Hall For Cornwall Composer Commission 2021

I have loved taking part in a soundscape commission for the Hall for Cornwall’s opening, with luck in 2021. Six composers were asked to write a choral piece for two singers and I loved my theme – a spy love story! I had to write a score and also create recording as a guide for the singers. Being someone who loves creating beautiful recordings, I had lots of fun with both parts. There is something incredibly fulfilling about classical notation and this universal language for music. I have created so many notations over the last decade, depending on who I am working with and how we both ‘see’ music but engaging with an age-old language brings another kind of connection.

I decided to use a waltz rhythm, become I find that although a waltz can be quite swaying, when it’s fast there is something a bit obsessive sounding about. I explored a Russian kind of melody as I associate spy stories to the Cold War or James Bond!. But I also wanted to add something edgy and contemporary so there is a Laurie Anderson inspired section too where the voices sound almost like part of a machine. I can’t share it yet but look forward to when it is performed in public.

Winner of Song For Cornwall 2020

I am delighted to have won Song For Cornwall 2020 with my ode to The Towans called ‘Song of the Dune’ or ‘Kan an Tewyn’. It is my first foray into the Cornish language as I mainly write in English (occasionally French). When I composed this song while walking on the sand dunes in the winter, It was so tied up with the expansive landscape that I knew that if it had lyrics, it had to be in Cornish. I wrote it principally as a cinematic piece, so am planning to film something evocative for it. Or perhaps it will be used in a Cornish thriller? My favourite response to the song was “move over Scandi Noir, here is Cornish Noir”.

Pan Celtic International Festival 2020

Wow what a magical night performing and recording our entries at the Kan Rag Kenrow (Song for Cornwall) 2020 competition finals. I feel so very honoured to be in the running to represent Cornwall in song. Huge thanks to Jennifer Lowe, and Pat Crewes and Jamie Toms of Pan Celtic International Festival for organising something so special. The winner of the competition will go on to represent Kernow at the festival which would be incredible! And so joyful to play with my amazing band. Blessed to be working with such great musicians. Hats off to Brother Sea for a splann performance!

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Song of the Dune | Kan Rag Kernow 2020

Super excited to share that I am a finalist in the Song For Cornwall/Kan Rag Kernow competition 2020!!
A song to represent Cornwall which will then go to the Pan Celtic International Festival in Carlow, Ireland this Easter.
Last night we performed alongside Brother Sea and soon our filmed performances will be put to the public to vote. Yikes. For now here is my song… in Cornish. A love letter to the Towans. Have a listen. xxx

‘Wonder’ excerpt from my new album

Here is a second sneak preview snippet of my album. ‘Wonder’ is about that strange wondrous feeling when you meet someone – might they come into your life for a brief moment and vanish back into the ether or will you know them intimately for eternity?

And I just love the word WONDER. So full of magic.

Back in Cornwall and a new album

Hello friends. Well its been a while. Life seemed to grab me by hair and hurl me through a number of ordeals in the last few years. Music has always been my solace and I hung in there by turning to music and writing to keep me anchored but when things are that hard, it’s next to impossible to put yourself or your music out into the world. You just need to hide till the storm passes. Luckily I’m still here in one piece, perhaps with a few more scars and stories to tell but always turning to music to share my stories. Most importantly I am back in my spiritual home in Cornwall where I truly belong and can breathe again. It’s strange what happens to us creatures when we are taken out of our natural habitat. We barely survive. So with the sea wafting in across the bluebell woods I am now relishing my little corner of the world and ready to share. My album got put on hold during this tough time so it’s a joy to finally release it. This little snippet features an amazing musician I met in the metropolis where kindred spirits were few and far between. Hi name is James Seaton and he pops up on a few of my songs. Mainly playing electric guitar but he is singing on this one too – its our little ode to French Psych implanted into a song about trying to survive in a big city. Anyway its good to be back. I really appreciate your listening to my words and songs and all your support.

I Dive Again

For Folk’s Sake review by Becky Varley-Winter

This debut from dreamy Minko is a departure from electronica (“I packed away my samplers and synthesisers and went to live by the sea in Cornwall and filled the room with acoustic instruments,” she tells us), and her arrangements show a subtle experimental bent reminiscent of Julia Holter, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Andrew Bird.

Minko is obsessed with “amalgamating sounds”, setting a clear, insouciant voice against cool, softly-layered backdrops of multiple instruments (she lists piano, guitar, ukelele, glockenspiel, flute, organ, the noise of grasshoppers…).

Sybil of Delphi is apparently the first installment in a chain of more than fifty songs. There’s depth and variety in the four on display here; the title track weaves doomily poetic lyrics against a gentle backdrop of lapping waves and whistling, while ‘Lemon Psyche’ is more sixties, all glamorous languor, sipping cocktails by the pool.

I Am The Bridge’, meanwhile, is the most carefree, meanderingly childlike, with a hum in the background that gives its naivety and nostalgia a crystallised, clear-eyed edge; the end of the song becomes haunting.

‘I Dive Again’ takes a bleaker turn, swells of piano mimicking Einaudi and the deep grey sea, which is a presence throughout the EP.