Kathryn Williams, the Mercury-nominated, folk inspired singer-songwriter, has added to her list of collaborations this Christmas by teaming up with poet/playwright Carol Ann Duffy.
‘Snow Angel’, written by the duo in a small hut at Moniack Mhor (Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre), paints a wonderful picture of a family home in the countryside in the lead-up to Christmas Day. It captures some of the childhood anticipation and purity that will be familiar to so many at this time of year with heart-warming, crystal clear imagery.
Kathryn tells us: “This project with Carol Ann Duffy is a dream come true. I am an absolute fan of her poetry and have been for a long time and to work with her words has been a joy. The collaboration was much more blurred with Carol Ann, she helped with the melody and I had lyric ideas too.”
Duffy continues: “The lyrics for ‘Snow Angel’ were written especially for KW’s gorgeous voice and talent. Our hope is that the song can be sung by community choirs and by children. Indeed, we drew on our sense of childhood and community in the making of these songs and on innocence and hope.”
During lockdown they were aided by the likes of The Magic Numbers’ Michele Stodart, the multi-talented Polly Paulusma and Scottish composer Astrid Williamson.
Williams has previously worked and toured with Ed Harcourt, John Martyn, Chris Difford (Squeeze), Bombay Bicycle Club, David Gray, Ray Lamontagne, and made two further albums as a member of bands The Crayonettes and The Pond. This list goes on, pairing with another author Laura Barnett who she worked with on her soundtrack album to the novel ‘Greatest Hits’ in 2017. And with her well-documented tenth album Hypoxia dedicated to Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ (commissioned by New Writing North), we can see that Williams doesn’t only thrive alongside other artists, but is inspired immeasurably by literature in her own writing.
Dame Carol Ann Duffy is a celebrated writer of gender themes as well as a professor of contemporary poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Poet Laureate in May 2009, resigning in 2019. She was the first woman, the first Scottish-born poet and the first known LGBT poet to hold the position. Her collections include ‘Standing Female Nude’ (1985), winner of a Scottish Arts Council Award; ‘Selling Manhattan’ (1987), which won a Somerset Maugham Award; ‘Mean Time’ (1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award; and ‘Rapture’ (2005), winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize.