rich, generous arrangements”
Your tunes have such strength, warmth and musicality”

Step Off And Fly

Hilary Burt's Blue Calluna

Step Off And Fly by Hilary Burt's Blue Calluna - 13 joyous tracks blending vocals, flutes, saxes, piano, bass, drums and percussion. Original music in the jazz-folk genre from the pen of composer, arranger & instrumentalist Hilary Burt.

November 2018 - Hilary writes: It has been about 14 months since I first entertained the possibility of a new band and started writing specifically for those musicians.

As with any new project, it has been an intense time. Early mornings waking up with a fresh idea or suddenly finding a solution for how to end a piece; late nights when you know you need to go to bed but the ideas continue to come so you stay up later. Nine of the songs have been written specifically for this album and four are tunes written at an earlier time and rescored for Blue Calluna.

With my songs I tend to work fairly fast at the beginning, sketching out the piece in Sibelius, finding the right drum groove, putting the main melody down. Then when I have a rough structure in place, I get down to the nitty gritty and work out all the details.

I prefer to focus on one tune at a time, living with it intensely, humming melodies around the house, thinking about it on dog walks, recording a phrase on the phone, scribbling lyrics on crumpled pieces of paper. Then whole sections might be deleted, or moved, or copied and pasted into a new file to be used in another tune. Even after I take it to the band, rewrites can occur as I realise that perhaps the key needs to change or a section needs to be pared down.

At rehearsals we've familiarised ourselves with the new pieces and practised the tricky musical corners. But in the breaks we've shared family sagas, moments that have made us laugh since we last saw each other, admired Lucy's different hair colours, celebrated birthdays and giggled at photos on phones.

I'd like to say an enormous thank you to them for their talent and generosity in making this album. You have brought my music alive - from a dry Sibelius file on the computer to a living, breathing entity.

There's a story behind every song and they can be found on this website next to the track listing.

I hope you, the listener, enjoy the album. Perhaps a few of the songs might end up on your 'cooking' or 'chilling' playlist, and who knows, you might even listen to it from beginning to end, just like we did in the old days ;-)

Hilary Burt - November 2018
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