Rosie Rutherford

British clarinettist and freelance musician

S2 Ep32

Rosie Rutherford

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My guest today is Rosie Rutherford, a clarinettist, composer, freelance musician and educator from Darby in the British Midlands, and a mum of 3 children.

Rosie grew up in a musical household with her father and sisters being quite musical, she started on the keyboard at 5, piano at 6 and clarinet at 8 - after there being no flutes available at her school.

Rosie studied at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire , playing in the Folk ensemble, and later met her husband Jamie. She formed a trio with Jamie on guitar and violinist Ning-ning Li called Threaded. They are at their core a folk band, but take their influences from all types of music. They’ve released 3 albums- of what we spoke (2016) Fair Winds & Following Seas (2017), When The Raven Comes Calling (2019)

Threaded was commissioned to create the musical score for Red Earth Deaf Accessible Theatre performances in 2018 for Soon Child. going on a live theatre tour around the UK before covid hit.

In the past months they have been involved with another show with Red Earth Theatre, The Red Tree. which came out virtually in January 2022.

They have also created 5 music videos incorporating Sign Song for the deaf community which you can watch here -https://www.threadedmusic.com/sign-song

Rosie also runs Teenie Tempos, a parent and baby/toddler music group based in Derby.

Red Earth Theatre https://redearththeatre.com/

Podcast - instagram / website

Threaded's music is used throughout this episode with permission.

When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.

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Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast


I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!

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Thank you!

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Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.

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Welcome to the Art of Being a mum, the podcast where we hear from mothers who are artists and creators sharing their joys and issues around trying to be a mother and continue to make art. Regular topics include mum guilt, identity, the day to day juggle mental health, and how children manifest in their art. My name is Alison Newman. I'm a singer songwriter, and a mum of two boys from regional South Australia. I have a passion for mental wellness, and a background in early childhood education. You can find links to my guests and topics they discuss in the show notes, along with music played a link to follow the podcast on Instagram, and how to get in touch. All music used on the podcast is done so with permission. The art of being a mom acknowledges the bone tech people as the traditional custodians of the land and water which this podcast is recorded on and pays respects to the relationship the traditional owners have with the land and water as well as acknowledging past present and emerging elders. Thanks for tuning in. My guest today is Rosie Rutherford. Rosie plays the clarinet. She is a composer, a freelance musician and an educator from Darby in the British Midlands in the UK, and a mum of three children. Rosie grew up in a very musical household with her father and sisters all playing instruments, and she started on the keyboard at age five, piano age six and clarinet at age eight. After there were no flutes available at his school. Rosie studied at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, playing in the folk ensemble, and she later met her husband Jamie, who also attended the same Conservatoire. She formed a trio with Jamie on guitar meaningly on the violin, and herself, called threaded. They are at their core a folk band but take the influences from all types of music. They have released three albums of what we spoke in 2016, fair winds and following seas in 2017. And when the Raven comes calling in 2019. testable theaters performance of soon child in 2018 and went on a live theater tour throughout the UK with the show before COVID hit. In the past months they have been involved with another show with radio theater called the red tree, which came out virtually in January 2022. They've also created five music videos incorporating sign songs for the deaf community, which you can find through the links in the show notes if you're interested in watching. Rosie also runs teeny tempos a parent and baby toddler Music Group based in Darby.

I hope you enjoy our chat. It's a pleasure to have you. Thanks so much for coming

on. You're welcome. Thank you for having me. So it's nice to have have a good natter isn't it about all things moms?

Absolutely. It's so enjoyable. Whereabouts are you? What's What town are you?

