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2014 A Review

Dear friends

It’s a long time since I posted. There have been highs and lows to this year, the latter half of the year being the most difficult. I played a specially written song, for a dear friend and manager David Bainbridge at his service in October, perhaps one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. He passed away suddenly in August and he is very missed. David is (and I use the present tense because I believe that just because the physical body dies, the soul and energy of that person remains and he is with me still) an enormously creative man and had many projects on the go which were all fantastic. He was very loved and I am so blessed that he was in my life for even a short time. I had an amazing time in Cordoba and Gibralter with him and his partner Marisa 10 days before he died and I will always remember this time as very special. His enthusiasm and drive was second to none! David didn’t do “negative”;-) ..

This year I have been adding to my new album, the release of which has been delayed, but is evolving all the time and is set for release in 2015. I’ll keep you posted on this! In the meantime I’ve been working on some exciting new videos for next year and also a couple of feature films. I’m due to start the 2nd in 2015 and the first – Dartmoor Killings will be privately previewed early next year before it’s release in 2015. It’s an amazing film from British director Peter Nicholson and is all (naturally!) based in Dartmoor. Stunning shots and scenery and gritty content – watch this space!!

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The other film Way of the Eagle is a beautiful and powerful feature drama, all specially shot footage no CGI! Filmed over three years. This is due for cinematic release Christmas 2015. Very exciting. I’ll be posting more on this as the year progresses.

Winning a Gold Spirit Award and being nominated for an Emmy were a couple of high points in the year as have been surfing in Hawaii, helping some great young filmmakers and musicians to follow their dreams and  working with the World Land Trust on their amazing campaigns. It’s been a year of growth and progression;-)

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and inspiring New Year. May all your dreams and wishes be fulfilled in 2015.

With love

Sarah

 

Gold Spirit Awards

Last week I found myself in Gibraltar – first time I’d ever visited! I was amazed at the huge rock and all the inhabitants – some 30,000 living around it’s. Lovely old town and square, warm sea which I swam in and lovely people. I got interviewed for the forthcoming Gold Spirit Awards to be held in Cordoba on the Wednesday and we sat in a pleasant coffee house as Alice from the Gibraltar Chronicle asked me about my music and life. It was with a view to another feature later. Of course at that point I had little idea that I’d actually win, although it seemed positive as we’d all been invited to the festival.

It was hot hot hot there – Cordoba’s maze of streets confused us and we had to get a taxi driver to lead us into the old town without getting lost!! The festival was wonderful – very intimate yet international and the people passionate about music. There was a dreamy quality to the setting – and as I walked up a red carpet strewn with white rose petals and sat at a beautifully laid table, I felt a bit nervous! (perhaps I should have prepared a speech!!) Anyway we sat with some other composers – John Lunn – the composer who wrote all the music to the great and popular series Downtown Abbey was there – he’s a lovely guy and we’d worked together judging at the Ivors – really nice to see a familiar face! Murray Gold (Doctor Who) and Rolf Kent (Dexter, Sideways, Wedding Crashers and many more!) were there and the wonderful composer Abel Korzeniowski who sat next to me and won two Gerry Goldsmith awards!!  I also met some great guys starting a new festival in Columbia and wonderful people from all different countries. Thanks for your lovely comments and coming to chat – it was great to meet you all.Congratulations to all who were there. When my name was called and I went up to the stage, I had to stop myself having a Gwenyth moment;-)  I have to say it was a real honour to be recognised for the music I wrote for BBC Africa series and also get to know some of the people who are listening to scores around the world. Thank you again Cordoba!

Gala (28)

 

 

 

Californian Sunshine

Just got back from a writing/surfing/chillin’ break in Southern Cali. Weather hot, sea very warm, inspiration was flowing… so 5 new songs on the go. Some inspired by my experiences in Oahu Hawaii and others are coming from a new place – a new time…. things feel like they’re about to change. I love that feeling. Travel always sets out new pathways to creativity, to life, love and the spiritual being. So all good. Encinitas had just the right vibe for relaxing and writing music. One day we wandered into a bead shop and it was hard not to be attracted to the array of colours and beautiful crystals the place had to offer. We ended up chatting to the owner for hours who told us the great George Harrison stood in the very spot I was standing in (deliberating over amber or wooden beads!) to make a necklace for his wife Olivia. Love stories like that. We met so many great people! Lauren, Pablo,Randy, Ellen, Michelle, Jim and Jim – Some of these guys had surfed with my hero Eddie Aikau on big waves on the North Shore and the great Jerry Lopez!

