SAVOURNA STEVENSON and STEVE KETTLEY
To book Savourna and Steve for your event please contact ...
Dr John Barrow
m: (0)7968 131737 (24 hour answering)
“ ... a composer who is a national treasure “ (The Herald).
Although Savourna's music strongly reflects her Scottish roots, it also reveals her uniquely eclectic and innovative urge to break through stylistic barriers between classical, folk, world music and jazz. The diversity of commission organisations from the BBC to Iona Abbey and her equally diverse audiences, from concert halls to HBO, are a measure of the breadth and scope of her output.
Savourna’s ever- expanding catalogue includes a large body of work for harp, notably her String Quintet (CD: Touch Me Like the Sun) acclaimed for its use on American TV series, "Sex and the City" and "Ugly Betty" and her "Concerto for Pedal Harp" premiered by Catrin Finch with the Scottish Ensemble (2012). The Herald critic found it typical of what he called, " ... the joy of Stevenson’s music from the heart and to the heart, absolutely open and honest in its integrity and expressive qualities ... voluptuously romantic, unashamedly gorgeous".
From an early age championing the clarsach, (or the Scottish harp), Stevenson gave her concert debut at age 15 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London alongside A. L. Lloyd, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Ralph McTell. She went on to collaborate with many acclaimed artists across a variety of musical genres including: Aly Bain, Danny Thompson, Davy Spilllane, June Tabor, Eddi Reader, Toumani Diabate, the Bhundu Boys, The Chemiranis (Iranian percussionists) and many more at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios and Womad festivals.
Savourna was a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2001 to write for symphony orchestra. The resulting work for children, "Misterstourworm & the Kelpie’s Gift", was premiered by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) in 2003. Further commissions include "Hansel and Gretel", premiered by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera (2005) and "The Snow Queen" premiered by the RSNO (2013); three songs for the National Youth Choirs of Scotland; "Magnus", premiered and toured by Capella Nova (2016); Mill Memories for guitar and flute commissioned by Live Music Now Scotland (2017). She is currently about to complete her first piano concerto.
Savourna Stevenson and Steve Kettley have performed and recorded together many times in the past and have been enjoying a successful and creative reunion since 2017, performing at festivals and one-off concerts throughout the UK. A dynamic blend of haunting melodies, pulsating rhythms and stirring improvisations - breaking stylistic barriers while maintaining Scottish roots. Daring and accessible, their music will have you on the edge of your seat. Savourna and Steve are recording a CD for release early in 2020.
Steve Kettley ... musician, composer (and occasional actor), who plays tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, jaw harp and percussion.
As well as his duo with clarsach virtuoso Savourna Stevenson, he leads several bands playing his own music, such as the long-standing quartet Steve Kettley’s Odd Times (with cello, bass & drums), and is well known as a founder member (1995 - 2013) of the international touring and recording group Salsa Celtica.
Recently, Orange Claw Hammer (with guitar, bass & drums), a quartet dedicated to interpreting the music of avant-rock legends Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, has been a major concern, with their first CD, “Cooks the Beef”, being released in 2017. Other groups include Trio Velcro (with tuba & drums), Tea Leaf 3 (with accordion & congas), and Good Job Squad (with 3 percussionists). Steve is also a member of Pygmies, and Omar Afif’s Gnawa Trance Fusion.
Steve has run the club “Click Clack” in Edinburgh since 2010, a monthly outlet for creative music of all genres, as well as poetry and occasionally dance. February 2019 was the 100th Click Clack night.
For the last few years Steve has been enjoying a productive collaboration with former national poet (aka The Makar) of Scotland, Liz Lochhead. They tour sporadically with their show “Somethings Old, Somethings New”, and perform at various other events all over the country.
During a varied career as theatre composer and performer Steve has worked with many leading companies touring the UK and has had residencies in New York and Baltimore USA. Steve has composed new scores for Brecht’s “Caucasian Chalk Circle” and “Mother Courage”, Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”, and Shakespeare’s “Winter’s Tale”.
Most of Steve’s theatre work however, has involved writing original music, both live and recorded, for trail blazing Scottish touring companies such as Communicado, Catherine Wheels, Benchtours and Plan B, as well as Dundee Rep, Edinburgh Royal Lyceum and Perth Theatre.