London Library gig

I have another date for your virtual diaries: Thur 7 May, 7pm. Please do join me online for a live streamed gig, hosted by The London Library.

If she were still with us, Angela Carter would have turned 80 this May and 7 May would have been her birthday. I was scheduled to celebrate by performing at The British Library alongside the singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams and the novelist Kirsty Logan, showcasing a collaborative musico-literary project we’ve been hatching (pardon the pun) inspired by Carter’s ‘Nights at the Circus’. God willing, we will bring it to you in good time.

In the meantime, I have been working on my own separate project, ‘Invisible Music’ – my PhD – exploring how being a folk singer affected the way Carter wrote her prose. I discovered that she was a folk singer in the 1960s and embarked on a big research project thanks to an incredibly generous research grant from CHASE, the Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South East. Along the way, I couldn’t help but sing the songs I was writing about, to better understand their impact. I have made an album of these songs alongside pertinent readings from Carter’s fiction, to bolster my research.

I was always planning to play at the London Library around this time, one show designed to complement the other. But now, because of current events, it stands alone, and has moved online, and to the day that matters most, Carter’s birthday.

I feel very honoured to be able to make this tribute to her, which also marks the beginning of my small contribution to the rich critical conversation which her works continue to inspire and provoke.

And to make this even better, Kathryn Williams and Kirsty Logan are contributing their beautiful reading voices to the gig, reading extracts from Carter’s work.

Six O’Clock, Somewhere…

Hello everyone — I’m feeling cooped up and I’m missing you all. So I’ve decided I’m going to tour the world from my shed.

Allow me to play a song for you each day at six o’clock, somewhere… six o’clock is officially drinky time, so fix yourself your favourite drink and tune in to to hear me play a song a day, live on Youtube from my home,  at six o’clock, somewhere… a new time zone each day…

All performances will be beamed live on Youtube Live, and then archived to be watched again at patreon.com/pollypaulusma.

Home Festival…

I’m playing as part of this wonderful online festival of folk artists, organised by Kirsty Merryn.

Where to join
Home Folk Festival will be taking place entirely on Facebook. We have created a group, so all you have to do is log on and watch; all of us will be streaming to the same place. Important: Before the date of the festival please request to join this group. This is the place you will need to be for the festival and where all of the live music will be happening. 
 
What’s on
Saturday 11 April
3pm – Children’s crafting; making an easter bonnet. If you would like to take part in this you will need some paper, some glue and some scissors, and any other nice crafty bits and pieces you have! This will be led by Kirsty
4pm – Lukas Drinkwater – Lukas will be performing solo, due to travel restrictions
5pm – Robert Lane
6pm – Gitta de Ridder
7pm – Iona Fyfe
8pm – Luke Jackson
9pm – Virtual singing-in-the-round – this will take place via Zoom. If you would like to join, please let me know and I will send you the details. Due to lag, there may be an echo between performers – this will be a bit of an experiment, but if we are not all able to join in singing together, at least individuals will be able to sing to the group!
Sunday 12 April
3:30pm – Easter parade! Please share your photos of your finished easter bonnets on the group, and Kirsty will share all of your creations!
4pm – Polly Paulusma
5pm – Kirsty Merryn
6pm – Katie Spencer
7pm – Ciaran Algar and Greg Russell – Ciaran and Greg will be performing 2 solo slots, due to travel restrictions
8pm – Alden and Patterson (Noel Dashwood is not able to join, due to travel restrictions)
9pm – Special guest appearance from Steve Knightley
Artist Q and As
Each artist will allow ten minutes at the end of their performance for audience Q and As. If you have questions, please write them in the comments of the artist’s live performance as they are playing, and they will respond to as many as they have time to!
Thanks so much for joining us for what we hope will be a very fun weekend. We look forward to seeing you there!

New folk album ‘Invisible Music’

Polly Paulusma will be releasing a new album in late spring 2020 entitled Invisible music – folk songs that influenced Angela Carter.

