Still Life, Sweetheart

A 5 track crossover classical ep (19m 42s) — released August 21st 2020 on Blackford Hill

In early 2020, good fortune carried poet Liz Lochhead and musician/producer, Andrew Wasylyk through the sleet and hailstones of a wintry Hebridean storm over the sea to the Isle of Mull. Absconded, but now trapped by ferry cancellations, the two artists, along with producer Gordon Maclean, battened down the hatches at An Tobar, Tobermory, to embark on what all three wondered: could this possibly be our new project...?

'Still Life, Sweetheart' marks their second collaboration with this collection of five voice and piano pieces. Lochhead's hushed voice, delivering sometimes simple and songlike good wishes, sometimes acute observations on love, life, longevity and - always - longing, lands beautifully among Wasylyk's undulating melodies that exist in a space between the minimalist nocturnes of Erik Satie and the weightless progressions of Joanna Brouk.

Liz Lochhead and Andrew Wasylyk's unique journey took them somewhere new and strange, to a place that felt as hopeful as it was vulnerable, and in the end is as hypnotic as it is intimate. 'Still Life, Sweetheart' is a rare double-portrait where spoken-word, modern-classical, and maybe-jazz meet in a form that's less lofty or remote than perhaps suggested by any of these genre-categories.

Here all is open, warm, infinitely accessible.

It’s a good week to argue that poetry is the new rock’n’roll. Former Scots Makar Liz Lochhead and composer Andrew Wasylyk have resumed a collaboration first minted on Mull with Wasylyk’s band The Hazey Janes and saxophonist Steve Kettley. 'Still Life, Sweetheart' emerged during a few pre-Covid days on the island when the pair were stranded because of ferry cancellations, and comprises Lochhead’s soft lullaby delivery set against the barest of piano backing. 'Persimmons' attests to the power of an evocative memory, the account of an artist diligently sketching complemented by the gentle brushstrokes of piano. The moving 'Coming to Poetry' is Lochhead’s ode to Keats and the pivotal role of poetry as she grew up in the shadow of the Cuban missile crisis. - The Scotsman

Played on the Roddy Hart Show on 22nd July 2020 - BBC Radio Scotland

Liz Lochhead and Andrew Wasylyk were interviewed about the collaboration on The Afternoon Show on 1st July 2020 - BBC Radio Scotland

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