Darby? Yeah, so in East Midlands Oh, very

good. Yeah. So as you mentioned, it's very misty and, you know, a bit sort of Sunday morning ish there. What, what sort of what's the weather like, there is cold and you know, horrible winter, what's what's going on there

is absolutely freezing. It was funny during over the year, it was actually fairly warm. I think it's one of the most warmest years on record. And I thought oh, this will be alright. I can cope with them. And then last week, it was just like really freezing and icy. Yeah, yeah, I'm not I don't mind the cold. I like cold if it's crisp. You know, if you've got the nice bright sunshine. Yeah, but it's just a misty and you drive in and you're like, or can't actually see anything two cars in front of me. And I think the problem with weather here is it's just it changes so fast. So you can't ever you know, cold is absolutely fine. And snow is fine and hot sun is fine. I think it just always takes your body a while to acclimatized to it. So if it just happens really fast. You just feel like a sore all the time. You just like going on.

It's like it's catching up with what's going on. And then it changes again and then you've got today here it's been what 30 Probably got up to 32 Today your associates. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so not Yeah. summer's day here. It's been beautiful like, oh, sorry, I shouldn't say.

I could just pretend

although I said the other day, I spoke to a lady who was in Canada and she had snow. And I was like, so jealous because I've never skied. I've looked at I've seen snow and I've touched it, but I've never actually been to the snow. So I'm like, Oh my gosh, that'd be awesome.

As my sleep comes the same playing field across my chest, and the softness

All right, so tell me about your music. I've discovered you as a, of course. That white thing that you're playing, it looks like a storm true for wind Institute. It's like, can you tell us about what you play with the proper names of things? Not like the Stormtrooper instrument?

Yeah, no. So I'm a I'm a clarinetist is my is my main thing. And so I play clarinet, bass clarinet. But I also play all the woodwinds as, as a protective music teacher and stuff like that. So the Stormtrooper instrument, which is a discord and electronic wind instrument, which for a project that I'm working on at the moment, has to try and get my fingers around it so we can use it to because it's, it uses MIDI, so it can import into the computer. So it's the same thing. Dreams is a saxophone. It's just like electronic saxophone, but, but it has like the same functions as a keyboard. So you can you can have all these different all these different sounds. So it's proper novelty. So just for like having when I get a minute to have a little go and find another different different core sounding things. I can I can play yeah, so it is cool, but it's really it's really crazy instruments really strange.

I've been enjoying watching a little Instagram, little posts you put up when you're finding all the different settings and this one sounds like like you've been sucked through vortex or something. So cool.

It is. And I thought because I got it literally at the start of December just landed on my mat. And I was like, right, so I'll try and be festive. We're trying to a different Christmas carol every single day on it, then um, it gives me a chance to like play every day, but it's very, I don't have to commit much time to because that's always the problem, isn't it? Like is you want to do something every day but actually finding the time to commit that and I was like a Christmas carol. I can probably do. I still didn't manage every day, but I managed most days. Think I've got through a lot of the core settings.

Yeah. It's good fun. It's like yeah,

into discovering what what all the buttons do. Yeah, that's it. So how did you get into music? Have you always been musical? Did you grew up in a musical household?

Yeah, I think so. So my dad plays. He's a he's a blues man. So he's a guitarist and harmonica player. But actually, when I was a child, he didn't he plays a bit of guitar but he didn't kind of gig or anything like that. So I think we just we just always got into music. me I've got two sisters. And we're always quite musical. And yeah, so I think I started playing the I think I started on the keyboard when I was about five and then did piano at six and then I picked up the clarinet when I was eight.

Yeah, right. Do you remember why you went to the clarinet? Was there a sort of something that drew

you to this is one of those questions that is like so so I want to play the flute but they didn't have any in school. So I want clarinet

sure did around No. Oh, my second choice. Now I'm so glad I'm actually so glad because the character is like I just thought Do you love it? And it's so me. So it was meant to be there was meant to be no flutes left that was always meant to happen. Yeah.

Have you ever gone back and tried to play the flute? Has that ever been something you've tried?

Yeah, so what do I do now? Yeah, not not like not that well, but um, is it you know, but I can play it well enough to double on it and then I can teach it I can teach it so. Yeah, so I do play it and it is really nice as well but it isn't the current app. So it's alright.

