Daydreaming and Dialysis: Why Recording My New Album Reverie Helped Me Through Some Very Challenging Times

19/05/2016 17:15 | Updated 19 May 2016

At the beginning of 1986, as the newly formed Scarlet Fantastic I wrote a kind of manifesto and I called it "The Anti Depression Act 1986". It makes me smile now with it's bright undaunted optimism! Thirty years later and I have made a new Scarlet Fantastic record - it's quite dreamy and fragile with the emphasis on vocals. I felt it was time to celebrate my 30th anniversary, time for Scarlet to re emerge! I notice how I have visited similar themes in these new songs but with the addition of 30 years life experience. My new album Reverie is different stylistically to my earlier 24Hrs album, but I'm different now too. I have never stopped writing songs and living the musical life and I hope I will always find the inspiration to carry on.

This past year has been a challenging year, there's no doubt about it. If I had not been in the process of recording this new music I don't quite know how I would have coped. The new album project has kept me sane(ish) My husband Leif, who is also my producer, had a liver transplant in 1996 - he was ill for several years leading up to it. We had many drama-filled moments including bringing a jumbo jet down on our way back from Nashville as he was losing so much blood. We landed in Newfoundland in the middle of nowhere and he was treated in St Johns.The story had a happy ending as we got to go whale watching in this beautiful remote part of Canada - an amazing experience!

In '96 Leif was operated on at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge where he received a new liver. In 2000 our son Sean Vincent was born and I have always felt him to be some kind of miracle! Leif has been on immuno suppressants for years and sadly last year his kidneys packed up and he now has a rather lovely dialysis machine set up in our home. We are hoping a donor will come forward and offer him a kidney, a gift of life. However much people might moan about the NHS we have so very much to be thankful for. With all of this going on I felt an extreme sense of urgency to get my new album completed.

The album is a celebration of life and survival and one of it's strongest themes is about living in the present and not wasting a single moment. We are lucky, we live in a beautiful part of the world, right next to the beach, and the nature and beauty of our surroundings is always a huge source of inspiration and sanctuary. Whenever I have been finding things difficult to cope with I have taken to the sea or the lake or the hills and found these places of nature to be incredibly healing. I think this is reflected in some of the songs on the album.

I remember the time when Leif was sitting at his mixing desk completely absorbed in the music and he turned around to me and said "This is great, it takes my mind off all my medical issues" Music has to be one of the greatest healers and the making of it one of the greatest therapies. I lost myself completely in the making of this album. It's probably my most personal work to date. Yes, for whatever gets thrown at me in life, I seem to still manage to be the eternal optimist, let's hope I can make that work for a good while longer!! In that sense I think there are definite similarities between the Scarlet of 30 years ago and the Scarlet of today! I think I'm still hankering for that same freedom and celebration of life.

Video for Take Me Away from Reverie album
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