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When Mountains Meet on tour

The Scotland-wide tour of When Mountains Meet is now under way, with performances in Edinburgh and Lerwick already getting an enthusiastic reception from sell-out audiences. An extra date has been added at the end of the tour in Paisley,  on 31 May: the full tour list is below, just click on the venue name for booking links.

Here’s a taster of what people have been saying about the show:

Photo: Robin Mitchell

“raw, alive and thoroughly accessible, driven by the presence of live musicians… a roaring success, full of vigour, colour and music” (All Edinburgh Theatre). “The atmosphere of a cross cultural ceilidh fills the room.” (Herald Scotland) “The show’s superb musical credentials pay off from the start…the celebratory atmosphere never falters, and the story remains clear from start to end.” (Quintessential Review)

 

 

 

 

STV News featured an interview with Anne Wood, with Rick’s percussion as backdrop, on their “What’s On Scotland” slot. You can catch up on the interview on the Where Mountains Meet Facebook page.

 

If you can’t make it up to any of the performances, you can still enjoy the music. The Where Mountains Meet CD is now available to listen, buy or download on Bandcamp.

 

 

 

 

But of course, it’s best experienced in person!

The remaining tour dates are:

Aberdeen, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May

The Lemon Tree (Rise Up Festival): Box office: 01224 641122

Ullapool, Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May

MacPhail Centre (Ulluminate): Box office: 01854 613336

 

Stirling, Wednesday 15 May

The Albert Halls: Box office: 01786 473544

Crieff, Friday 17 May

Strathearn Arts: Box office: 01764 655556

​Glasgow, Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May

Cottiers​: Box office: 0141 357 5825

Castle Douglas, Saturday 25 May

Town Hall: Box office: 030 33 33 3000

 

Melrose, Tuesday 28 May

Corn Exchange: Box office: 01896 822463

Paisley,  Friday 31 May

Paisley Arts Centre: Box office: 0300 300 0250

Rick writes…

The last few weeks have seen me spending a lot of time in recording studios, first finishing my album with Jo Jukes and, latterly, recording all the music for the forthcoming Scottish tour of When Mountains Meet.

In mid- February Jo and I spent a couple of days at RMS Studios in south London doing post production work on our new album ‘The Ancestor in Me’. This involved inspecting closely all the 14 songs and ironing out any technical shortcomings that might exist –  there are usually a few.  After that, we worked with Andy, the resident engineer, on making the artwork for the album. The material for this was largely Jo’s work and, together, we fashioned a very attractive and informative booklet and lyric sheet. Since then, everything has gone to the manufacturers and we are now awaiting the final product. There will be 200 physical CDs, with online access through bandcamp.com.

The official launch date for the album is 20th March, but because of prior commitments the  launch performance at Hermon Arts, Oswestry will not be until Friday June 28th.  Special guests are planned – book now!

At the end of the month, I journeyed to Scotland to record all the music for the upcoming Scottish tour of the exciting large- scale theatre/ music production of When Mountains Meet. All the music has been written by Anne Wood and the piece tells the true story of her going to find her estranged father in Pakistan.  Six musicians contributed to the recording sessions which were held at the wonderful Castlesound studios, south of Edinburgh. The recordings, now completed, await final mixdown and then manufacture into CD form, ready for the tour which begins on April 30.

It’s going to be a busy few months ahead! In addition to the performances mentioned above, on Sunday March 17th Rick will be running an initial Drum Circle at Hafren yr Afon in Newtown, Powys. This venue is a very ambitious Arts Centre under the adventurous stewardship of Barry Edwards, who previously ran the Hermon Chapel in Oswestry.

For more details including booking information about Where Mountains Meet click here. The tour dates confirmed so far are:

Thursday 25/Friday 26 April  Edinburgh, The Studio at Capital Theatres

Tuesday 30 April                        Lerwick, Mareel

Saturday 4/Sunday 5 May (as part of the Rise Up Festival)    Aberdeen, Lemon Tree Arts

Friday 10/Saturday 11 May      Ullapool, MacPhail Centre

Wednesday 15 May                   Stirling, Albert Halls

Friday 17 May                            Crieff, Strathearn Arts

Tuesday 21 /Wednesday 22 May             Glasgow, Cottiers Theatre

Saturday 25 May                     Castle Douglas, Town Hall

Tuesday 28 May                      Melrose, Corn Exchange

Friday 31 May /Saturday 1  June                     TBC

 

two hand drums with a hand on each drum

2024 Collaborations

 

Rick and Jo Jukes’ new album ‘The Ancestor in Me’ is 90% completed and is scheduled for post-production in February before a proposed release on March 20th. The 14 songs show a significant development from their last very well received offering ‘Weaving the World’.  Audience members at their Hermon Chapel gig in December enjoyed a sneak preview of some of the songs.

