I am very excited to announce that in the coming months I will be undertaking a new solo venture, “Footwork”, in which I will making an album of new original tunes for English step dancing. I’ve been thinking about making an album entirely of my own tunes for a while now, I just needed something to centre it around. The more I thought about this idea and talked about it to people, the more it felt like I had to do it.
This project will showcase the various styles of step and step clog dancing found over England. I have started working with some of the best exponents of each style, whose feet will no doubt be heard on the recordings.
My connection to step dancing is comparatively recent, having first played for it at a session in rural Hampshire in early 2017. Up until that point I was aware of the clog dancing, thanks to the work of artists such as the Demon Barbers and Hannah James, but I didn’t really know anything about the southern style. It was fascinating to see the connection that the dancers had with the musicians, and the freeform nature that I hadn’t really seen in English Folk Dance before. As I found out more about the other regional variations, it became clear to me that this incredibly diverse style of dance needed to be displayed to a wider audience.
I’m finding it very refreshing that for my first solo album, the tunes will be heard in the context of traditional dance. Almost all of the tunes I write are dance tunes really. They aren’t really presented that way in Granny’s Attic or in my other ventures, but that’s how they usually start in my head. I feel like the scene in England is very focused on song, and therefore it’s sometimes hard for the tunes to be heard in context. It will be nice to redress this balance a bit.
I’d like to finish by thanking everyone from the Instep Research Team for their ongoing support, and particularly to Simon and Jo Harmer, without whom this would not be possible.
The album will be released in 2020, and it will be followed by a live show, performing in 2020 and beyond. For booking enquiries, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07741498910.