My musical journey started when I was three years old, and saw a woman playing cello in the street in the town of Bath, England. I enthusiastically told my mother that I wanted to do that too, and started having lessons soon after my fourth birthday. Throughout my childhood, music was something precious to me, something that was my very own and central to my identity.
After graduating from the Conservatory many years later, I began the adventure of discovering what music means for me, and finding my own voice. My music is serious, but with a wink. It is a means of communication, and the most direct way of expressing myself. I enjoy making something beautiful that challenges both the musicians and the audience in subtle ways. Before starting a work, I observe the people who will be playing it and the interaction between them. This provides important ingredients for the piece.
I work very visually and translate (real and imagined) colours into harmonies and textures. This allows me to turn the world around me into music, preferably tailor-made for the musicians who will be performing it. I get a lot of inspiration from what my senses perceive and try to capture the essence of it, almost like in Japanese Zen art.
photo by Catharina Gerritsen
Because the fact that I am a woman is inseparable from my experience of life, it also provides inspiration for my music. Some of my more recent works are characterised by a kind of mysterious feminine ambiance, and the exploration of intimate themes of femininity often provides starting points for my works.
As a cellist, I am especially interested in contemporary music, and want to bring this to my audience in an understandable way. By telling stories or combining it with older music and improvisation, I give it a more personal flavour. For me, performing is about communicating something from one human being to another. I do this in various ways: playing composed music, improvising with world-music and jazz musicians, and giving concerts in “unusual” places, like in the woods or on a boat.
Music, to me, is something playful and magical. It a way of relating to the world, myself, and other people and connecting all of these with the help of vibrations in the air.
photo by Naomi Souwen