Hello everyone! I’m home from a whirlwind weekend at Shrewsbury folk festival, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and if you weren’t there, I hope you’re enjoying the videos
So the day finally came! Last friday I previewed Jig Doll to a tent of 1500 people, and I feel it was a huge success! The performance was met with a standing ovation (apparently – I’d run off by that point) and there have been so many lovely messages on twitter, Facebook and via email.
There was a slight false start, right at the beginning of the gig which was due to a glitch with the in house mixing desk, but in a way, I think that actually helped me to relax, the worst thing had happened but the audience were still rooting for me, it was a brilliant feeling and once we got the show started properly I felt like I just had to go for it!
For me the most daunting part of the performance was the use of technology which I have never performed with, but everything behaved itself and I need to say a special thank you to David Scarth who has helped me to design the way that the show works in Ableton. It seemed like a lot of people were interested in the technology I was using and how it worked, particularly how I was managing to loop things without having to press any buttons. You can see the basic technique I was using on this wonderful tutorial video by David Here but I think a video blog about exactly what I’m doing is in order – watch this space!
In a way, working with technology which I am not used to actually seemed to help me to be completely in the moment. I couldn’t allow myself to worry about whether the next track would work or if anything was going to go wrong, I just had to focus on the thing I was doing there and then, and I feel like the performance benefited from it.
I would like to thank Shrewsbury Folk Festival for giving me this fantastic platform for the first showing, and for their continuing support of my creative development. JigDoll wasn’t the only new piece I was involved in at the festival so I will update you about some of the other stuff soon too! Thank you also to HelpMusiciansUK and Arts Council England, without whom, this would have been a very different show.
I would also like to thank everyone who came to see the gig and to all the people who have sent messages, it really means a lot – specially when you’ve been working on a show for so long without getting feedback from anyone.
Lastly I need to to say a HUGE thank you to Chris Finn who designed the technical set up for the show and is my live sound engineer. He did an amazing job getting the sound right for what is a pretty unusual gig! He told me after that he’d been having anxiety dreams for about two weeks, bless him! Hopefully it all paid off in the end.
You will be able to watch the full JigDoll performance on the Shrewsbury website for a limited time only, as soon as it’s up there I’ll share it on here.
Photos by Pete Grubb