As one of the Music Directors for Freedom Of Mind Community Choir, along with Mariot Dallas, I’m keen to keep connected with choir members even though we can’t meet in person at the moment! So here’s a link to a wee singing session – if you’re not a choir member, you’re most welcome to join us! I hope you’ll find, like we do, that singing makes you feel good 🙂 I’ve made a CHOIR SESSIONS playlist on YouTube, and I’ll continue to add videos now and then over the coming weeks in this same location, so if you enjoy it, please do visit again! Very best wishes, wherever you are.
My friend and fellow choir leader and songwriter Val Munro kindly challenged me to write a song inspired by the words “Quiet Roads” this weekend – so here it is! I hope it might bring some comfort, if you need it. Stay safe and keep well, wherever you are. With every good wish, Kim x
Obsession, addiction, new lyrics and precarious plans, my solo album launch date, Freedom Of Mind’s sing-a-long fringe show, and more! It’s all in my newsletter!
Resolutions, lakes, and a new solo album…it’s all here!
Hard questions, Rachel Sermanni’s beautiful new album, two kinds of presents, Freedom Of Mind Community Choir’s Christmas Concert – and some gigs…you can read it all HERE.
I’m delighted to have received a five star review from Southside Advertiser for the show – you can read it here.
Many things are troubling me on a personal, social and political level at the moment, and many of these may trouble you as well: division and the tendency for “them/us” thinking; violent responses to gender identity, sexual orientation, race, and faith; inequality, oppression and intolerance; knife crime; poverty; social media and its impact on people’s body image and sense of self; consumer culture and fast fashion; addiction and compulsion; climate change, pollution and waste; grief and loss – and the frenetic pace of life, work, and the overload of information/misinformation that’s currently available to people living in first world countries.
I’m aware, given this context, that it may seem like I’m living in some kind of artsy bubble, to be releasing an animated video based on a traditional Scots ballad about two shapeshifters at this time. But traditional songs and stories capture something timeless that speaks to the human condition – to here, and now. And in the re-telling, I can (as folk have always done) adapt/rewrite the story/my story/history/her-story.
As described in the Last Leaves of Aberdeen Ballads and Ballad Airs, where a fragment of the lyric was written down, “Twa Magicians” is a tale “of a blacksmith who importunately woos a lady. To escape him she turns herself by magical power into many shapes…but the suitor has the same chameleon faculty, and contrives to counter each metamorphosis by another that fits it.”
One thing I’ve found myself repeating (to myself, and to others) in several contexts over the past days and weeks is: “you can’t control anyone else, or what happens to you. You can only control how you react and what you do.” In this story, in response to a situation which she does not welcome, the girl uses her (magical) power to change herself, and to act. And she keeps changing, adapting, transforming and moving forward, as she finds herself in new and challenging situations…that makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve never had a fixed sense of identity or self – for me these things seem much more fluid. And magic is never far away! I hope you enjoy this beautiful animation of Twa Magicians by Eleonore Dambre – it’s been a pleasure working with her on the project.
As some of you will already be aware, my dad, Derek Edgar, sadly died of cancer on 28th March 2017. He was an extra-ordinary man: creative, gentle, positive, loving, and determined. He remained just as extra-ordinary in facing cancer of an unknown primary source, for which no successful treatment could be found.
In the last week of his life, I wrote him a thank you card, because I wanted him to know how grateful my brother, myself and my mum were to have him in our lives. He challenged me to take the words of that card, and turn them into a happy song – he knew/knows I find writing happy songs difficult! And he has always tried to encourage me to keep developing my skills.
So that’s where Mòran Taing came from – it’s a song of gratitude for my dad’s life, and his legacy. The title is in Scots Gaelic, and the chorus means “many thanks, goodbye for now, fare you well for now, many thanks”. My mum helped me to write the lyrics, and continues to inspire me with her own positivity in the face of adversity. And Mary Ann Kennedy kindly helped me to find the most fitting Gaelic words for my feelings, and then helped both myself and my CARA bandmate Gudrun to learn how to pronounce them!
On his second anniversary, 28th March 2019, CARA will release Mòran Taing as a single, and make our “official music video” which celebrates his life, and his passions, public for sharing. From Thursday, you can buy the single here and watch the music video on this link.
I hope that the song and video will bring comfort and strength to those whose lives are affected by cancer, and that the proceeds of the single, which will be donated to Cancer Research UK, will help in the battle against this illness which affects so many people. Thanks to my CARA bandmates for their support throughout this project, and to you, for buying the single, and supporting the charity!
The Rendition Project is a unique collaboration between academics and supporters of human rights, which has published research around the involvement of the US and its allies in human rights violations following 9/11. With information on detainees, the global network of detention facilities and over 11,000 so-called ‘rendition flights’, at its core, the project holds governments to account for their actions, whilst representing the victims of their abuses.
I’ve been honoured to be involved in the development of a soundtrack for Tragic Carpet’s radical new work, Rendition, which uses these research findings to explore individual stories, bringing to life the realities of rendition flights, and torture, and how the British Government colluded with the CIA. For me, Rendition raises important questions about how we treat fellow human beings.
It’s hard to describe the show itself, which is a powerful mix of puppetry, soundscapes and visual theatre. Here are a couple of links to wee tasters for the show that might give you a sense of it:
Rendition runs next week from Tuesday 5th – Saturday 9th March at 8pm in the Roxy Snug Bar, Edinburgh, which will be transformed into an installation within which the audience will experience the work. Tickets are available here.
Welcome to my new website! I hope you like it.
The best thing about this new website is it enables me to offer special discounts and rewards to those of you who support me by subscribing to my mailing list newsletter.
You’ll find a button to join the mailing list at the bottom of most of my web pages, including the home page. If you sign up, I’ll keep in touch with a newsletter every couple of months, and whenever I’m able, I’ll offer you special treats! And if you’re already a member – thanks so much for your continued support, and I hope you’ll enjoy the new benefits…