ANNE Garner’s new album can best be described as a labour of love.
The singer/songwriter, who lived in Sheffield from early teens until five years ago, says two of the most emotional events possible – a wedding and a funeral – led to the creation of Trusting A Twirled World.
Although an experienced musician who had played in a variety of bands, Anne had not really considered giving her voice a starring role and concentrating on writing for herself until her mum Alma died and she decided to sing at the service.
“That was nine years ago and how this whole journey started for me,’’ she says.
A couple of albums followed, including one comprising remixes of her work by artists including Mixmaster Morris, Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard Kirk and I Monster/All Seeing I’s Dean Honer.
Through this she met James Murray, now her husband, and it increased her desire to do something special and personal.
“I met him on a visit to London early in 2006 – he’d remixed one of the tracks on my Remaking The Pearl album the previous year. A day later I was back in Sheffield and we were developing and swapping ideas online. Three weeks later it was unbearable to be apart. I’d moved to London within three months.”
The couple married and set about producing the album on their Slowcraft Records with James contributing “bass, guitar and various other weird and wonderful instruments.” Sheffield string players Lizz Lipsombe and Polly Ives also figured.
The six-song collection is hard to classify but there are elements of Kate Bush, Talk Talk, celtic and classical music in there.
Anne’s spirituality – her dad was a Baptist Minister – and love of nature, due to her family living in rural Derbyshire before moving to Sheffield, shine through.
Their label name has it right as their craft was certainly slow – 30 months from start to finish, a painstaking process involving much rewriting and re-recording.
The couple built a studio in their flat – and at first it wasn’t even big enough to hold her piano.
“We learnt so much from this process. It’s taken all our resources and energy but the magic and how we’ve brought it about has made everything worthwhile.”
It has garnered a good response but Anne, keeping her hand in working as a music teacher, giving lessons in piano, flute and singing, will not be playing it live for a while.
“It’s an unusual record – I want to be sure to perform it the right way and under the right circumstances.”
The CD version comes in a specially hand-designed recycled sleeve complete with lyric sheets.
“We’ve put all our love into the presentation of this record,” she adds.
It is also available as a download. Buy or find out more from slowcraft.info or annegarner.com