Can we win back the Pan Celtic crown for Cornwall?

I’m off to Ireland with an amazing group of musicians to compete in The Pan Celtic International Song Contest on April 13th 2023 with my song ‘Kan an Tewyn’. Here is the original recording of me playing piano and singing. Performing the song live involves a six piece band including an enormous Teiko drum which is such a joy to play that for a change I am drummer not pianist.

Pan Celtic International 2023

Some exciting news! We are finally taking my Cornish song ‘Kan an Tewyn’ to the Pan Celtic International Song Contest in Ireland to represent Cornwall. Just three years later than expected!

For those of you who remember, I won Kan Rag Kernow in 2020 after an exciting online voting contest and we were all set to go and represent Cornwall at the Celtic world’s equivalent of the Eurovision. But then the pandemic hit just a few weeks before. And then a lot happened. Life changed for so many of us.

But the festival is making a big return after a 3 year gap and we are super excited to now be taking my song to Carlow. We will be competing with the 5 other Celtic nations including Brittany. I’ll be singing and playing with these wonderful friends and musicians: Kelsey Michael. Matt Tweed, Elizabeth Freeborn, Ashley Height and Annie Baylis-Gray.

And here is the song, my love letter to the Towans, filmed at Song for Cornwall 2020.

Musical Score for BFI Short Film

I am very proud to have written the music for a BFI short film set in Cornwall called ‘Dog Years’. Written and directed by Natalys Willcox, it is funny and moving and I loved the challenge of finding a way to create musical theme that is able to capture both humour and tragedy. It is doing the festivals at the moment but if it becomes available to stream I will post here.

Setting up the exhibition

Our SheProducer Sound Showcase #2 is going live on March 7. I collected the images from the printers today and they look fantastic. I always love seeing people’s home made studios and hope everyone enjoys seeing how diverse our music making corners can be…

SheProducer Sound Showcase #2

This is a showcase of 10 of our members who joined the SheProducer journey during our first year, learning new skills in our free teaching sessions in a safe online space. Together we have tackled some of the challenges of recording, shared our knowledge and encouraged each other to explore and experiment.

10 original recordings, produced in Cornwall by SheProducer members, are accompanied by images of the diverse home-based locations where they were recorded. For many, these are first recordings they have made in their own spaces. 

Lockdown Stories

Here is my story I wrote for the Cornish Freelance Task Force during lockdown.

Like many musicians, lockdown knocked my musical path sideways. So much about music involves other people. Whether it’s rehearsing with your band, working in a studio or performing to a group of people. Finding myself cut off from all these things was very challenging. I had an album ready to launch in May but all my plans for its lead up involved other people so it needed a complete rethink. Also I was super excited about representing Cornwall at the Pan Celtic International Song Contest in April. I had won the Song For Cornwall 2020 in January with my first song written in Cornish and was all ready with my band to travel to Ireland. But naturally that was cancelled too. A four day event taking over an entire town in Ireland was probably the worst nightmare for Covid. 

My one saving grace was that I write and record my music myself so being in isolation at least I could do the thing I love and keep making music. But you still need community even if you work and create alone at home. It wasn’t the first time I had longed to find fellow musical spirits in the same boat as me. hear about their work, see their home made recording spaces. In fact for several years I had been researching women in music and in particular female producers who were thin on the ground. It didn’t take long to discover that there were far too few women producing their own music. 

So I decided I wanted to create a community where female musicians and producers could find each other, share stories, become more visible in the world and inspire other women to explore the amazing world of recording. Visibility seemed to be one of the key things that was missing. Just to see an image of another woman doing something you hadn’t considered before makes you realise what is possible. I had barely any role models or even pictures of women working in this area to inspire me. The image in my mind of Sybille Baier recording her guitar with a tape reel on her kitchen table was a constant source of uplift and motivation. Likewise the picture of Delia Derbyshire cutting up tape at the BBC in the 1960s. I just loved the idea of women finding a space or a corner, and creating. And I wanted to find those women who were doing just that and build a SheProducer community. 

During lockdown, one day while I was wrapping my microphone around an old wooden clothes rail (I didn’t have my mic stand handy) I got an email from Kath who was conducting some research on female musicians in lockdown and trying to find out how they were managing to make music without all the usual networks and social spaces available. I was immediately intrigued because the response was almost consistently the same – women were struggling and lacked the confidence and technical skills they needed to be able to produce in isolation. As we talked, we both realised we were passionate about the same thing – helping and empowering women to become self sufficient in their musical careers. Lockdown had made this need all the more urgent. We also shared an excitement around creating a community, giving female music-makers more visibility and discovering the wealth of talent here in Cornwall that hasn’t been heard yet. So we brought together all of our ideas and aims, set to work over the summer and launched SheProducer last Thursday. 

Despite all the things that were closing down and falling apart, lockdown seemed to provide the perfect moment for two visions to come together. In fact lockdown actually propelled it into being. And It makes me realise that, being knocked sideways can mean exactly that. You just have to go sideways and see what’s there. 

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.

Logo for SheProducer

Here is the logo I have designed for SheProducer, a new space for female Cornish music makers to come together, learn new skills and inspire each other to record their own sounds in a homemade settingSee more at

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”.