Monday, 7 May 2012

Summers Minstrel on the Fiddle

Heather Summers

Had a meeting with an amazing local musician who tours the world with her wonderful tunes, Heather Summers, in what we lovingly call our 'Posh Cafe' in the village. I live this side, and Heather lives that side so it's handy for meeting half way.

I first briefly met Heather many years ago when we were both nominated and short listed to the final 3 as Welsh Woman of the Year for our Contribution to Culture. It was quite a night at the CIA in Cardiff. We met Shirley Bassey back stage and I remember drinking so much champagne I could barely walk!

I wasn’t long back from India, where I had been working as a songwriter  with children who had been ‘rescued’ from the streets and were living in a Children’s Home, so I had been away a fair bit, Heather was one of the co-directors and founders of Women in Tune, our longest running Welsh Women’s festival and quite possibly one of the UK’s only women only festivals.

Heather is a very special combination of person. She is an amazing musician having initially trained as a concert violinist, she is also a sample and technical whizz kid creating whole orchestras with her sound, but more than this, she is also a strategic thinker, she can be a small piece and yet still see clearly the whole.

She is one of the world’s calm beautiful people, easy to be with, a joy to work with, nothing is ever too much trouble. She lives and breathes music from her very core through to her finger tips, in a selfless and giving way that embraces and supports others whilst experimenting and expanding her own boundaries ... in fact, there are no boundaries with Heather, anything is possible!

I love this about her. Right now she is on tour in Germany, then onto Sicily whilst also working on a project with the Arts Council of Wales creating a musical collaboration between the school where her daughter is a volunteer teacher in Africa and local welsh schools, learning how to engineer and mix the 2 cultural and creative worlds via music and song.

So I feel very lucky indeed that Heather is able to come and be part of my Individual journey. I admire her, respect her both as musician and as a human being. She is my friend.

Left: Heather Summers. Middle Sophie McKeand/Poet. Right: Me!
At The Story Telling Weekend: Children's Tale Trail where Heather did a tremendous job as  our Minstrel for the Weekend funded by Community Music Wales

Here we are at The Story Telling Weekend, this will give you an idea of how I can see Heather's work and Fiona's Dance of the Ribbons fitting into Fusion Inspire, under the wind turbines with the children dressed in Welsh Costume & a Welsh Horn piper playing the reel I have written for the piece ...

Heather will play fiddle/violin in the Dance of the Ribbons piece outlined in another blog. I talked about her role in the Dance of the Ribbons section and how beautifully her and Fiona worked together at The Story telling Event where I brought them together as Creative Director.

Heather Summers (Right) with Fiona Winter after The Dance of the Ribbons

I may also ask Heather to lead a trail from venue to venue if I decide to have one and if she is free during my Tour Dates, which seems to be a bit of an issue with all the people I’d like to work with! They are all such gifted and wonderful people that off course, they are very busy with their own projects and musical journeys. All I can do is put it out there and see where it leads.

You can watch Heather in this Youtube clip of one of her solo performances

This link will take you to Heather's new album Pleiades, half of which was recorded out my studio as  a thank you gift to Heather for her contribution to women's music

Just a reminder folks that my Fusion Inspire Journey is only possible thanks to the tremendous support &  Indivdual Mainline Grant from the Arts Council of Wales.



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