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I got obsessed with the idea of learning to play banjo in the first lockdown of 2020. I built a banjo from a vintage cookie tin, a bit of wood I found in a skip and some pre-made parts (finger board, bridge, machine heads). I have since acquired a five string bluegrass style banjo with a big ol' resonator.


the banjo: I love the twang, the richness of the sound, the variety of tunings, the undeniable personality of the instrument

the music that comes along with the banjo: murder ballads, love songs, songs about barbara allen, silly songs, nonsense songs, songs about death, songs about chickens, songs passed from singer to singer, from mouth to ear to mouth

the singing that so often comes along with the banjo: intimate, personal, uneven, unclassical, honest, rough, direct(all the things I wish my voice could do that have gotten lost with training)

I'm on a banjo adventure with an unknown destination - I'm learning folk songs, dowland and Jennifer Walshe and I hope at the end of it to find some of the agency I've been looking for as a singer. Watch this space for a project - there's an eventual plan afoot for commissioning and recording and composing.

the banjo:

my own arrangement of Deer Song, based on a version played by Peggy Seeger, early into the banjo journey

a homemade banjo

polly vaughan, a folk song

east virginia, as inspired by Buell Kazee

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