It's funny how things work out isn't it? How many other instruments do you play?

Mainly so clarinet and bass clarinet kind of my main things and then I play a bit flute player play sax, and I've tried to get into the whistle so absolutely love Yeah, I love the Irish we're so big fake lover. So during the lockdown I was trying to get a little bit better at that. And but it's like everything once you start delving in a little bit, it's just becomes it's just a minefield and there's and then you want to be able to do everything and amazingly you don't you and you're like well if I'm gonna say that I'm doing this then I have to be able to do this. But it's just a complete like it's just a whole life time of musical knowledge to fit into learning a new thing so it's Work in Progress see

your glances involving a Tree Yard quote. Fred is telling you say threaded is

it's, I guess it's like my little baby in terms of musical stuff. So it's me my husband Jamie on guitar and then our friend lighning who plays violin. And we got together. We all studied at Birmingham, Conservatoire, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as it is now. So and they're all and we all did classical music degrees, performance degrees on our instruments. And we played in a big, massive folk group, they're called Joe Biden's conservative folk ensemble, which is amazing. It's, I mean, it differs in numbers, but it's around 60 people. And you know, and we do the festival circuit and everything. And it's just all like, it's amazing. You should absolutely check out check out Conservatorio contemplate screen, it's still going. And every because it's a it's used. The people that are in Conservatoire, and then the personnel changes kind of, sometimes yearly, sometimes every four years, but it's, it's grown over the past 20 odd years. It's brilliant. And we and we played there and that kind of spot, I've always referred music, because like, like I said, my dad's been a blues man. And he and my mom have always been into music. So always growing up growing up around it. But funnily, in a clarinetist, I kind of thought I can't play folk music as a kid, you know, because it's such a classical. Well, I think it's either a classical or jazz journey that you take with an instrument like the clarinet because you think, Oh, the clarinet, so and because of the teachers and the era, they live and the I guess the pathways that are open to you to start studying, it was straight. Classical, is the path that I took. And so you kind of think, oh, you know, I can't really play folk music on the clarinet. It's not a folk instrument. So although I loved it, I didn't really do much on it until I got to college. And then because we had the folk ensemble, and I was like, Oh, this is great. Learn to do some tunes, and, and things. And then, and obviously, when you start then exposing yourself to this new world of all this free music, you kind of think, well, folk music actually. Like it's the music of the people. It's our music. This is what I love play. I love it. And so me and Jamie and Nunes because we love playing together anyway. We just thought we're going to create our own group and, and we're just going to play our own music. So the great thing about Fred it is that it's all devised. We generally one of us will bring a tune or a song and then we just get together. We turn it into a piece and and it's all original stuff. So it it's so it's really beautiful. Like it's beautiful for us because you know it takes that creative box because you just don't and you've got this outlet. And it's a safe place as well, because we're all, you know, we're all on the same page. So it's nice and easy. So, yeah, I feel really, really lucky to kind of have that place to just be creative with people that you can bounce off so easily. Yeah, so that's kind of where it came from. So we were like, we're not really focused. We don't really know what we are to be honest. Like, we're developing, I guess it's developing all the time, but kind of started with like, folk influence, but it's definitely like, we take influences and inspiration from everywhere and everything. So yeah, that's good.

Yeah. And it must feel good to like, I've got two things I want to ask you, just from what you said, but the first thing is like to have, like you said, how it's a safe space. Like you can go there with your ideas and not feel like judged. You can play the thing you want to play and not feel like everyone's going, Oh, that's no good. You know, if you have that trust with each other, that you can play something and not feel scared or, you know, yeah, I don't know what the word is. I'm trying to intimidate. Yeah, that's what I'm going. Yeah, you feel really good to be able to share stuff and be honest with each other. And,

