Inspired by the traditional custom of telling the bees of important events, such as births, marriages and deaths. If the bees were forgotten, it was believed there would be a consequence, such as the bees leaving or even dying. A Sussex beekeeper also kindly spent time telling me about his life with bees.
Chapter 1: I See Fairises EP
The Legend of Nan Tuck
Nan Tuck is a witch legend of a woman living in Buxted in the 1600s. She continues to be a focus of fear of the other as the ghost of Tuck Wood and there are still reports of sightings of her running down Tuck Lane. There are different versions of her story; one that she was a young woman with mental health issues, another that she poisoned a man and she was pursued and killed by the villagers.
Bonfire parades have a long tradition in Sussex, pre-dating the gunpowder plot, and this track features recordings collected from various parades to represent what must have been a terrifying crowd.
The Unquiet Grave
The vocal of this traditional song was recorded at Berwick Church, with kind permission from Revd Peter Blee. I initially intended an unaccompanied version but couldn't resist a musical dress.
It is difficult to tie songs to a particular area, but the reason for this choice is that it does have a Sussex history, with the earliest reference I've found coming from Charlotte Latham's 'West Sussex Superstitions,' 1868. She says 'I wrote down the song from the lips of a girl who repeated it to me, and, as it has not appeared in print, to my knowledge, it would be well to record it here'
Tell Me Who
Set at Beachy Head. The seagulls were recorded at the site. It probably doesn’t matter to others, but for me the site specific recording is an important element. Listen on the open-top pleasure bus from Eastbourne pier to Birling Gap in any weather.
For a Sunbeam
Includes a clip of RX Shantymen, recorded at one of their wonderful weekly sessions at The Jenny Lind in the Old Town of Hastings.