SHEILA'S
INDIPOP ALBUMS

   


Steve:

Given how devoted you are to your singing first and artistry in general, people may be surprised to hear that.

Sheila:

Well it's a full circle process. Understanding what all these people deal with on my behalf is essential. It makes me more tolerant of record company politics and the limitations inherent within hierarchies and systems. Certainly recently I have been developing a genuine empathy and respect for their culture and roles. And I can tell you that, as a person who works in isolation but with complete freedom, without that understanding, the tolerance would be hard to come by!

Having said all that, this empathy for their roles also makes me even more intolerant if, for whatever reason, the job isn't being done well!But it's full circle, because by having greater control, it has empowered me to take greater risks in my music - I am both creator and protector.

Steve:

Interestingly you haven't been content to take one sabbatical, you've just had another!

Sheila:

Since "AboneCroneDrone" I've had in effect another 4 year sabbatical - enforced because of my voice problem. So I've been writing lyrics for the last couple of years. I'm currently (Spring 2000) writing singles-orientated songs now I finally have my voice back. I'm really excited about this latest stage in my musical evolution - and a little anxious, which is good!

Steve:

So, any more stories from your Indipop era? There was a weird coincidence when you were recording "Roots and Wings" wasn't there?

Sheila:

Something uncanny happened on the vocal session for "Lament of McCrimmon". It was one of the first pieces I sang that was not written specifically for my voice. I was down in the games room at Strawberry Studios wondering how I was going to bring the emotional colour and intensity needed to a fairly technical and difficult piece mourning the loss of one of the greatest pipers in all of Scotland.

Studios are often air-less, artificially lit places that seem to lack any form of context. And having kept out of the session to let you get on with it, I was feeling pretty cut-off - so I thought I'd read.

The only book lying around was a copy of 'Thomasina' by Paul Gallico. I picked it up, having no idea it was set in Scotland, and opened it at a random page. I was immediately gripped by that charged section of the story where the village children are burying a cat they believe to have been "foully murdered" with full honours : pipes, tartan, heather-lined casket and a funeral procession to a remote fairy glen.

I was completely caught up in the mystery and atmosphere. Just as I was finishing the chapter, I was called up to do the vocal for the lament.I've never been so well primed in my life!