Between Worlds the new album by multi-instrumentalist composer Sue Aston now out!
I love how the Cornish landscape is portrayed in the 1939 Hitchcock movie Rebecca. Corn wall embodies bandoned castles, windswept hillsides, moderate climate and so much more. But apart from these scenes, it’s the people who make Cornwall the Celtic nation that it is today.
The violin is a very transparent instrument in a sense that the player decides the kind of sound it produces. Violins don’t lie.Especially when one is an artist who is passionate about both the music and Cornwall’s political struggles.To quote from her : “My muse is the granite cliffs and the rolling moors of Kernow, her legends, her culture and people. Thank you for your kind words of support, I am inspired determined and ready for action!”
The second album has twelve tracks displaying her classical training and the honest sentiments of folk music. Sue ‘s music glides into the senses like fine wine. From the anthemic title track , The playful Mazy Dazey , the dark ominous charm of Storm Cat…the Vivaldi-like Hawthorne Tree, the Cornish Melody in Thursday’s Market (marghas yow), and closing with the introspective melody of Initial Bond. There are other instruments you can hear in the album(both Folk and Classical) as well as classical female voices.
Over the years, Sue Aston collaborated with Chris De Burgh (Quiet Revolution), Gordon Giltrap (Music for the Small Screen), and Andrew Downs (Centenary Firedances / The Marshes of Glynn) among others. But exploring her inner landscapes in albums like Sacred Landscapes and Inspirational Journey , she is able to carve her identity. And she is back in full force with the latest offer Between Worlds.
1.How long did it take to create this album?
It took 18 months to create my new album, as I composed many of the tracks as I went along, slotting them in between recording sessions. I was juggling my time with recording new solo violin parts, while working out the piano accompaniment and arranging the parts for the other instruments. Quite often there were two or three tracks on the go at the same time!
2. Was the process hard compare to Sacred Landscapes and Inspirational Journey?
In some respects it was an easier process as I was in total control of all aspects of the musical parts. My first and second albums relied more on the producer creating layers of sound and special effects to support the violin and piano melodies. This album was far more labour intensive for me, but much more satisfying. It also meant that the sheet music was ready to go, as I had had to get the arrangements ready for the other musicians to play on.
3. Your single The Hawthorn Tree is a very powerful piece . Vivaldi comes to mind. What inspired you to compose this?
3. With the Hawthorn Tree track, I wanted to push myself technically as a performer. On my first album, ‘Sacred Landscapes’, the track ‘Madron’ was a piece which I composed for solo violin, and with ‘The Hawthorn Tree’ I wanted another virtuoso showpiece which challenged me further – both as a composer and performer. I could never actually visualise myself recording or performing it – so when I eventually did both of these things it felt like a great personal achievement!
4. You music has always been labeled as ‘beautiful, healing, and elegant’. Has there been other description that you found rather odd?
I’m always fascinated to hear how people perceive my music. My music encompasses a wide range of styles and emotions, and when I perform in a concert it’s great to see people dancing to pieces like ‘Mazey Dazey’, then in tears over ‘The Final Homecoming’ for example.
5.I personally find your compositions challenging because they all have the classical discipline yet the expressiveness and simplicity of Folk. Do you have a plan of venturing into other forms of music?
Because I listened to different genres of music as a child – from Punk Rock to Classical – I have absorbed many styles, but really to me it is just ‘simply music’! On my new album Between Worlds, I improvised on a track called ‘Drift’ with the folk musician Rick Williams. It was recorded in one take, and has a jazzy feel to it with inspiration drawn from Stephane Grappelli.
6. Cornwall has been a visible emblem of your music. Do you consider your self as an artist and at the same time an activist?
I consider myself very fortunate to be living in Cornwall with my family. Because the spirit of Cornwall is deeply embedded in my heart, my creative output is infused with Cornwall, and so anything which affects this amazing place is of great concern to me.
7.What keeps you inspired to record albums?
Living in such a beautiful part of the world is a constant source of inspiration, as is the wonderful feedback and growing support I am so lucky to receive from people who enjoy my music.
You can purchase all of her albums here”