Described as ‘a true original’ by the Guardian, spellbindingly innovative musician and dancer Hannah James and her most recent project The JigDoll Ensemble, announce the release of their impressive new album The Woman And Her Words on October 4th.
Recorded in Hungary, at the prestigious music venue/studio Budapest Music Centre, the album hosts an international line-up of musicians – András Dés (Hungary – Percussion); Marti Tärn (Estonia – Bass Guitar); Kate Young (Scotland – Fiddle / Vocals) and Toby Kuhn (France – Cello).
“I deliberately put together this band of extraordinary musicians because, at this time, I feel it’s so important to keep international friendships strong. I have always felt European, not English, and this band is a celebration of that and an example of the great things that can emerge when people from different countries and backgrounds have the freedom to meet and work together”. Hannah James.
One of the key figures in the revival of English percussive dance, Hannah is renowned as one of the best accordionists of the British Folk scene, her musicianship extends far beyond the tradition and flawlessly incorporates beautiful vocal-stylings with both classic and contemporary applications of English clog dance.
The new release is a celebration of ageing, gaining wisdom, and of the many women who have delivered essential truths along the way. Artist and puppeteer Katarina Cakova, based on Hannah’s stories, created the physical form of ‘the woman’, which appears on the album cover.
The Woman And Her Words tackles important issues and subjects in our current climate, with a strong theme of community evident throughout the album. The title track addresses gender roles and the consequences of toxic masculinity, whilst ‘Canal Song’ focuses on the necessity for green spaces in our inner cities.
‘Dayspring’ sings of an unstoppable awakening, dedicated to the student anti gun movement in America and, more recently, to the amazing wave of new young activists walking out of school to demand better environmental policies. The album also challenges the balancing act of maintaining connections in our social media focused world. Album closer, ‘Shields Time’, encompasses all the elements of the live show, dance, body percussion, voice and a playful rhythmic communication between as the musicians in the band.
A previous collaborative project, Songs Of Separation, won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Album in 2017; while Hannah’s vocal trio Lady Maisery produced three critically acclaimed albums and was nominated for the Horizon Award at the BBC Folk Awards. Her most recent project began solo before becoming the JigDoll Ensemble, was acclaimed as “the highlight of the festival” at the Folk Expo Manchester in late 2017, debuting to a standing ovation from professional delegates from across the world.
Artist’s website: https://jigdoll.co.uk
Two years old but still worth watching. Hannah James – Jigdoll – live: