One of my friends on Facebook drew my attention to an excellent blog article from 2019 by The Cornish Bird about Virginia Woolf in Cornwall. While I was vaguely aware of Virginia Woolf’s connection with Cornwall and in particular with the Godrevy lighthouse, which partially inspired her 1927 novel To The Lighthouse (I’m going to have to reread it now), I hadn’t realized how large a part the county had played in her life. Nor had I realized that on a spontaneous visit at Christmas 1909, she recorded paying a visit to Trencrom hill, very close to the engine house that gives its name to this blog.
Wheal Alice and Trencrom’s Iron Age hill fort
As Elizabeth Dale says in her article, Trencrom (or Trecobben) is indeed “a place full of history and legend”: I was very aware of that when I wrote the song ‘Cornish Ghosts’, which took shape while I was doing my daily walks around and on the hill. The next time I walk to the top, not many minutes from where I’m writing this, I’ll surely think of Virginia Woolf sitting there in the mist.
A forthcoming album by Sarah McQuaid that I’m looking forward to reviewing.
This article isn’t about Michael Chapman, but bear with me… Towards the end of the 1960s I acquired his album Rainmaker, and found him to be an innovative guitarist and very distinctive singer/songwriter/. (I remember confusing one of my friends by saying that a song of his reminded me pleasantly of Michael Chapman, until I realized that he thought I meant that Chinnichap chap! ) I played Rainmaker a lot in my teens, and it certainly influenced my early guitar playing. Ironically, I finally parted with the album, along with nearly all my other vinyl, when moving to Cornwall.
Ironically? Well, mildly, in that it’s since that move to Cornwall that his name has recently crossed my radar again. Specifically, as producer of the forthcoming 5th album by the very talented Sarah McQuaid, a well-known name not only here in Cornwall, but far beyond.
Interestingly, Sarah not only shares but exceeds my own passion for the DAGDAD guitar tuning, having written a book and developed two workshops on using it. But her singing and songwriting has earned her many fans who may not know much about modal tunings, but appreciate a fine performance.
I’m looking forward to reviewing her new album If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous nearer to the release date (due out 2nd February 2018). In the meantime, you might like to check out the track The Tug Of The Moon, which is on the album but was released as a single in November 2017: see Mawgan Lewis’s intriguing video here.