In 2013 I made an album of a selection of Charles’ poems which I had set to music to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death. The Charles Causley Trust most kindly allowed myself along with a small group of musician friends to take over Charles’ little house ‘Cyprus Well’ for five days and record the album in his study and I got to use his very own piano too! It was a magical experience and one that I will always hold very dear.
Last year the Charles Causley Trust commissioned me to create another project using Charles poems to help celebrate the centenary of his birth, this year in 2017. I felt that I would not want to try and create a “Cyprus Well 2” and that it would not be possible even if I wanted to. So instead I was made ‘Artist in Residence’ in Cyprus Well for a week in September 2016 where I soaked up the magic of Charles’ home once again by living and sleeping in his house, exploring his home town by stepping out from his own front door and this time I wrote the music for the poems on Charles’ piano instead.
I also felt that I wanted to look at a different aspect of Charles’ work this time around and so as his ‘Collected Poems for Children’ has recently been republished I thought it would be great fun to focus on those poems. And great fun it has been too! I’ve called in lots of friends who I knew would bring their particular brand of magic and fun to the album and we have had such a huge amount of fun making it I can’t begin to tell you. I hope all the joy of Charles’ wonderful poems combined with the celebratory nature of the music comes through and brings another generation of readers to the treasure trove of Charles Causley’s work. The hardest part of this project was deciding which poems not to record! There are simply too many great ones but I’ll leave those for you to discover when you buy the book, here’s just a little taster…
The musicians are:
Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll
Mary Humphries and Anahata
Keith Kendrick with Bandanglo