I’ve been working on an a recording, just me singing with the harp. Hopefully it’ll be done in the next month or so… watch this space! The first gig where I hope to have CDs will be in St Albans on the 5th Oct with the Tunesmiths, who will also hopefully have a new EP to share.

I’ve had a long held ambition to play the flute but never focused on it because my hand appeared to present too many problems. Aged 15, I got stubborn and decided to do it anyway, but since my finger was amputated I’ve never been able to seal the holes / keys  well enough. Over a decade later, I had the great fortune to meet flute maker Tony Millyard through social music making. He happily agreed to take the project on and we started developing a prototype back in September 2011. The first working model arrived in February and was immediately loved. My final instrument arrived today,  and she’s beautiful. I’m so pleased.

www.millyardmolem.com

 

We had a fun rehearsal last Thursday and Channel 4 came along to meet us. You can see their short piece here: www.channel4.com/news/paraorchestra-tunes-up-for-big-debut

Folkweekend: Oxford was a total blast, with amazing gigs in the Old Fire Station and Ashmolean. Nightshift reviewed us and have reminded me of many happy memories – you can read it below. Very touched to be called a local treasure, regardless of the sentence length.


This year sees the creation of the British Paraorchestra: the UK’s first-ever national orchestra for musicians with disabilities. Charles Hazlewood, conductor was inspired to start the orchestra after he discovered his daughter had cerebral palsy. Although fully able in daily life, I am delighted to take part in this project as someone born with macrodactyly, a congenital hand deformity.The first large-scale performance will be at Orchestra in a Field in Somerset, June 30th – July 1st 2012.
www.paraorchestra.com
www.orchestrainafield.com

We’re gearing up again for this festival season, we’ll be at Sidmouth – Broadstairs – Towersey – Wallingford. Our next big event is our Tutor Doing Stuff and Training weekend, April 13 – 15th. Get in touch via our website to find out more…www.shootingroots.org

We had a brilliant time on Sunday with all 120-or-so Superstrings youth players, our 6 folkie soloists and Pete Flood’s new commission “Vici”. Bellowhead went on to play a cracking set afterwards, with Superstrings joining in for a second encore. Superstrings is a music charity, providing young people living in rural Wiltshire with musical opportunities. www.superstringsclub.co.uk

I’m delighted to play for a new show: Journey to the Fifth Province. Mixing spoken work, poetry and music; the show is an inspiring journey to Ireland’s mythical fifth province. Read more about my first night out with the team:
http://fifthprovinceproductions.org.uk/news/blog.html

Last December I had the joy of playing for a friend’s debut cd and it’s now released. Very exciting. For more info and to have a listen, go to:
www.myspace.com/espiers

Since September 2009 I’ve been working on a project to promote Irish harp in London. I’ve been teaching harp to two Irish music teachers, Colette Keaveney and Sharon Kelly, so that they can support and inspire their harp pupils. We’ve had a really good year, had a couple of excellent events and now have an excited community of young harp players in London. One particular highlight was a day of workshops and concerts with Máire Ní Chathasaigh. We even got an article in the Irish World.