yeah, that's it. And also, you know, that you know, that whatever you bring will, like we I don't know, it's like, because I think we do, I mean, obviously, I'm play. But recently, I've been doing a lot more composing and songwriting for various other things as well, not just threaded, but the great thing is that, whatever you see, whatever we seem to bring, we managed to make something work out. Even if it's completely different by the end of the session, then it is the start. But it's like that having everyone's kind of collective voices in there. Just always, we think, yeah, it just feels so easy. Because that it's such a positive experience. Always, you know, whatever you bring, and then you get to the end of it, you're like, oh, this, this has made this really great thing. Now that's, and you feel quite satisfied at the end. So yeah, I feel very lucky to have that place to be able to be creative.

Absolutely, um, I've thought of something else to ask you. I'll come back to that. So do you guys do? Maybe COVID? You know, been annoying. But do you guys do a lot of live shows with the music? Or is it mainly recorded stuff that you chose?

Um, well, pre pandemic? Yeah, so when we first started, and I guess for the first chunk of our time together, it's just kind of, we were just doing lots of like, mainly live stuff. So kind of small art centers festival type stuff, because I think that's where our musics best suited. And then in 2018, we got commissioned to work with this company called Red a theater. We do differ decibel performances. And so we wrote the score for a show with them and their show soon child, which was amazing. So that was kind of our first commission. So and then we did a live theater tour around the UK with them as onstage musicians and actors. Yeah. And then, and then it was pandemic hit. So when, but in between that we did three albums as well. So I think the first album was out in 2016, I want to say and then 27 teen and then 2019 was when we did the last album, which was the music from seeing child that we recorded. Yeah. Yeah. And then since then, since pandemic, obviously we've done a couple of live shows. But we because I mean me and Jamie are married so that's quite easy we can we can work and well I say it's easy next not easy with having we also have three children but that's another story that we can you know when we've got stuff we can create and write in evenings, but nothing slips in Birmingham. So it's not too far distance it's about four to five minutes but obviously we were all in lockdown as you guys were as well. I think we couldn't get together for quite a long time. So yeah, so we've done a lot we've tried to put a few things together last year just online just kind of over the Instagram to do some stuff but we haven't. So this year we're hoping that we're going to be able to do a lot more we did a reason we did we did something last year which we got some funding for which was turning so off the back of soon child like I said read out there to the Deaf accessible. They did deaf accessible theater so we and what we did with them with our songs is worked with science on directors and used a lot of science song in it so all of their shows is integrated in BSL to British Sign Language. So the actors are sign as well as talk so then when we did it when we put the songs in they are they were all signed in and off the back of that we kind of thought, you know, like, it gives an extra layer to our music, which we've never had before, like this visual element. And it's beautiful sign song is absolutely beautiful, because not only is it a language, and it's obviously a communication tool, but it's also just like this form of, it's just almost like dance with the performance when it's so beautiful. And so that that enhances the music so much, actually. And we kind of thought, Oh, well, we want to, once you've also kind of connected with the deaf community, we were like, We want to be doing this all the time, like the inclusion is just, it's just so important. So we've started trying to work and make find ways to make our music more accessible. So we've developed like, threaded, which is still going started the three of us, but we've kind of got a tangent as well called the threaded collective. And with that we're doing lots of different projects, working with other artists. So one of them is going to be the Deaf accessibility and music and how we can work and develop that and work with some deaf performance. It's not doing the sign song with us and things like that. So we're hopefully got a couple of festivals in the summer already. And we're going to work on developing that. So yeah, it's amazing. It's kind of all doing this. And you're just like, oh, I never expected that this would finish here. But that's where it's going. And we're just gonna go with it. Yeah,

amazing. I've never heard of sign song before. Is that like, how did you said, signing? Two songs that don't have lyrics? Or like, how does it? Can you explain?

