I am honoured to share with you this beautifully created video by Photographer and Video Artist Lucy Jane Purrington, her response to ‘Hanging On’ The St Illtud’s Sessions.
It is Mental Health Awareness Week and it seems a good time to be sharing and performing material that relates to this, and collaborating on projects with narratives around mental health.
‘Hanging On’ is the second track from my music project experiments in field recording at The Galilee Chapel, St Illtud’s Church. I wrote the track a few years ago as I was tumbling into melancholy and first performed it at The Welsh Mental Health Arts Festival at Wales Millennium Centre in November 2016, so its taken a while to record a version.
I very much admire the work of Artist Lucy Jane Purrington, whose self-portraits project focuses on themes of identity and mental health. Following some creative conversations between us, I sent her a copy of ‘Hanging On’ and was touched by how the song resonated with her and unfolded into this beautiful visual expression. We both love the sea and the video is filmed at locations on the Hertitage Coast in South Wales.
If you need someone to talk to Samaritans are available on 116 123 (UK) for free, 24/7.
Words , Vocals, Guitar, Bel Blue, Sea Sounds, Ogmore Beach
A little song-poem project ruff, I recorded on an mini ipad in 2015, with mobile video taken this summer at Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. Playing my big old acoustic on this song poem, all recordings and video made on mobile apps. I enjoyed this project and given the opportunity would like to explore more in collaboration and better technology. I collected the wave sounds at Ogmore beach, vale of Glamorgan, and the chimes from a bedroom mobile. Weaver Fish are found much further down the estuary, in the Bristol Channel at very low tide, thankfully as a family, we have only ever had one encounter, in the Gower many years ago.
A little colloboration project ‘The Captain’s Purse’ weaves poetry and folk together. A poetic threnody, originally titled Ship to Shore, by C Searle, I was captivated by the poem when I heard it read, and was invited to put it to music. We performed it with the poet at Rhyme and Real Ale, in Cardiff this May, and a week later, we all headed up to Shabbey Road Studios, Caerphilly and recorded a semi live demo, of The Captain’s Purse. The song, takes us on a tragic sea journey, in three parts, as spoken word and vocals merge together, with violin, mandolin, banjo and percussion.
Bel Blue: Vocals, Guitar/ C Searle: Spoken Word/ Heulwen Thomas: Violin, Vocals/ Ben Steer: Mandolin, Banjo,Vocals/ Andy Constable: Percussion.
After a gentle walk at Southern Down, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales,this September, I sat on a hill overlooking the breathtaking Dunraven Bay and the words of Dunraven Bay began to form.
Just a few weeks later, I learn’t to play a basic Travis picking style on my guitar via talented musician and teacher Shemi Jones. It fitted the song so well, the rhythm of the picking rolled like the waves of the sea.
Happy coincidence and a helping hand from my local poet friend, saw me heading over to Shabbey Road Studios, Caerphilly to put the song down. After a very warm welcome from the Shabbey Road Team, Al Steele and Ceri, a few hours later, I left the recording studio with this beautiful song Dunraven Bay.
Percussionist Andy Constable, added a clay bodied Tabla, that drives the song all the way though, with an undulating beat.
As the track came together, Al Steele, opened it up, by laying down a beautiful piano and bass accompaniment.
Since I began writing this blog, Dunraven Bay had its frist radio play on The Acoustic Programme, on Radio Tircoed, thanks Andy Boyt, a fabulous folky show every Friday eve 🙂 It is also listed to play on the wonderful HonkyTonk with Jeremy Rees on his November 20th Show, Galaxy 105FM (Malta) on Thursdays at 21:15. Dunraven Bay is on its journey.
My many thanks to Andy Constable, for his encouragement and percussion, to Al Steele, his lovely partner Ceri, and to everyone who’s been part of this musical journey.