‘Invisible Music’ is an album of folk songs and spoken word recorded with help from Jack Harris (guitar), Jed Bevington (fiddle) and John Parker (upright bass) and containing readings from singer songwriter Kathryn Williams and novelist Kirsty Logan.
‘Invisible Music’ is a songwriter’s celebration of the musicality of her favourite novelist. Paulusma champions and showcases musicality in the prose of Angela Carter, one of the twentieth century’s finest novelists. She illustrates through sounded examples the recent discoveries she’s made — that Carter was a folk singer during the 1960s folk revival, and that her writing was profoundly influenced by the performing of traditional folk song. 
Some of the folk songs that influenced Carter — for example ‘Barbary Allen’, ‘Lucy Wan’, and ‘The Banks of Red Roses’ — are rendered here by Paulusma who, for six years, has been researching the effects of singing folk songs on Carter’s prose style at the University of East Anglia. Prose passages read by Paulusma, the songwriter Kathryn Williams and the novelist Kirsty Logan are interspersed between the songs, illustrating how Carter’s prose absorbed the themes, images and rhythms of folk song.
Paulusma, who teaches Cambridge English students between releasing records, explains, “I have never really seen the difference between great literature and great song. For me, reading is and always has been an audial experience. Some writers are just more musical than others.” Paulusma’s work asks us to reimagine Carter’s prose as performance, to recreate the ‘invisible music’ of Carter’s prose every time we read her, in a dynamic exchange of trust and understanding, a reverberation through space and time, a sympathetic resonance.
Paulusma released her first album, ‘Scissors in my Pocket’ on One Little Indian to widespread international critical acclaim in 2004. Uncut declared, “Never mind all the fuss about Joss Stone and Amy Winehouse. As far as Uncut is concerned, the finest young British female singer-songwriter to emerge in the last 12 months is the brainy Cambridge graduate Polly Paulusma, with a debut album of mature and literate songs brimful of emotional resonance, potent melodies and meltingly heartfelt vocals.” Paulusma was subsequently catapulted round the world, supporting Bob Dylan, Jamie Cullum, Coldplay and Marianne Faithfull, touring the USA and Europe, and playing Glastonbury, T in the Park and Cambridge Folk Festival. ‘Fingers and Thumbs’ followed in 2007, produced by Ken Nelson, and in 2012 founded the Wild Sound folk label and released the work of nine other artists before becoming a folk imprint at One Little Indian in 2016. ‘Invisible Music’ will be Paulusma’s eighth album release.
‘Invisible Music’ will be released on Wild Sound, a folk imprint at One Little Indian Records.
Photo by Annie Dressner of Cambridge Headshot Photography.

First Friday video and first live streamed gig for Patrons

My first week creating special online content for Patreon patrons has been fabulous!

My first Friday Video discussed the final assembly of that week’s Pivot song release, ‘Boards At The Window’, working with Astrid Williamson and James Hawkins to create the month’s track.

My first monthly Sunday gig was broadcast live from the shed and a friendly gang of patrons assembled to listen, make requests, and enjoy a Sunday evening in the company of like minded souls. It was a joy.

If you want to join in, become my Patron: www.patreon.com/pollypaulusma

On tour February 2020

My great friend Annie Dressner and I are  doing an 8 day UK tour 22-29 February. Many tickets have already gone… so please buy them while you can and come say hello to us! All ticket links below…

22 FEBRUARY/ NEWCASTLE/ Cluny 2
https://www.ticketweb.uk/…/polly-paulusma-annie-dr…/10080985

23 FEBRUARY/ DURHAM / Old Cinema Launderette
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/486540

24 FEBRUARY/ MANCHESTER / The Castle Hotel
https://www.seetickets.com/…/polly…/the-castle-hotel/1461212

25 FEBRUARY/ BIRMINGHAM / Kitchen Garden Cafe
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/487101

26 FEBRUARY/ LONDON / Green Note
https://www.ticketweb.uk/…/polly-paulusma-annie-dr…/10043535

27 FEBRUARY/ SHEFFIELD / Cafe 9
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/486929

28 FEBRUARY/ BRISTOL / Folk House
https://www.seetickets.com/…/pol…/folk-house-bristol/1459821

29 FEBRUARY/ WINCHESTER / Railway Inn
https://www.railwayinn.pub/…/polly-paulusma-and-annie-dres…/

Be a patron

Will you join other fans and become a patron?

I have started a Patreon page (patreon.com/pollypaulusma) where, from January 2020, I will be posting a weekly video diary and streaming a monthly live gig for patrons, content not available to view anywhere else.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is an online platform which enables people to offer continued support to their favourite artists and creators for a small monthly contribution (typically $5), in return for content not available anywhere else. If enough people put a few pennies or cents in the hat each month, their collective power enables an artist to devote their life to their art.

How do I become a patron?

Visit my Patreon page (patreon.com/pollypaulusma), and click the orange button ‘Become a patron’ to sign up. In return, you’ll get access to a weekly video diary charting my creative life, a live-streaming monthly  gig from my shed, and, if you’re not already subscribed, a new song a month as part of the ‘Pivot’ slow album project.

Tour February 2020

I’m back out on the road in February 2020! WOOHOOO! I’m performing a co-headline show with my dear friend and collaborator Annie Dressner. She’ll play a set of some of her songs, and then I’ll play a set of some of mine.

Sat 22 Feb – Newcastle – Cluny 2 – tickets
Sun 23 Feb – Durham – Old Cinema Launderette – tickets
Mon 24 Feb – Manchester – The Castle – tickets
Tue 25 Feb – Birmingham – Kitchen Garden Cafe – tickets
Wed 26 Feb – London – Green Note – tickets
Thur 27 Feb – Sheffield – Cafe 9 – tickets
Fri 28 Feb – Bristol – Bristol Folk Club – tickets
Sat 29 Feb – Winchester – Railway Inn – tickets

I have missed playing live so much, in particular playing live night after night, which to my mind is the best way to do it.

Come!