Yeah, so I mean, I'm no expert. But it's mainly it's it's just Deaf, Deaf people, interpretation of the songs, so and how they sign it. So. And therefore, the beauty of it is that everyone's interpretation might be slightly different. So you can obviously some will do a literal translation. And but then sometimes, obviously, songs songs are really interesting, aren't they? Because obviously, a lot of songs are metaphors. And though you use metaphors within the songs, or the song is a metaphor for something else, or it's emotive, so when you're when we're working with them, with the science on performers, often it's talking about the context of it, what you mean by that line, and then they will interpret it, I guess, like any will, it's like any translation is if you translate in a book, but they'll work on it. So the signing that they do isn't necessarily like literal signing, it's all trying to create the metaphor. So it's so it's just this whole thing is just as beautiful performance, because it's just that everything working together. It's just amazing. That seems to be able to create music that can become a part of that. Do you know what I mean?

Really, really? Absolutely. I'm gonna do some Googling when we get get off here, because that sounds amazing. Yeah, a whole new thing I've I've never known. Yeah.

Yeah. Well, within theater, the accessible theater is becoming quite rightly, much bigger here. So there is a lot more access. And I think the UK really working on it. And but in music, sometimes, you know, there's been some performances, there's been some stuff that's on festivals and Glastonbury, they had a big, big thing, there was a signer with a wrap up, but still, it's not it that we've got so far. We need to go the long way to go. So yeah, it's we feel like quite strongly, it's important. And it's a way that that so many people could quite easily add this access level in a beautiful way. And then, you know, and it's just and it's just like, it's amazing to watch and it means you're including so many more people within your performance. So it's really good. Yeah,

well done. That's wonderful. I love that

wage, roll up your brain pole to get not far to go

on what I was gonna ask before, what's it like working so closely with your husband? Basically.

It's actually amazing. I think our relationship it came from being musical together I think. So. I think we're at we're often at our best as a couple when we are being creative together. I think we probably find that things are more strained when we're not getting the opportunity and it's just home after you know what I mean. So when because Because yeah, so much of it is so much of I guess why we love being together is being creative, and I definitely feel like much better music session with him. And I think because instrumentally dynamically because he's a guitarist. So any tune i i write or any kind of like songs he will be like. And then it kind of makes it like quite quickly being on that same wavelength. Whereas I didn't necessarily have the scale to be like, I know exactly how I'm going to accompany this. Jamie will be like, this sounds good. And I'm just like, yes, that is what I was aiming for. So yeah, it's actually really nice. But obviously, with having the family it has become a much bigger juggle for us to be able to work together. In terms of like childcare and other logistics, so at the moment, he's working. So the, the theatre company, Red Earth, which we did scene child with, me and Jamie, right, have worked on the music for their next show, which she is currently rehearsing called the red tree, which is a book by shot and it's beautiful picture book. And so we've written the music together, or like the main terms of music, some of it, he'll divide in the process. But originally, we were both kind of going to be on it in stage, but then I had my third little baby in August. So I haven't been able to do the tour. And that's going to be live streamed at the end of the month. So I feel like, I feel like a solo parent.

Because normally you work with

you're going around each other and it's like I'll do this day he does this day or this evening, and, you know, work around it. Whereas because it's every day, it's Monday to Saturday for the whole month. I'm just like, Yes, I actually have all the admiration for single parents, because I did about three days. And I was like, oh, people do that. The school run. I mean, like, I feel like the school run is harder than having a third child. Like having to be in the same place twice a day and get everyone ready to get out of the house on time. Yeah, that is just that is the kettle of fish do.

I was like something. Show me what you've got something. What I can do.

So you have three children. How old are your older children?

So my daughter Ruby is four. My son is three. And then the little baby Louie is four months old.

I love that name. Louisans says Did you meet your husband at like in a music capacity? Do you only ever known each other through music?

