I was born in the Scottish Borders, have travelled fairly extensively (though not enough) and now live in Edinburgh. I class myself as being eternally curious. I love the changing world, and my changing self. My working and playing encompasses new thinking, innovative learning processes and creative exploration.
Life and the world is for the exploring of it. The world is too full of astonishments not to be interested in it.
Like a growing body, the mind always needs more to do to keep it brimful of fascination. One of my teachers said We are all always beginners all of the time. We never know where or how we will end up and we owe it to ourselves to be ready to make that leap of faith when we are asked to. The world always asks us to be different!
The three big themes in my current life allow me to keep following my path. They are: The FeldenkraisMethod®, The Young Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (YWSP) and singing.
I have been Director of The Young Walter Scott Prize and Artistic Director of the Imagining History Programme since 2014.
The aim of YWSP is to challenge young minds to explore our rapidly changing world by engaging with the places and people of their own histories.
We do this by way of a ground-breaking creative writing competition and a national programme of writing/exploration workshops that take place in a range of sites of historical interest across the UK in partnership with Heritage Education organisations.
I have been a practitioner of The Feldenkrais Method® since 1999, leading classes in Awareness through Movement® and giving lessons in Functional Integration®. I am a member of the Feldenkrais Guild of the UK (FGUK) and I have a practice in Edinburgh, The Scottish Borders and East Anglia. I have also taught classes and workshops internationally, notably in Poland, Finland and Austria.
I am also musician – a singer mainly, though I also play piano, accordion, recorders and have been known to sit astride the occasional cajon. I have sung professionally, semi-professionally and as an amateur with coirs, composers, rock bands and song-makers. I have sung on CD recordings and film soundtracks, on Welsh hillsides, deep in caves and at celebrations of dear friends.
I’m always on the look out for new singing projects. High points in the past few years for me have been singing at the Proms in London in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky Cantata as a singer in the Crouch End Festival Chorus, being part of Elbow’s backing choir Geoff at the Festival Hall in London and premiering a new Cantata by Neil Hannon as part of Voicelab and finding the bliss of singing Georgian polyphonic music with a small choir Chela in Cambridge. I recently joined the small Edinburgh chamber ensemble Cadenza, and I’m loving the precision of our working.
I write more about myself here
For those who are interested, you can find a detailed CV here