Well, this is it.
‘Invisible Music: folk songs that influenced Angela Carter’ flies the nest today.
The Guardian/Observer **** – a ‘vibrant, insightful tribute’
BBC Radio 2 Folk Show – ‘intoxicating…. an impressive album that really deserves to be heard’
Folk Radio UK – ‘both a terrific traditional folk album and a fascinating insight into Carter’s creative process’
Shire Folk ‘Be in no doubt, Invisible Music is one of the landmark releases of the year, in this or any other genre’
Radio: I’ll be talking with Mark Radcliffe on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show about the record on Wed 5 May between 9-10pm: please do tune in.
Gig: Join me tonight live online at 7pm BST for a free live stream from London’s Cecil Sharp House to celebrate!
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.