Yeah, yeah. So we we studied at the same same Conservatoire. But we didn't know each other while we were studying. Because he was here above me. And Qataris Tantek. They kept themselves to themselves classical guitarists that come in for their things. Whereas obviously, the clarinetists you'd be in the orchestra in the band. So I was in a lot more. So I never, I didn't really know him. It wasn't until after we'd finished that through friends and stuff. We met each other. So yeah, so it's weird because we went to the same place, but we have completely different, you know, but before being together, we just have completely different experiences of being there. Which is a bit strange, but you know,

it's funny, isn't it? Do you remember seeing him there? Like, did you ever seen you see each other there to remember?

I don't really remember. I think I think I did go to one of his projects is major project, but um, but I didn't really know him. Just because we're friends with the painful. Yeah. And then. So it was mainly after we'd finish that we got to know each other. Yeah, yeah.

Yeah. So every since you got together, we've always played music together, or did it take a bit of time to sort of warm up to the fact that you were going to share this? It was like, instant sort of?

Yeah, yeah.

It was pretty instant. Pretty instant. So. So yeah, that's always been really nice. It's always been something that we've done, and we've been able to able to do together. And then it's, you know, and and then being able to kind of get together and stuff. It's really nice, because it's almost like date night. Date Night is just going and doing a gig. So it's like working day, but but it is nice. It's like a nice experience. So I feel like we get to share with each other. She's really good.

Absolutely. That's lovely. So you talked briefly about how it's a bit tricky with now that you've got the kids with childcare, how to how do you manage if you've got some good support around you? For the kids?

Yeah, I'm really lucky so my mum and dad live fairly Place and my sister and Jamie's parents are retired. So they've that when we did the when we did the tour they kind of came down and stayed for a chunk. So we were able to do it. So yeah, I mean we can only we've only been able to facilitate the word being able to tour and stuff because we've got like family and friends support so we are really really lucky.

Yeah, it makes all the difference doesn't it really does. Like when you said before about people that do it on their own soul parents I've Yeah, I just don't understand how they do it. I go out of my brain if I was the only one doing this

never made that absolutely amazing Absolutely.

You're listening to the art of being a mom, with my mom, I will see you.

When you I'm interested to ask you this because I'm a singer. That's my background. When you were pregnant with the with each child, did you find it really hard to breathe while you were playing your instrument?

Yeah, I think, well, I had I had different pregnancy experiences. So and which affected which affected my play in and I think some of them are more mentally than others. But with with Ruby, my first one I had a really big bleed at 13 weeks. And they never knew why. Yeah. So they were kind of like, you know, take it easy. And I got like tours booked. And in the end, I just had to I couldn't I didn't pay because I was because you know like you have this degree. And it's all tummy muscles isn't it and I was scared to use them because it was like, because they don't know why I've had this. And then so I didn't really play for the first kind of six months. And then I've got some stuff in and I think probably felt a little bit more confident to kind of hit but I still never supported properly, often just playing from here because I was going to use my dummy. And then. And then with Arlo, I think I think I did have some bleeding again. But I think it was really early on. And then I was kind of fine for playing and stuff. So I did quite a lot of work with him. And he that was that felt like generally a much easier pregnancy. But he was got pregnant after nine months after having reap. So I think I was just such in such a sleep deprived state from her because she just didn't sleep until she was about four that I just probably didn't didn't think about I was just in autopilot. So I think I just kind of work through a bit more. And then with live, it's really similar. I had a had a really big bleed at 11 weeks, or just performance, we scan. Really, really it was on the birthday, actually, I'd had a burger were locked down. But we'd ordered this burger I was really excited. And then it started bleeding. And then I had to go to AD. But I knew that was a similar thing to read, like had that gut feeling like that he that it was fine. So I was like I knew it was but it's obviously still terrifying. And then after that, I was a bit like oh, I've been scared. I was scared to play again because I just don't want to put any pressure on you don't want to rupture anything. So yeah, and I felt really tired for a lot of that pregnancy. So that's when I did a bit more whistle playing because it's just not the same type that you just don't have to put the same type of like support on and everything. But then then you don't know whether some of it's just because you know it's their time on your body's tired it's just like you're doing this again.

