Since the end of 2018, I have been writing new music inspired by trees and all my shows in 2019 will feature the new material.
The process began with a piece of music written on The Outer Hebrides that had a sense of water and flowing that seemed to sum up the essence of the Willow Tree. The Willow has the unique ability of being able to grow a whole new tree from a single branch pushed into damp soil so the music also follows this idea of new life and birth.
This seemed like a great opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Sussex woodlands with a guitar, connecting with nature, listening to the songs of the birds and thinking about my relationship to the different trees.
Next came the pioneer tree Silver Birch, with its ability to grow in any dry soil it can quickly establish itself and colonise large areas. The young leaves can be brewed into teas and tinctures that can help with skin conditions as well as the immune and digestive systems.
I was also inspired to write a piece of music about a beautiful old Holm Oak on our village green whose branches come down to the ground on all sides, creating a cave like sensation inside. Generations of children have played and climbed in this warm and encompassing space.
I have also been drawn to write about the Linden (Lime), Yew, Holly and Pine trees and try to put time in every day to learn more and spend time in nature.