 

 

 

 

At the end of February, Rick will be journeying north of the border to record the music for ‘When Mountains Meet’ before later rehearsing  and touring  major venues in Scotland with this theatre / storytelling / music epic.  Watch this space for tour dates and more details!

Near and far horizons

Rick’s upcoming album ‘Observer – Participant’ is currently in the manufacturing stage and should be ready for release in October. There will be a limited release of 50 CDs, and the album will be available to listen to and download at bandcamp.

Follow this link to access the site: rickwilson.bandcamp.com

The 14 songs on the album are all originals and Rick is accompanied here and there by close and inspired collaborators.

 

 

Hot news for 2024!   ‘When Mountains Meet’, the Scottish / Pakistani project very successfully premiered in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the past year has resurfaced with a strong likelihood  of a Scottish tour in Spring 2024 as well as a recorded work and, hopefully, a presence at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next August.  Watch this space for more details…

Weaving the World: the first gig

“Beautiful”, “Ethereal”, “Uplifting”, “Earthy”. Just a few of the responses to “Weaving the World”, Rick’s latest album made in collaboration with the multi talented Jo Jukes. This is Jo’s first musical recording: Rick’s part in it started out with help and advice but grew to a share in arrangements, mixing, instrumental performance and even vocals. There are still just a few copies of the CD available at £10, but the album is also available to stream and download from Bandcamp for £7 here.

The songs from the album had their first public performance in the welcoming and relaxed setting of “In Good Hands” in Frankwell, Shrewsbury on May 26th. The cafe was packed with old friends and regulars, many of whom had heard some of the songs in development while others were hearing them for the first time.

Rick and Jo seemed completely at home in performance together: Jo introducing the songs with snippets of the stories behind them and sharing the significance of the places that gave her inspiration.

The audience sat spellbound and there really was a magical quality to the atmosphere, with some songs drawing listeners into their stories and others setting heads nodding and feet tapping. Someone commented afterwards that it seemed incredible that there was such variety of sound and style from just two musicians and a limited range of acoustic instruments. Jo has been learning drumming from Rick and the two played together both on hand drums and, in a grand finale, on a home made set of tuned slates. Mostly though, Jo led with voice and guitar with Rick providing accompaniment on varied percussion instruments and zither.

Not only did the audience get to hear all the tracks from the new album but there were new songs too: clearly this is just the beginning! There are plans for more performances too, including Hermon Chapel in Oswestry on 20 October – watch this space, or follow suitablyrick.wilson or jukes.jo on Instagram, or either Rick or Jo on Facebook, for details.

 

Many thanks to Jason Smalley who contributed most of the photographs for this post.

Weaving the World

“Weaving the World” is an album of 11 songs written and sung by Jo Jukes. Rick has contributed a wide instrumental palette to these songs and has engineered and mixed the collection. Hence, the album is jointly credited to both.

The album will be released in CD and bandcamp formats on May 1st. Rick and Jo will be playing all the songs on the album and more live at In Good Hands, 88 /89 Frankwell, Shrewsbury SY3 8JR on May 26th at 8pm. Places are limited so come early.

Singers and stories

Rick has been working with two fine musicians over the last few months, helping them capture  their personal stories in recording and performance.

To find out more about his work with Anne Wood, take a look at our Events pages.  “When Mountains Meet: Jub Milain Pahaar” is a fusion of Scottish and Pakistani influences and performance, telling Anne’s own tale of trying to trace her roots. The project has its own website, where you can read about its artistic development and see snippets of work in progress, including Rick in performance: https://www.whenmountainsmeet.com/

Back home in Llansilin, his current studio work involves engineering and playing on an album of songs by author / singer / songwriter  Jo Jukes. This particular collection of songs is an audio accompaniment to her recently acclaimed book ‘Finding Home’. You can find more about Jo on her website. The album is to be called “Weaving the World” and will be available on Bandcamp and on CD. One song on the album honours Old Man Lime, an ancient tree on Wenlock Edge.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

When Mountains Meet – Jub Milain Pahaar

Rick is this week and next intensely absorbed in rehearsal and preparations for the first full work-in-progress performances of When Mountains Meet/ Jub Milain Pahaar. Featured as part of “Keeping it Lit”, the 2022 Scottish International Storytelling Festival, the performances will take place in Edinburgh at Assembly Roxy on 27 and 28 October. Booking details are on our Events pages.

