I’m excited to announce the launch of a new collaborative songwriting project: CONSEQUENCES.

I’m passionate about songwriting; I love the way that words and music can interact to tell stories that open hearts and minds, and build empathy. They can also prompt reflection on, and conversations around, difficult subjects. And there’s a powerful sense of solace that comes from hearing songs which let us know we are not alone in our experiences, whatever they may be – I hope to provide this in my songwriting, too.

I’m committed to continuing to write songs that aim to do these things, and I’m conscious that previous collaborations with other songwriters have greatly enriched the way that I write. That’s why I’m excited that with Creative Scotland’s support, I’m now taking bold steps forward on my songwriting journey, with an ambitious project that will enable me to collaborate with twelve songwriters I admire, from Scotland and around the world, over the coming year, inspired by the word, and the game, “Consequences”.

The songwriters will be revealed on a monthly basis – and I’m delighted to announce that my first collaboration (October 2021), is with award-winning Canadian songwriter, Ron Sexsmith.

In collaboration with the various songwriters, I will be writing a collection of songs on the topic of the personal, social or environmental consequences of human behaviour. The methods of each collaboration will be uniquely devised between myself and my fellow songwriters, and we’ll be mindful of COVID-19 safety and environmental impact when we make our plans. Once written, the 12 songs will be unfolded (recorded, mixed and shared publicly) one at a time, like the paper in the game consequences, alongside a blog documenting the project, adding up to an album of work, which will be released in October 2022. You can follow the “Consequences” project and hear the new songs online each month, right here on my website.

As well as helping me to learn and grow as a songwriter, through the funding support from Creative Scotland, “Consequences” will enable me to purchase gear to upgrade my home studio, and be mentored in recording techniques, so that I’m better able to work from home in the future, should that be necessary. I also hope that the songs will open up conversations about how we live, and provide moments of reflection on human behaviour and its personal, social and environmental consequences.

There are always risks and challenges in making an album, and this is a particularly ambitious project, collaborating for the first time with twelve songwriters around the world, to a fairly tight timescale. Writing, arranging, recording and then sharing a new song every month is going to be a particular challenge that I’ve never attempted before! However, I’m not alone: there’s a fantastic creative team who will support me to record and produce the songs and the final album, along with accompanying artwork and music videos, and I’ve worked with each of these magical folk before, so I’m confident in the team, and in the album. These talents include Mattie Foulds (producer and drummer), Kevin McGuire (bass), Mikey Owers (brass/guitars/vocals), Gillian Gamble (artwork and animation), and Louise Mather (film).

I’ve set up a Crowdfunder campaign to help meet some of the costs involved in bringing the album together, including:

– Fees for musicians and songwriters

– Fees for recording, mixing and mastering the album

– Album design and manufacture

– Marketing and publicity costs

It’s been a challenging couple of years for most of us in the creative team, and your support to bring this project off the ground is hugely appreciated!

If you are in a position to pre-order the album and think it might be something you’d enjoy listening to when it’s ready, we’d be most grateful. If you think it would make the perfect Christmas present for 4, or 10, of your friends next year, even better! I’ll tastefully wrap them, individually, and provide you with blank, hand make cards to go with each, so Christmas 2022 will be a dawdle… 🙂

If you fancy investing in a specially written song gift, a filmed performance of a cover song of your choice, an online songwriting or singing lesson, or any of the other rewards listed, that would be wonderful. You can purchase the rewards here.

I’m aware, though, that it’s a really tough time for a lot of people just now, and that there will be many who can’t afford to help out with this project financially. If you’re in that position, I totally understand – and if you’d still like to help me out in a different way, please share this link to this crowdfunding page online, and help me spread the word about the new album. That would be much appreciated!