It’s wonderful to have her back! Here Catrin Finch answers our questions before her concert on Friday 9 October.
You most recently performed at St George’s with Seckou Keita, our audiences LOVED the concert we got some amazing feedback. What makes a good musical collaboration?
The main thing that makes a good collaboration, I think, is mutual respect for each other as musicians, an open mind to new ideas, and of course good ears for listening! Collaborations are never guaranteed to work, and more often than not after a few performances, musicians will part their ways and continue as they were. With this partnership it was different and obvious from the very beginning of working with Seckou that we had that unknown musical link and willingness to make it work, and with some patience, dedication to the project and a lot of respect for each other’s cultures and musical upbringings, it developed into the collaboration that you see continue to see today.
How do you find St George’s as a venue, and Bristol audiences?
I love St George’s Bristol, and it is always a great pleasure to come and play for your audiences there. It has a special atmosphere, and is a little gem of a concert venue!
How is performing solo with your own band different, is it more nerve-racking or do you feel more liberated?
It’s not that much different from performing my normal classical shows to be honest. As it’s mostly music I have composed there is a slightly different feel to it, and yes, it is a little more liberating for me to do and play as I wish to some extent, and there is a strong element of improvisation. But I have always performed a big spectrum of different musical genres, and so I guess it’s a fusion of all these genres and musical experiences. I play quite a bit of piano and sing a bit also in the show, so that side of it is certainly different and new for me …. and yes, makes it a little more nerve-racking than just playing my harp!!
You are performing pieces from your exquisite solo album Tides, what inspired you in the writing of it and how long did it take to complete?
I started writing a few years ago and have very much enjoyed developing a style of music and the freedom to put down in dots what I am thinking and feeling!! I worked on the album over a period of probably about 6 months. I’m lucky that I have access to a studio pretty much on demand, and so when I had some down time from performing I would spend it working on ideas and developing them with my producer Lee House. It was a most enjoyable process and we had no deadlines at the time, so I didn’t ever feel the pressure of having to complete by a certain time. Composing is a sideline at the moment to my performing career, but I hope at some point to be able to invest a little more time in it and do more of it!!
You have gifted the track Changing Tides to Water Aid, tell us what attracted you to this charity and what you hope the funds will achieve.
I very much admire the work of WaterAid, and as this album had it’s inspiration from where I grew up by the sea, and the idea of water, it seemed fitting that we should work with them on this album release. I had the humbling experience of going to see the work they do in communities in Ethiopia back in February, and I take from the trip memories and experiences that I will never forget, and met the most inspiring people.
You have started your own record label and released Tides under it. Why did you do this, are you looking to sign other artists to the label?
I started my own label because we have our own studio facility and so it was easy to set up. We are since releasing another album by the soprano Shan Cothi at the end of October, and hope to build it from here. Let’s wait and see what happens!!
Could you recommend some music for our Autumn playlist In The Moment, this list is inspired by the music that takes us to a special place and makes the world melt away!
Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto; Debussy’s Clair de Lune and Song to the Moon from Rusalska, by Dvorak.