I am excited to reveal the first artist I have been working with on my ‘4THELOVE’ project.
Catherine Cartwright is a multi-disciplinary artist, working primarily with printmaking, drawing and film to explore the concept of freedom from containment, the passage to refuge and the associated socio-political agendas impacting women.
Kate Graham is a multi talented Musician and Educator specialising in voice, piano, flute, guitar, songwriting & performance. She is also the Director and Founder of SoundLaunch and Mentor and Coach for South West Music School.
The images we used as our muse for songwriting came from one of Catherine’s recent projects; an interesting and emotive topic exploring domestic abuse. 'To Have and To Hold' is a series of original prints that explores domestic abuse, specifically non-violent coercive control, aka ‘hidden abuse’.
Kate and myself were particularly drawn to the images of the bird being held in someone’s hand and could see some powerful imagery and symbolism within this.
We had a creative songwriting session at Exeter Phoenix one sunny saturday afternoon and the thought provoking images really got under our skin as we explored the storytelling, the unspoken words, the emotions and the messages. Constantly referring back the images we sketched out an idea of the story line, the different sections we wanted to include in the song and key phrases and messages we thought would be sensitive and emotive to the subject.
One theme that kept reoccurring was this idea of a caged, trapped bird and the phrase ‘Never gonna hold me down, I will always fly’. The main piece of music was composed on the piano with Kate leading in a beautiful and ambigious piano line and we added notes from the pentatonic scale to show an idea of the birds fluttering of trapped wings. The guitar followed with gentle fingerpicking down a chromatic scale and the effect was quite delicate yet mysterious. The next stage followed some feelings of anger so we picked up the rhythm and the guitar was strummed harder. The vocal melody changed with some powerful notes sweeping high and the piece ends up with harmonies, different sections and a beautiful outro where the music echos the bird taking flight. Watch this space for the recording ….
(To find out more about the origins of this project please click here to read the blog post.)