(2018) Ghaist in the Air
– A new CD from Hector Christie & Chris Edwards
This CD marries some of the poems of Violet Jacob (1863-1946) to tunes either selected or newly composed by Hector Christie and Chris Edwards. We started off as casual admirers who agreed that too much of her work remained an undiscovered treasure “buried from the public eye”. As we delved deeper, the more enamoured we became, hence this recording.
VIOLET JACOB (1863-1946) is no mere fossilised historical chronicler of her time, but a great writer whose words are as relevant now as they were before her ink dried. She does not need a hagiography, but her words do need to be out there in the world where they belong: our aim in song selection and musical approach is to enable those words to shine through and be enjoyed -they deserve no less.
She was a novelist, short story writer, diarist, botanist and above all a poet. Her poetry is often direct, revealing the everyday world in extraordinary detail, whether she is describing a neglected farm, cold haar creeping through the street or the comically baffled fury of a rejected suitor.
There’s a more darkly mystical side, though, that glimpses a world beyond the familiar, where ghosts come home at Halloween or wraiths haunt the sleepless thinker. Where she combines these worlds as in ‘Craigo Woods’, she intensifies the effect by using what has later been called “echoes of the unspecific” so that certainties remain elusive.
“Thank you so much for the wonderful concert last night. I am so pleased you had such a large appreciative audience. I feel there are a lot more people in Kirrie now who can enjoy the poems Violet Jacob wrote because they know so much more about her. Those people who were not able to come missed a treat.
Let me know if you produce another CD!!”
– Kirriemuir Heritage society
“Congratulations on the CD… excellent. Both my brother and I want further copies. I discovered the work of Violet Jacob, Marion Angus and Helen Cruickshanks in the 1960s and have nursed a passion for their poetry ever since”
– Elsa Le Maitre (Border based singer and recording artiste)
We strove to create an atmosphere of singing ’live’ around the table rather than that of a recording studio –that was our brief to Alistair. We think he has done a brilliant job. Recorded by Alistair Russell on the Glade mobile studio. Edited, mixed and mastered by Alistair Russell at Glade Recordings. www.alistairrussell.co.uk (2018)
Portrait of Violet Jacob : Chris Edwards (after original painting by Henry Harris Brown 1864-1948: source: ANGUSalive website)
Photography : Hector Christie ; sleeve design: Hector Christie & Chris Edwards