Invisible Music: folk songs that influenced Angela Carter

My new album ‘Invisible Music: folk songs that influenced Angela Carter’ is out in April. The CD copies have just arrived in the office – OLI generously indulged my artwork desires, so the CD is actually really a little book, full of my musings, folk song words, pictures by Christine Molan, and extracts from Carter’s prose.

Watch my little mini film about it here:

 

Preorders available very soon!

New Year, new album: ‘Invisible Music’

Happy New Year… the world may be going to shit, but I’m finding joy in little things. Allow me to share some.

New album: ‘Invisible Music: folk songs that influenced Angela Carter’

In April, I am releasing my eighth album, ‘Invisible Music: folk songs that influenced Angela Carter’, which is a mixture of traditional folk songs and spoken word, and which explores via proximity ways in which the novelist Angela Carter was influenced by singing traditional folk songs in the 1960s.

These songs are bizarre, grotesque, bloody, and beautiful, sometimes conventionally, and sometimes in the way a gnarled bit of wood can be.

I intersperse songs with readings (by myself, Kathryn Williams and Kirsty Logan) to show the relationship.

This album is the sonic accompaniment to my recently-completed PhD thesis of the same title, a deep-dive research project into the many ways I believe being a singer, and having the muscle memory of singing, influenced Carter’s imagination and language style.

Mailing list

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a free song ‘Jack Munro’ from the album  — and to keep up to date with all my news as the release happens.

Live shows

To mark the album’s release on Friday 23 April, I’m doing some shows, mostly online for now – but with one significant live exception at Cecil Sharp House on Thur 22 April. Here’s a list of all my forthcoming shows.

More for patrons

I’ll be doing lots more for my Patreon patrons — weekly vlogs, music premieres, early bird ticket chances and behind the scenes snippets… .

Patreon involvement starts from a very modest £4/month; on higher tiers I offer house concerts and songwriting tuition as part of membership.

Explore it if you haven’t already at patreon.com/pollypaulusma

Stay well, keep safe.

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.

Slow album ‘Pivot’ – a song a month

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.