words ~ music ~ place
Welcome to the site.
Here’s information about the ways in which I use words, music and a sense of place to create performances, school and
community projects, recordings and publications. If you’re thinking of working with me, I hope this proves helpful.
Since I moved from Yorkshire to the north of Scotland, over twenty years ago, my work has been increasingly influenced
by travels throughout the Highlands and Islands, and the site is largely dedicated to that influence. From past interest,
though, I know that there are folk out there who are curious about my early professional history, particularly as a folk
singer and as co-leader of the band Mr Fox, so for you there’s also some stuff.
Pages on the site are laid out like this first one. The text at the top of the page is a summary of work in a particular field.
Below are individual panels. Each panel incorporates an image, and each tells a story relevant to the page’s theme.It’s
been a great pleasure throughout my career to have been able to collaborate with lots of inspiring artists, and I have
included work from many of them. All the images can be enlarged by clicking on them.
Music - is a theme running
through my life. I’ve sung and
played in schools, folk clubs,
festivals and big concert
halls; made LPs and CDs;
organised community choirs
and children’s orchestras;
composed for radio, TV and
film. Even when storytelling, I
like to break things up with a
tune and a song.
Performance - I enjoy being
at home, recording and
researching, but after a while
my feet start to itch. I need
to meet people, work with
them and for them, and
enjoy the buzz that comes
from live performance. Here
I battle for supremacy with a
pylon, on the banks of the
Dornoch Firth, doing a gig
for Scottish Natural Heritage.
Place - in the Highlands
and Islands every river,
loch, bay, cave, mountain,
burn, castle, croft, hillock,
has its own story to tell.
Wolves, selkies, kelpies,
ghosts, Picts, Vikings,
neolithic tomb builders, and
the good people, have
been a constant source of
inspiration since I came to
live in the far north.
Words - from narrative songs of the
Yorkshire Dales for folk rock band
Mr Fox, to storytelling from the
Highlands to Iceland, words have
always been at the heart of my
work. The common factor has been
a sense of place, and the tales
which attach themselves to specific
locations - Ancient Maps, which is
why I chose this John Hodkinson
album sleeve, from 1975.