First album – Notes from Heather
My album “Notes From Heather” can still be ordered from me privately, but I consider it my “student work”. It is full of “experiments”. It basically started as a violin album but almost every track that started off as a violin piece got turned into something else.
I always thought with all the different genres of music available to us today, with the amazing things one can do with technology, and with my music training that I could do something that would make someone’s day just a little more interesting.
“Notes from Heather” I started in 2011 and finished at the end of 2013 (about 80 % of it took shape over a few months in 2013). It was a difficult project, I didn’t have a mentor and there are always people who let you down. It isn’t perfect, but I did the best I could with what I had, figuring my way through the complicatedness of technology and I am grateful for my brother’s input with certain technical issues. Otherwise I was very much on my own doing the writing, arranging, recording, mixing, mastering, talent sourcing and lyrics myself.
Following are a few high-lights from my first album to give an idea of the work.
*Recommended listening with headphones.
CLIP 1 Flute high-lights
CLIP 2 Notes from Spring
CLIP 3 Kreutzer 13
CLIP 6 Trills
CLIP 7 Pachelbel African
CLIP 8 Flamenco Hip-hop
I always wanted to write songs or arrange music for a movie or something like that, and this CD I did developed into something I never imagined I would achieve so soon. Before doing it I did various other small but interesting projects that were good experience such as composting and arranging for a film student’s movie, recording, composing and arranging music for a friend to skate to, and many small bits of composition or arrangements of things that I did when I was still a student. (I would mostly end up being the one in a group who would end up writing the part, or making up new parts to fit with old things if there weren’t enough parts for the number of players etc.) I found it very interesting going through some of my old work.
CLIP 9 Hear Me Sing
CLIP 10 Mosquito Dance
CLIP 11 Chop-hop
CLIP 12 Tribute to Respighi
“I have today had the magical pleasure and delight of listening to your cd from beginning to end. I am utterly amazed at what you have achieved. Each of the pieces is thoroughly fused to create delight and absolute upliftment of my spirit! Please do more. Please guard your talents from mediocrity (Salieri). Thank you.”
“When I’m feeling low I put on your cd and I feel ok again.”
“Fresh. When most people’s songs are about people’s misery this is so up-lifting.”
“I was blown away.”
“When I finished listening to the whole thing I listened to the whole thing again.”
“I have listened to your cd several times and must congratulate you on your imagination, creativity, versatility and skill. What an exciting age we live in.”
“I have listened to your cd three times today and every time I hear new things. It really is quite magical.”
“So surprised by your song (Hear Me Sing) – my favourite.”
“The cd is very honest. Not like your usual commercial cd. Just amazing.”
“Surprising and enjoyable.”
“You are the only REAL artist I know personally.”
“I am sooo impressed! You really speak through your music, wow. …couldn’t believe its the Heather I know, keep it up.You should do more. I imagined myself dancing in a couple of the tracks.”
“It calms me down.”
“‘Hear Me Sing’ I must have listened to dozens of times already. This is a truly beautiful song. I am sure I am not the only one who appreciates it this much and I am definitely buying your next album.”
“Your music and footwork made me see a deep connection with those very special and holy parts in Karl Jenkin’s cd (The Armed Man). Ek waardeer en ag jou kreatieviteit en oorspronklikheid hoof.”
“I listened once, then had to listen several more times. So proud of you. ”
“We’ve listened and listened to it and we’re in agreement that its just charming. I love the mixture of styles. If you’re doing more or arranging any events we’d certainly be interested.”
“Congrats on the music output by way of your magic notes.”
“I just spent a very enjoyable hour listening to your cd.”
“How delightful! Thank you for making music and bringing it into our lives!!”
“Enlightening and innovative.”
“I am so impressed! Very good variety, catchy tunes, positive lyrics, fresh and up-lifting.”
“Such a beautiful and complete package. It is more than a collection of beautiful music. From music, to your personal notes to the beautiful packaging, it is a lovely expression of who you are. Clearly there were lots of challenges to meet, and lots of musical and technical talents put to the test, and you did it all.”
“When I had finished I listened to it from beginning again. ”
“I feel blown away by “Hear Me Sing” – what a beautiful sound and beautiful song”.
“It made me cry tears of joy. Your CD will go in my pile of favourites. It made me think of everybody in my life who taught me all the good stuff.”
“This is a reflection of your personal musical (and dance) journey – and what a scope there is to that. So many others could learn important lessons from that angle… Such a spectrum is represented of genres and instruments and including your own compositions and giving opportunities to several young people[…] giving pleasure and development opportunities to everyone in music should be top of the list of priorities.”
“I have heard from ****** , and now ****** too (in paroxysms of delight) about your new CD…well done – what a great achievement!”
“For instance, Dance Gypsies is such a happy playful arrangement that you just cannot feel morose or sad listening to it – it always brings a smile…also the case with Flamenco Hip-hop Fusion and obviously Mosquito Dance.”
“How interestingly and effectively you have gone upwards with your life.”
“You have most certainly persevered and achieved.”
At the end of 2014 I finally got going again in the studio with some new and old songs and I am currently working on my next CD which will be a surprise, something more professional and something everyone can hopefully look forward to.
My work as a teacher
In 2012 became a teacher at my old school – Max Stibbe Waldorf School – after about ten years since finishing school there. I got a band together and started arranging music for them. They were a great success, and my work at the school grew. I also started a dance program in 2014 and eventually put on my first concert in also in 2014 which had a mix of music, singing and dancing (a bit like my CD really) which people enjoyed.
I cannot express what a wonderful experience it has been working with the students at this school and what fun we’ve had together making music and now dancing too. Sometimes it is a collaborative effort with them sharing their ideas too.
I also have many very happy memories of making music at this school (the photo below is of me with some of the other school musicians singing a song for Nelson Mandela – when he was still president – after we performed at a function and he wanted to come and meet us personally and do his “jive” with us).
Waldorf education gave a pretty good basis for life and I appreciated my of choice of going to a this school.
In anyone’s education there will always be little gaps here and there, and ultimately it is up to the individual to fill those gaps and make choices and accept things or not accept them.
I feel that Waldorf education is the way to go with education. Some people might think that was fine for me because I am “arty”, but science is equally important to me and to the Waldorf education system. And more important is the human soul. I have attended and taught at schools where I was simply shocked at the moral standards and the low life views of the educators and the way they treated their students. And people just accept that and parents pay a lot for it. The child’s soul and education of the character is the most important thing. If a child reads through many textbooks, maybe gets high marks and is in the best school rugby team but comes out with emotional scars and/or character flaws the education has failed.