I am feeling greatly inspired after the Distil Residential. It has been a wonderful opportunity to develop composition ideas in a supported and accepting environment. I haven’t had much experience in writing for many instruments other than voice, guitar, piano and double bass. Earlier this year I wrote string parts for my forthcoming album ‘Cycles of Life‘, and now after Distil I feel much more confident in developing my string arrangements and being a little bit more adventurous!
When we all had our composition ideas played on the last day, I was nervous and thought that mine was far too simple. But when I heard it I realised that it was just really calm, and a valid idea. The composer who was helping us Karen Wimhurst was very encouraging and helpful.
I found the personal development work we did with Kath Burlinson to be invaluable and it brought me out of my head and more into my body. I forgot about my worries and started to feel much more of a flow and a connection to the people around me.
I work a lot from home on my own, which can bring about feelings of isolation. This workshop has reminded me that there are a lot of creative people like me out there and there are endless possibilities!
I have always felt that rhythm is not my strong point, but we did some great work with Andro Biswane who was so good at explaining African rhythms, and in one workshop we were all drumming on cardboard boxes, guitars, drawers etc. Andro helped us to build the rhythm up altogether in such a way that I could feel the right place to be. It sounded great and at the end Kath, Maeve, and I danced.
There were so many good moments, including magical walks, great conversations, and lovely people. I could write a book about it!