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.
How to join ‘Pivot’: become a Patron:
For $5 a month, you get all the songs from the project so far, and a new song emailed to you on the first of every month until December 2020. As a Patron you also gain access to an exclusive weekly video diary, posted each Friday lunchtime, AND a monthly gig streamed live from my shed! Woah!
Sign up at patreon.com/pollypaulusma.
What is ‘Pivot’ all about?
- I send you a new song on the first of every month. I send it to you in form of a unique Bandcamp code which you can then download.
- You can choose from a selection of formats, from WAV (if disk space is no issue) to MP3 (if you need something a little smaller).
- ‘Pivot’ is my latest and fourth album, which I’ve been releasing a song a month across two years (24 songs in all) since January 2019.
- ‘Pivot’ is short for ‘The Pivot Round Which The World Turns’.
- These songs — which examine our daily pivoting roles as child, parent, lover, friend, grandchild, grandparent, and everything in between — are the product of the last six years and contain songs cowritten with Kathryn Williams, Tom McRae, Astrid Williamson, Danny Wilson, David Ford, Martin Carr, Laura Jessica Barnett and Mark Davies Markham.
- I started in January 2019 but it’s not too late to join the club: I just catch you up.
- These songs will not be made public until 2021. They are not on Youtube or Spotify or any of the streaming services.
- I hope to release the album physically in 2021 on double CD and double LP, after which it will also be available on streaming services.