Jessica Danz

Performer | Composer | Artist

ALBUM NEWS

A little update about my forthcoming solo album!  Despite some delays I've been working intensively on finalising the tracks - it's just taken a little while to work it all out, as I have so much material I've now decided to release two albums. The plan is that the first one will be completed in July/August, and then I'll release the second towards the end of the year. I'm working with the fantastic Pete Fletcher at Black Bay Studio to get it all finished, and I look forward to sharing some new music with you very soon!

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ROYAL SCOTTISH ACADEMY

In October last year I completed a commission for An Lanntair's Faclan Festival to write and perform a live piano score for a 35 minute section of the early Icelandic documentary Ísland í Lifandi Myndum, an early Icelandic documentary from 1925 created by filmmaker Loftur Guðmundsson.  I'm very excited to announce that I've been invited to include the work as part of the exhibition SSA & VAS TOGETHER, showing at the Royal Scottish Academy!  The film and my recorded score will be installed in collaboration with An Lanntair and the National Film Archive of Iceland.  The exhibition runs from January 29th to March 8th.

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A NEW YEAR

Happy New Year everyone! After a busy few months I'm enjoying some quieter moments, and savouring the subtle beauties of the midwinter. It's a good time to reflect on the past year and begin to draw together the threads of this year's creative work. 2017 has been a very productive time - playing solo shows, recording a new album, writing and performing a new film score, and travelling to Australia for a residency and exhibition, among other things! I was also delighted to be mentioned by journalist Jan Patience as one of her 2017 Art Highlights, for my new score for the 1925 Icelandic silent film Ísland í Lifandi Myndum (performed at An Lanntair's Faclan Festival this year).
Thank you all very much for your support during 2017. I have some exciting new projects to announce soon, and look forward to sharing my new album with you in the Spring!

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WESTERN AUSTRALIA

I'm delighted to be returning to Western Australia in November this year, where I'll be spending some time in the beautiful South-West region of the state.  I'll be Musician & Artist in Residence at the Vancouver Arts Centre in Albany for several weeks, developing and researching an ongoing project entitled The River.  I'll be exploring the Kalgan River and the Torndirrup National Park, collecting ideas for a series of new prints and works on paper, as well as developing composition ideas back in the studio.  During the residency there will be a solo performance and an exhibition of my visual artwork.

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ÍSLAND Í LIFANDI MYNDUM

I've just started composing an original live score for the 1925 Icelandic silent film 'Ísland í Lifandi Myndum' (Iceland in Living Pictures). Filmmaker Loftur Guðmundsson was one of the pioneers in Icelandic film history, producing both documentaries and feature films. The film and live score will be presented at this year's Faclan Festival at An Lanntair, Isle of Lewis.

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MIXING

Listening to the first mixes of album tracks today... I've been working towards recording this album for a long time now, so it's slightly surreal and quite emotionalto be at this stage of the process at last, but also very exciting.

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DOCUMENTARY

It's been a very busy summer so far, but this week I have a little time to get back to researching several new composition projects, including one that explores links between Australia and the Outer Hebrides. I spent a morning in the studio last month being interviewed and filmed about this project for an upcoming documentary.  More on this soon...

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BLACK BAY STUDIO

Yesterday was my last day of recording and editing... what a journey! After many months of preparation it's been an absolutely fantastic experience to work on this album with Pete Fletcher at Black Bay Studio.  We get started on the mixing in a few weeks time...

 

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RECORDING

A short studio video from the last week - some last minute practice before recording the piano interlude from Last Waltz.  Today I've begun the daunting task of recording all the vocal tracks... definitely the most challenging part of the process so far!

BECHSTEIN

The last few weeks have been super busy - travel, album preparation, being unexpectedly shortlisted and interviewed for a London residency, trying to find time to actually PRACTICE album tracks (rather than just obsessively fine tune all the arrangements)... And generally attempting to stay on top of juggling performance, composition, admin and life!

It's certainly never dull - and now that I've spent a week or so getting to know this lovely Bechstein (now safely installed in the beautiful new Black Bay Studio) I can't wait to start recording proper next week!

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ON THE LEVEL

I recently performed at On the Level - A Curious Music Festival.  A fantastic array of music and sounds took place in spaces throughout An Lanntair. I performed a solo set in the Gallery, with a few sneak previews of some tracks that will be appearing on the new album...

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TAIGH CHEARSABHAGH

It was a pleasure to perform a solo set on Friday night as part of the live local music showcase at the Taigh Chearsabhagh Arts Centre.  A lovely, intimate venue - and a great audience!

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PHOTO SHOOT

Here's a behind-the-scenes peek at my photo shoot in Edinburgh recently, working with the amazing Laurence Winram on some new promotional images.  I had a fantastic time - huge thanks to Laurence (Laurence Winram Photography) and Jak (Jak Morgan Makeup Artist)

 

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IRELAND

A productive week so far on residency in beautiful County Kerry, Ireland. I'm currently working on the arrangements of tracks for the new album - excited to begin recording soon at Black Bay Studio in the Outer Hebrides.

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STORY MAKARS

I'll be performing a live music score that I've written specially for Margaret Tait's silent film 'These Walls' as part of the Story Makars on the 9th of March at An Lanntair.  Writer and performer Gerda Stevenson will read from a new collection of poetry, alongside showings of three short films by Orkney-born filmmaker Margaret Tait.

Tait's haunting work 'These Walls', is an impression of the interior of her studio premises in Rose Street, Edinburgh. It has been suggested that the film was made as she was preparing to move out of the studio - it is a colour, silent film composed mainly of close-ups and panning shots of the walls, and gives a sense of time inexorably passing in the small, simply furnished space.

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ISLE OF LEWIS

A new year, another country, and a different work space... I'm settling in to life in the Outer Hebrides, working in a new studio, and preparing to record my new album in May. I'm looking forward to a creatively busy year ahead, with several other exciting projects and collaborations beginning to emerge and evolve... more updates to follow!

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AUSTRALIA

I've set up a studio space now that I'm back in Western Australia, and I'm looking forward to spending this time composing, writing, and drawing.  I'm also preparing to record a new solo album in May 2017.

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OUTER HEBRIDES

After several months of travelling it's fantastic to have a space to work in again.  During August and September I'm based on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, where I'm revising and preparing material for several creative projects.  Having spent the last six months collecting information, writing new music and doing a lot of research, it's finally time to sit down and attempt to make sense of it all... juggling the demands of an interdisciplinary practice is never dull.

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© Jessica Danz