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Always on a surfing mecca we stopped in to the best surfing museum ever, The Surfing Heritage Museum. How those guys rode some of those things, I don’t know – I’m pretty sure some were not very successful but the innovation process here is fascinating. Early boards from the early 1900s were made of  knotless red cedar, finless and generally made for prone-riding. I’m sure people tried to stand on them for fun tho – I would have!! There were also 3 boards owned by the famous championship swimmer and surfer “The Duke”! Here’s a great photo of him with his surfing buddies back in the day (at the very back, second from the right):

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I liked this board with it’s psychedelic colours!

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Anyway, the best thing about this trip was the stunning view from the place we were staying which I’d love to share with you because it’s so inspiring. You could hear the sea all night long and it was like a continuous meditation….beautiful….

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Until next time, Sarah x

The making of …

Just after we completed our winter video in Cornwall…. (to be released this summer) I had the opportunity to shoot a video in Hawaii! This time, no icy cold wind, red noses (well a little sun burnt!) and running from the rain!  The latest video is for my new song, Northern Shore. It encompasses sun, sea sand and some other cool surprises. I can’t wait to go back to Hawaii as it seems like a dream now!

The sun is always there..

The days seem to have been racing past already – it’s mid February and the snowdrops are everywhere in North Cornwall, the daffodil buds a constant positive force in the earth, push through and bring the joyful promise of spring… birds are singing today and the sky is mainly blue.  I have been filming a new video and much time has been spent waiting for the rain to stop and the sun to break through. North east winds sting the eyes and make the sea a bubbling mass of heaving energy, with extra high tides changing our shores and washing away things it shouldn’t. We are half way through the film, still needing a proper sunny day to fit the last piece of the puzzle together.

Through raging winds and lashing rain, I picked up my new surf board at Aggie Surf Shop (pictures to come) from Markey Lascelles made by his dad Chops and it looks beautiful. The dragonfly graphic designed by Ben Rogers is proudly sitting on the front of the board. Shame it’s going to be covered in wax!! Wanted to take it out in Bude on the weekend, but the waves were unrelenting and the chilly wind without sun didn’t feel as compelling as a bikini day in Hawaii (I fear I’m spoilt for life!!). But I shall get back in that wetsuit soon!

I’m excited also to be nominated for 2 categories in the IFMCA – the International Film Music Critics Awards – http://filmmusiccritics.org/2014/02/ifmca-nominations-2013/

Other intriguing things are happening behind the scenes, a new feature film in the summer and, at the moment I’m working on a new song with producer Tom Wilding and it’s already gone through many incarnations;)) The creative process never ends…… lots more to come!

Happy New Year! (and update!!)

Hi all! 

It’s been a while. I’ve been travelling a bit, writing a lot, singing a lot. I had an amazing gig at the Halesworth Arts Festival which is where we left off in October. Bill Oddie interviewed me about writing the music to BBC Africa in the first half and the 2nd half of the concert was me singing some of my new material with the guitar and at the piano. I was joined by Danny Moss Jnr (double bass – son of Danny Moss the famous saxophonist!) and Gilly Robertson singing harmonies. It was a great evening with a wonderful audience. We also showed some of the more evocative (and amusing!!) clips of Africa that evening – Bill made me laugh a lot as did the audience;). 

November arrived and with it new song material and preparation for a trip to Kauai and Los Angeles. The first part of the journey was more of a writing/surfing holiday and I took my new guitarlele with me which as it sounds is a cross between a classical guitar and a ukelele!! It sounds mellow and sings out beautifully – definitely went with the whole vibe of the trip;) I was in the north of the island in Hanalei Bay staying with my friends Erin and Richard – Richard had build this beautiful property with stunning views across the bay – here’s a pic!

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 So – not too hard to get inspired here! The only other time I came to Kauai I was walking along a quiet country road on the far end of the bay and who should pass by with a cup of coffee and a small bag (containing what I found out later was an oat cookie!) but, Pierce Brosnan!! He lives this end of the bay – an area, this time around I hasten to add, where my surfing buddy Krista and I got cut off because of trees in the road, or flooding or both. Once that happens, you’re trapped there until they clear it!! I wrote a new song here and another in Los Angeles in Laurel Canyon. When we arrived in LA (red eye from Hawaii – not too much fun!!) we went from meeting to meeting. I went to Hans Zimmer’s studios – where I’d written some music when I’d first visited LA, innocent and just beginning my music career – this time his studio was all plush dark red velvets and wood, with a lovely grand piano and technology all around. It had the feeling of a high tech risqué boudoir! 

Staying in Laurel Canyon is always a lovely experience – calm, creative inspiring. There amongst the hummingbirds, and pines, the palms and hibiscus many musical masterpieces were penned in days gone by – Joni Mitchell, The Doors,Carole King James Taylor the Byrds, and even the Beatles all stayed or lived here at some point. The Canyon Country Store at the bottom of the hill – still rustic, is a legacy and kind of cultural centre to Laurel Canyon for over a century. Jim Morrison sang about it in “Love Street” Mama Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas lived in the shop’s basement (now a fancy wine cellar) for a while. I can see why this place is a singer/songwriter mecca – it has a kind of stillness….. as though the music written there is still suspended high up in the cool fresh air of the Canyon…..and perhaps it is.;)

It’s been an interesting year, for me a preparatory year, full of promise….. I wish you all a wonderful and fulfilling 2014.