Gig theatre, storytelling, Scottish/South Asian influenced music and striking visual images combine to recount the adventures of Anne Wood as she leaves Edinburgh for an unforgettable voyage through Pakistan.

“My mother is Scottish. My father was Pakistani. In my early twenties I found the father I had never met … but I was taboo in a culture to which I longed to belong.”

Inspired by Anne’s true story and 75 years after the creation of Pakistan, a live band plus storytellers and singers celebrate cultural diversity and difference in this tender, surprising and heart-opening show, summoning majestic mountains, mesmerising sounds and mouth-watering tastes.

The atmosphere will be relaxed and accessible, with performances either audio described or with BSL interpretation. The team will be hosting a short, facilitated feedback session after both performances to which all are welcome.

 

The production is funded by Creative Scotland. For more information about the project, click here.

coloured abstract disc pattern with album title As I live and breathe

As I live and breathe

 

Rick’s latest album is out now, with an official release date of June 5.

The album is called ‘As I Live and Breathe’ and is a collection of 13 original songs. Rick sings and plays most of the material but he is also indebted to Roxane Smith, Barry Edwards, Niall Ross and Gary Foote, who all made valuable contributions.

File:076. Palais idéal du facteur Cheval, Hauterives.JPG

Cheval’s Palais Ideal

Within this collection, the ideas that are given voices are ones that periodically return to face me – the replenishment of wonder provided by the wider world, and the inspirations, mysteries and transformations that occur. Couple these with the chasing of shadows and illusions and the tricks played by our senses, with the possibilities of inner resourcefulness and the vitality of the present moment. Mix all this with some timeless weighing of reason against emotion and most of the ingredients are then laid out.

Rick’s work is often influenced by the written word and at other times by remarkable people. On this album, the second track (Le facteur Cheval) is inspired by a French postman who stumbled one day on a strangely shaped stone and went on to build a fantastical palace. You can read more about his extraordinary story here.

 

 

 

coloured abstract disc pattern with album title As I live and breathe

The album is in two forms. First, as a limited edition CD (£10) or as a download (£1 per track, £8.50 for the whole album) from

rickwilson.bandcamp.com

where you can take a listen first.

You can also order a copy of the physical CD by sending us a message via the ‘Contact us’ page, or coming along to

one of Rick’s regular monthly drum circle events at the Hermon Chapel Arts Centre in Oswestry.

 

 

Image credit: Otourly, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

A Slave to the Rhythm – Part 9

Part 9: The Question of Sampling

 

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The ninth in an occasional series from Rick about his life as a musician – where it all started and what it has come to now

In previous pages I was remembering how I used to take a cassette recorder around with me to record anything of interest. This could include machinery sounds from a factory or building site, snatches of conversation or sounds of the natural world. Cassettes would accrue and my audio library expanded accordingly. Before the invention and manufacture of the Sampler in the 1980s, a few people I knew were already using ‘found’ sounds in their own music. This could include snatches of other people’s music. Once the Sampler was on the market and out there, this trend became commercially rampant in the ensuing years and the inevitable cries of ‘rip off’ could be heard widespread. There were a few high profile court cases involving the richer, or more visible, musicians and record companies. Settlements were arrived at through the legal process. Lower down, more tacit agreements were achieved. Lower down still, you just took your chances.

Some artists are outraged by such ‘referencing’ but some are flattered. Some had their careers re-ignited by someone else’s use of their music. It remains a lively debate. Personally, I try to always avoid the obvious. Though I have never owned a Sampler, I have used extracts of other people’s music over the years. I never use it verbatim or wholesale. I always put it through some creative process of transformation to sculpt it to suit my purposes. It often becomes unrecognisable from its source. It is this process of transformation which, for me, justifies such action.

If I were ever to be sampled by someone else, I hope that I would welcome it as an affirmation of a good idea. I can never imagine that there would ever be any question of financial remuneration.

Events

Festival at the Edge

Rick and Jo Jukes will be performing at Festival at the Edge which runs from Friday 19 – Sunday 21 July in Cleobury Mortimer. This wonderful family-friendly event is now in its 31st year and takes place in the wonderful setting of Hopton Court. Come and camp for the weekend or drop in for a day.

More details from the Festival website: https://www.festivalattheedge.org/