You've got the other two that you're actually got to look after

I did lockdown because this you know, you're trying to be so positive and you know, for the kids especially. And but there isn't that much to do either. So you you know you think you're tired because you just like the whole situation is just exhausting, isn't it? The pandemic itself is just so it's exhausting.

Just so yeah, yeah. Oh, that's interesting. I always like to ask musicians that are that are in that area that can relate to I had a shocking first pregnancy it was fine. I don't know why but the second one, I don't know. He sat up right on my diaphragm. It was ridiculous. I couldn't breathe to save myself. And that was starting to use up here too much putting too much strain on my on my actual, you know, in my voice and I had to give up a few gigs was like I can't actually project anymore. This is you know, there's nothing I can

and the problem is you you feel really bad because you did you know Like, you don't want to cancel stuff anyway, because you know, you pregnant you're absolutely candid, but you don't know until the time d that actually this this isn't and it can change so quickly. Yeah, I was kind of Alright, doing this. And then I got to about seven months, and I was like, I literally have no space that I can do. So yeah, yeah.

It's a funny thing, isn't it? Good on him? Day to day with the kids now, do you basically set time of an evening just to work on your music with your husband?

Yeah, generally, generally. I mean, when when we've had commissions, like when we were working on the theater stuff, we did block out days to do it. And, and the same when we were working on the collective stuff last year, we would we blocked out days to do it. But when we've been in lockdown, obviously, we haven't been able to use the chat we had, we couldn't use the childcare at some point of it. So then it would have to be evenings. So in the summer, it's alright, because you still feel like you have like evening time, but in the winter, it doesn't, it doesn't mean that you don't end up getting very much done. The kids are in bed, and it's like half past eight, nine o'clock. And then you're like, right, we've got to have dinner. And then we've got to try. And we've got to try and create. So I think I think it depends on what we're creating for as well. Like if it's commission stuff. Because there's a brief and it's kind of got to get done, you can be a bit more pragmatic about it, it's like, well, you know, if we are doing the evenings, we'll commit three or four evenings to it. And we will get it done in that time, because that's the time. Whereas if it's our own stuff, like if it was just kind of like more. So if we take the threaded or stuff about rain, then you can be a little bit more like, well, we'll just get together in an evening and have a bit of a jam and see what happens. And that's a lot. I feel like that the winter months are never that good for that type of thing. For me, I think fat. And I don't know whether it is just because I'm so brain dead by the time it gets to the I can't I can't think and also a lot of a lot of creating on my instrument. It's just playing. So it's a lot of improvising and seeing what comes out of improvising. And the current house isn't that big. So you can't really do that. When the kids are in bed loudly. And in the winter. In the summer. We've got we've got a conservator on the back so you can kind of go in there. And it's warm. But in the winter, it's actually freezing because the Conservatives the court really typically delivery very much just ended up not doing a lot which was probably the attic. But I think if you're trying to be creative, if it's your job and you've got to write stuff on top, then it's like any job isn't it? You've got to get it done. So you will find find the time and the space. But I think if it's for me, I have to be in the right frame of mind to do it. And yeah, and in the right space for it to for it to be enjoyable.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And and that's the thing, like if you're forcing it, it's you're not you're creative. tivity is not going to come you could because you're just like, Oh, I've got to do it and nothing's going to come when you put pressure on yourself like that. Like, like you said, you need the time to just fiddle about and see what comes out on. Yeah, absolutely. Oh. What's your thoughts about mum guilt?

