throughout!
To support the cost of the Launch we ran a successful Crowdfunding Campaign c/o Phundee.
We also won an Arts Council, England grant to match the Crowdfunding.
2017 saw me start to perform a little again after my 6 year enforced 'break'. Organising three 'Soirees' effectively re-enacting the Launch of TGTW, with a combination of the exhibition, video installation, an 'In Conversation' and a live performance of some of the songs from TGTW in June, August and October, as part of the Canterbury Festival Umbrella 2017. And a live performance at Pride, Canterbury in June.
(Click on the You Tube link to see clips and/ or go to the Gallery page.)
Thank you to the Lilford Gallery, Canterbury, to Nucleus Arts, Chatham. To actor Jules Melvin, artist and art therapist Tracie Peisley and author Alis Hawkins for the chat bits. To Angus Rorison, Frances Knight, Josefina Cupido and Miriam Gould for their musicianship!
The Adventure continues....
Watch my new showreel here - simply hit play.
To see the full 10 minute Showreel just click on the You Tube links throughout the website which will take you to my Channel or go to my Contacts and/or Gallery page.