A Song for Knowle West (2018)
During our residency we visited many community groups in Knowle West to gather lyrics, riffs and rhythms inspired by the community members we worked with. This became a brand new song composed by Gill, recorded at Knowle West Media Centre in October 2018. You can not only hear this song, but also remix it with your own ideas with the interactive "Song Station", currently on exhibition at Knowle West Media Centre until April 2019.
After this, the Song Station will tour other places in Knowle West including Filwood Community Centre.
Gill writes original music for all our family shows and pop-up theatre pieces, as well as working as a freelance composer on a range of community songwriting projects. She takes inspiration from many different musical traditions; 'Alf the Highwayman' music was very much in a traditional folk music vein whereas the supporting soundtrack for 'Tethered' is based in electronica.
Song Commissions include:
The Avona Shanty (2016)
'The Avona Shanty' was created from people's personal connections to the Avon River. Over fifty individual river stories were gathered as part of our Avona Project for the Festival of Nature. These stories were turned into a song performed by a massed community choir of over 70 voices at the Bristol Harbourside, by local Bristol band Red Ray & the Reprobates in Keynsham, and by community choirs in Bath.
We also created "Avona", the river goddess herself who attended the Festival of Nature to hear her song, at one point even taking to the river on a privately chartered Bristol Ferry.
Avona was designed by Derrick Ababio, a Year 4 student at St Peter's Primary, Bishopsworth, built by Bristol artist Sophie Howard, and decorated by students and families of St Peter's Primary.
‘Train to Keynsham’
Lyrics written with students from St Keyna Primary School, Keynsham and performed by KLOGS (Keynsham Light Opera Group)
Lyrics written with students from Westfield Primary School, Radstock and performed by Westfield Ladies Choir
‘Bright Lights Over Fosseway’
Lyrics written with students from Fosseway Special School, Radstock and performed by Westfield Ladies Choir
These three songs were commissions from Kilter Theatre for their 'Unsung' community song-writing project (2016)
‘Ballad of Marianne’
Commissioned by Gillian Sweetbartley for her play 'The Ballad of Marianne’s Waste'
‘Swimming with Sharks’, ‘Simple Simon’, ‘Get your Gaym On’ & ‘FOMO’
Commissioned by Frenetic Fox Theatre for their devised show 'Appily Ever After'
‘Back to the Garden’
Commissioned by Inkling Productions for their 'Greenlight' new writing events.
Commissioned by A Word in Your Ear for their Story Friday events.
‘Blood of the City’, ‘Mortality in Mortar’ & ‘Waitrose Mums’
A trilogy of songs commissioned by The Architecture Centre, Bristol as part of their Sounding City project.
Songs of Dry Wit & Wet Reverb
Shaftesbury Fringe Festival
Friday 30th June 2017
Southbank Arts Trail, Bristol
14th May 2017
What do you get when you cross Rupert Murdoch, monks bricked up in a café wall and middle-class Mums complaining about Waitrose?
'Songs of Dry Wit and Wet Reverb', of course. An irreverent, theatrical set of songs written and composed by Paul Lawless and Gill Simmons, suitable for any occasions including open mics and community festivals.
This double-act was born from a commission by the Bristol Architecture Centre for their Sounding City: A musical map of Bristol project, to celebrate their 25th birthday.
Bakesmiths Café Open Mic, Bristol
16th April 2017
Southbank Bristol Arts Trail
13th May 2018