As always

Sarah x

Last Week…Songwriting, Singing and Sorrow

Well, this was a busy week in London. It started with an incredible talk by Ralph Murphy who has written a book called Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting. A group of us “lawless” songwriters turned up at the infamous Matrix studios to hear a talk by Ralph Murphy who’d just got off a plane from Nashville  – a songwriters mecca! It was very interesting to hear how a song could be crafted in order to get the best possible chance of it being a hit! Despite his jet-lagg Ralph managed to impart many tips and cautions in the convoluted world of songwriting from who your audiences REALLY are to structures and musical tricks to draw the listener in even more!! We all played him our own chosen songs and he gave us a critique based on this particular craft of songwriting. There’s no doubt it works as he’s had plenty of hits in plenty of genres. Thing is when I write a song it has it’s own personality and quirks like all of us;) Do we tame the beast completely – and give in to the commercial way or walk the middle road…? I think it’s a balance between working within (to the listener) parameters of writing a song in the way Ralph has put forward, to get the best of what you have out there, but still keeping things fresh and innovative, emotive and hooky with any luck.

The next day I was back in the same studio to record new vocals to my latest song. I worked with Jonas Wrestling a brilliant producer and mixing engineer to add the final touches to the song. This will be released early next year. We’re currently working on a video for this and a re-make of the song Northern Shore from my first album.  The day ended with a musical tribute and ceremony at the 33rd ASCAP Awards night in Grosvenor House Hotel. Steve Mac received Songwriter of the Year award and other great writers present included John Lunn for Downton Abbey and film composer Patrick Doyle and Ben Howard. It was a great evening and Tony Hatch gave a humorous performance on the piano of old favourites like Neighbours;-), Down Town and other notable TV themes!

The week ended very sadly with the sudden passing of Cornwall’s best board shaper, Chops Lascelles who has made a special surf board for me – some of the design work I have posted here earlier this year. It was a shock to everyone and a real loss to us all. He was a wonderful person and my heart goes out to his wife Mary and his family.

 

 

TV Interview with Lindsey Buckingham

This week I was excited to be invited to come along to the TV recording of Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. I was one of a few people who was asked if I wanted to ask him a question! err of course I said yes!!;) He played many well known tracks from Fleetwood Mac on his acoustic guitar. The audience loved him and his playing was brilliant and totally captivating! I asked him what his all time personal favourite track was and why. On the question of why, he did refer to an earlier discussion about Tusk, the album which came after Rumours, but also Seeds We Sow. Although I wasn’t sure if he was talking about the title track to that album or the whole album. There were also nostalgic video clips of early performances with Stevie Nicks which were amazing. It was an electric experience!;)

 

 

Initial Target Reached for Borneo’s Orang-utans!

A few weeks ago I launched a Just Giving page for the World Land Trust to raise funds to purchase land in Borneo. I’m happy to say I’ve reached my £1000 target and I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported this and donated their hard earned cash to this project. The Big Match Fortnight is next week and we’re also auctioning the angel painting entitled “Unity” (you see on my website) in Paris later this month. {726e2d605211e3e1e5aa6187b0011b41f06b201fcc191e51f1e590a471ed54f0}20 of proceeds are going to the World Land Trust.

Thank you again and well done everyone! you’ve done us proud!

XX

 

 

Other Fundraising Events

Halesworth Arts Festival October 25th 2013

In the first half of the programme I will be talking about the process of writing scores for film and television and looking at how I created the score to the BBC’s latest popular blockbuster natural history series Africa, narrated by Sir David Attenborough. I shall also be doing a set of my latest songs, with double bass player, Danny Moss Jnr and vocalist Gilly Anderson. All proceeds go to the World Land Trust. 

http://www.halesworthartsfestival.org.uk/details.php?progid=37

Special Auction of Jim Starr’s Stunning “Unity” Angel Painting 

 Jim created this design for my new logo and website which you see here on the header. The exclusive and “one off” painting will be auctioned in Paris 25th October. 20{726e2d605211e3e1e5aa6187b0011b41f06b201fcc191e51f1e590a471ed54f0} of the proceeds from the auction will go to the World Land Trust Big Match Fortnight Fund for the orang-utans. MM Contemporary have partnered with Digard auctions to host an international urban contemporary art’s sale. Here’s a sneaky preview of the painting..

Detail - James Starr

The Just Giving page:

www.justgiving.com/sarah-class

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