Anna Hester

singer-songwriter

Latest Posts

The Blackheart Orchestra ♥


In August I was contacted by The Blackheart Orchestra  and asked if I would consider playing a support slot for them at the CB2 Bistro in Cambridge. It was a preview gig for their upcoming tour of the UK and Germany. I was intrigued and decided to say yes. The gig went really well. It was exciting to hear The Blackheart Orchestra live for the first time (and to witness their musical sorcery), and my own set was met with appreciation and interest both by the band and by their fans.

The Blackheart Orchestra then asked me to join them as their support act for another gig, at The Stables in Milton Keynes. The Stables is one of my favourite venues and the evening did not disappoint. It was great to share my music with a sophisticated and discerning audience, and to meet Richard and Chrissy again (who are far warmer and friendlier than their dramatic monochrome photos might have you believe!)

A huge thanks to The Stables and to The Blackheart Orchestra for this opportunity and for a great night. Until next time!

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In the studio

I released my debut EP In the Meantime at the end of 2014. Since then I have been involved in various musical projects (most notably Works on War) but I am excited to announce that I am now working in earnest towards EP number 2.

I’ve recorded in lots of different ways before, but this year I’m enjoying a relaxed process that is tender, careful, and puts the songs first.

I met Dan Wilde in September 2016 at an open mic night he was running in Cambridge. I loved his music and gradually embedded myself in the scene Dan and his friends were creating in Cambridge. After a little while, Dan approached me about the possibility of recording/producing some of my music. So far we’ve (nearly) finished two tracks together, and I’m really pleased with the results. I’ve been lucky enough to have some great musicians play on my songs already, and I’m looking forward to more creativity and collaboration as continue to work on my music.

Watch this space for an EP release in 2018. Good things come to those who wait…

Here are some photos of what we’ve been up to so far.

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An Update on the Postcard Project

 

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songwriting time with a cup of tea

You can read my original post about the Postcard Project here

I started the Postcard Project at the beginning of October, and have now been going for 8 weeks. The original plan was to write a song every week, and end up with 14 songs by the end of 2016.

Predictably, life gets in the way, and after 8 weeks I have only 5.5 songs. Still, I’ve been writing more regularly than ever before and am really enjoying the process. In order to reach my 14 songs, I am thinking of extending the project until the end of January – possibly even further.

As promised, I have shared each song with at least one person, and some have already been aired at open mic nights. I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent me a postcard so far. It is lovely to arrive home to collections of images and words that are waiting to be translated into music.

I hope to post again soon. For now, here are some postcards from the project.

 

 

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Postcard Project

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Inspired by my time on an Arvon writing course, and in particular by Boo Hewerdine’s advice, I have decided to set myself a project. I call this project The Postcard Project. Every week until the end of 2016 I am going to write a song, the starting point of which must be a postcard. That’s 14 songs. I am expecting the song to usually be drawn from the image on a postcard, but it could just as easily be about the place the postcard is from, or a message that is written on it.

Here’s where you come in. Although I already have a good collection of postcards, on display at home and in various drawers, I am going to run out at some point, and I would like surprises and support. If you would like to send me a postcard to be turned into a song, please get in touch (info@annahester.com) to ask for my postal address. There is no pressure to include a message, as the front of the postcard is the key thing I need.

Although I won’t share all of these new songs publicly straight away, I will make a promise to share each one with someone; family, friends, fellow songwriters. Because until a song is shared, it doesn’t really exist in the world. I’m sure there will also be some collaborations along the way – so let me know if you want to have a postcard party (!)

Wish me luck! This is scary but will doubtless be a fun task.

Anna Hester ♩ ♪ ♫

Off the Beaten Track

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• Sunday 18th September 2016 •

This week (12th-17th September) I was lucky enough to attend an Arvon songwriting course at their Lumb Bank Ted Hughes Centre in Heptonstall. The tutors were the unstoppable Kathryn Williams and Samantha Parton from the The Be Good Tanyas. The participants were open, interesting companions and great writers. The place was breathtaking but calming, rugged yet comfy. The staff were so helpful and gave us the freedom to be ourselves.

Here are my musings from the train journey home:

Hard to explain what happened this week without descending into platitudes and clichés. A family began to form before we had even realised it. Everyone was open and ready to trust, share, be kind. Noone expected anyone to be anything other than him/herself. We knitted a kind of safety and sank into it. Wine laughter tears flowed. Songs were sculpted and then danced in front of us. There was a level of curiosity and attentiveness that made sharing and performance inevitable, even outside of the assigned tasks. Sing-alongs, spontaneous harmonies, passing guitars around so much that you forget which one is yours. Matching hair, matching voices, palimpsests of handwriting. Rays of sunlight flooded into recesses of the brain that had long lay dormant. We adopted the building and the landscape. We danced in the kitchen. We fell into the mud and climbed back out again.

I can’t wait to share some of the new songs and tell you more about the musicians I met. More photos to follow too I hope!

Read more about Arvon here: http://www.arvon.org

The tutors: http://kathrynwilliams.co.uk   http://www.begoodtanyas.com/about

 

 

Baby steps

After a long period of stasis, the website is finally (gradually) coming to life. From now on there will be exciting updates in text, image and video form, and some kind of regular blog to follow. If the aforementioned fails to appear, I insist that you tweet me (@AnnaHesterMusic) asking for an explanation.

2015 so far has been very exciting. From January to May I took part in a musical collaboration project entitled Works on War, as part of an overall Great War Remembered project in my home town of Milton Keynes. You can find out more about the project here and listen to (and purchase!) the final results: https://stevenmcdaniel.bandcamp.com/album/works-on-war

Go to https://greatwarmk.wordpress.com to find out more about the overall project.

On Sunday 9th August I’m playing in Cambridge at The Elm Tree pub from 7:30pm. Check out the Gigs page for more information.

 

Under Construction

Hello!

If you’re visiting this site: welcome! And thanks for stopping by. As you can probably tell, it’s early days for annahester.com and we’re still working on getting all the info and media up on here in a coherent format.

Bear with us, because this site will be fully functional very soon! For now, why not visit Anna Hester on social media?

www.facebook.com/annahestermusicuk

www.Twitter.com/AnnaHesterMusic

www.soundcloud.com/annahester

And to download Anna Hester’s debut EP, click here: www.annahester.bandcamp.com