Stephanie Rose is my sister’s youngest daughter.  She was born in August 2006 while I was living in the Australian bush so I didn’t get to meet her for 6 months.  I wrote this lullaby just after she was born and sent it to my sister, recorded with just acoustic guitar and a vocal.  Last year, back once again in Australia, I composed this arrangement for it.

Today it rained here in the Obi Obi valley.  My veggie garden is loving the cooler autumn weather.  I’ve been busy constantly writing new songs and arranging old ones, songs that got left by the wayside and now given new life.  I’m playing my cello again, inspired by listening to Yo Yo Ma playing the Bach unaccompanied suites.  I played some of them when I was a kid and am trying to learn them again.

I talk to my family and friends in the UK and feel like I am on another planet. Here in Australia we are coming out of lockdown as infections are very few now.  I wish the same could be said of the northern hemisphere.  My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones, including the family and friends of Al Crawford who died recently from Coronavirus.  Al had been a great supporter of my music for many years and I felt very moved that his wife Saeko wanted to play my song ‘About Everything’ at his funeral last week.

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

xx

 

One of my all-time favourite songs is ‘Save You’, a song by my old friend Ecki, the man behind the White Star Bulb Company. We sang it together at a gig in Cambridge years ago and now we’ve just recorded it (remotely… me being in Australia and Ecki in the UK lockdown).

You can hear more of Ecki’s beautiful songs at https://www.whitestarbulbcompany.com/.  Check out especially his song ‘Rare Sun’, another one of my favourites…

xx

I’ve just posted on my YouTube channel a new lyric video for a very old, unreleased song of mine called ‘In The Garden’. I wrote it in January 1999 but only arranged it for guitar and string trio when we moved to Australia last year.

The song was inspired by a bereavement – a grief of such depth and intensity I could hardly bear to imagine it.  I was thinking when I was writing it why it was that at least 3 people I knew who had all been brutally bereaved had then given up their former careers to become gardeners.  It seemed that in nature some solace could be found, or at least ‘life goes on’.

I hoped that some solace might be found in this song too.  I am always anxious about playing songs to the people who have inspired them.  Most of all with ‘In The Garden’, but the friend who inspired it gave it her blessing so here it is.

Thanks to my wonderful 90-year-old cello teacher Bruno Schrecker for taking the photograph.

xx

I was so delighted to hear my song ‘For Free’ on Aled Jones’s lovely new podcast ‘Oh My Goodness’.  With all the hardship and sorrow that people are facing around the world, it’s such a great concept to have a programme highlighting some of the good things that are happening.

I first met Aled back in 2007 when he was presenter of the BBC Radio 2 show ‘Good Morning Sunday’.  It was my first interview on UK national radio and all thanks to a fan called Andy Cole who had seen me play at Bournemouth Folk Club and decided to send my album ‘Keep Walking’  (with a box of chocolates) to Hilary Robinson, Aled’s producer.

Hilary clearly loved chocolates because the next thing I know Aled was playing my song ‘Back Home’ on his show.  Philip Tennant, the manager of The Waterboys, was listening and the rest is history…

I met Aled quite a few times as he very kindly asked me back on the show to talk about my Buddhist faith, launch my first book ‘Start Over Again’, do ‘Thought For The Day’ and sing live several times.  He is a super lovely guy who’d give me a big hug when I came in the studio.

It was so great to hear his voice again on his new podcast – aside from being an amazing singer Aled has the most wonderful speaking voice that makes you feel somehow incredibly comforted and reassured, like everything is going to be all right.  Perfect for these times…

I owe a big debt of gratitude to Aled and Hilary for supporting my music over all these years and I’m so delighted they’ve asked me to be involved in their new project. You can listen to the podcast here.

xx

Emily’s song ‘For Free’ (from her fifth album ‘A Bit Of Blue’) is the featured song on the latest episode of Aled Jones’s new podcast ‘Oh My Goodness’.  Presented with Canon Ann Easter, former chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen, the series highlights good news stories and unsung heroes.  You can listen to the podcast here.  Aled has been a fan of Emily’s music since 2007 as the first DJ at BBC Radio 2 to play her songs and interview her when he was the presenter of the show ‘Good Morning Sunday’.  You can hear more of the album ‘A Bit Of Blue’ here.

Last night I nearly stepped on a snake.  It was dark and I was going up to my yurt to meditate.  As soon as I saw it, my torch started flickering on and off.  I thought it would be ironic, going to all the trouble of staying virus-free only to be bitten by a king brown.

It is autumn here in the Australian bush which means the snakes are looking for somewhere to hibernate.  I’ve been working on songs and lyric videos but my mind is elsewhere, thinking about my family and friends in the UK.  Here in Australia we are several weeks behind the crisis in the northern hemisphere.  People are self-isolating but there isn’t lockdown yet.

Today we’ve released another lyric video, this time for my song ‘Rain’.  Wherever you are and whatever is happening, may you keep safe and well.

xx