I think that I feel like we shouldn't have it. But I think so many of us do. And I think even if, from people I spoke to and friends and everything, and I think and I think it's like anything, I think it's, I think it just stems because you care, and you want to make the right choices. And I think for your children, and I think as mums. I don't know you kind of there's this thing, isn't there anything that you do for yourself? It's at the expense of doing it for your children. And that isn't, but it isn't. But I think we'd have to go through that process, don't we? And it seems, seems that lots of people have to, you know, go kind of through this process and find, find out how you're going to work and what you need to do. And what you would class is something that makes you feel bad, and something that makes you not feel bad. So I think it's different for everybody. I know, I've definitely had it, I get it a lot. I think it's, but I know I shouldn't have it. Because a lot of it is like work. It's because I've because, you know, if you're gonna go and do something for work, then you feel bad, because you're like other kids are being having to go so this person isn't going to this person, but then you need to earn a living. So yeah, then you can't have the quality of life that they're gonna have if if you don't earn any money. So yeah, I think it's really it's really interesting. And I feel like now my attitude towards it has developed after like being on my third child, because I know, when I just had Ruby, you know, kind of anything feel really, really bad. And I wouldn't, I'd be like, Oh, no, I can't do anything for myself, I can't go for a run because the house is a mess. And I've got to do this, I've got to do the washing and everything before I do this little thing myself. And now, I'm a bit like, well, if I want to play my bass clarinet for 10 minutes, the house has missed and I'm just going to do it because I only have one life and it's not fair and everyone else that I'm resentful because I don't get to do it. Because actually, it's my choice. But it's taken, you know, it's taken a long time for me to kind of get to that point of that I will do that. I still haven't been out the house for a run yet. anyone to do anything because it because you know, it's like, well, if I've got if I have got half an hour for me, then what am I going to do with it? If I was to have if I was to probably have longer than that and start feeling a bit like, oh, I probably should be doing this and probably shouldn't be doing that. Yeah, and you know, I'm taking on gigs and things and I When Ruby was little we did a lot more gigging because it was the, you know, the other side of the pandemic. So things were actually booked in. And I didn't feel bad about that, because I didn't everything was booked beforehand. And I didn't know and I think I just struggled leaving. But I think when there are as I don't know, I think you know, like, once you've gone through it, you know, they're going to be fine as well. You know, when that it's always worth thinking of what, what's it gonna be like? Whereas, you know, it is always okay. So yeah,

yeah, with that benefit of experience, then you know, that your your next two children, it's actually going to be fine.

We'll be fine. Yeah. But it is hard. Because, you know, I think everyone feels guilty to some degree. I think people just have different. Some people and people feel different, like guilty about different things, don't they? And for some people, their guilt might stem from work related. So for some people, it might stem from like socializing, they feel like they shouldn't go out and have a drink because or see their friends. Because you know that because the children have their bedtime routine. And, and yeah, I think everyone will have something that they struggle with in terms of mum Gill. But, yeah, yes, finding the balance.

I think that's so true. Because I think it's yeah, the balance of like, I think you still need to do something for yourself. Like, you can't just be a mum all the time, you actually still have to be yourself and especially, you know, with your husband, you still have to have that relationship. And it's a funny thing, like when you have kids, it's like, I don't know, this is expectation that your whole world has to completely stop and revolve around the kids which is fair enough for for a period of time like it has to because they're so little and they can't do anything but I think it's a no from what I'm finding talking to different mums through this. It's like well, there's a point when you actually go hang on a sec. I'm still me and I actually want to go do stuff that I did before.

Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's really important for for your children to See you? And I think them's. I mean, we notice it loads with Ruby because she, with, with coming from a very musical household, she's now like, she's so into it. And we haven't, you know, for a while, like, would you want to do this? And she'd be like, No, I don't want you to show me how to do that. I do it my way, when we can have gotten your clarinet, and I'd be like, because kids want me to, I don't want you to show me I just want to do it, which is like, you know, fair enough. But now she's gonna, which is making a pro songs, and she's doing all this stuff. And she's only four. But, but I think, for me, I want her to see me go, you know, especially for as a as a woman that I can, I can still be an artist, and I can be a performing musician, and I can do this, and I can still have a family, and be a present mom, but be still be creative. And be me because, you know, that's, you want, I don't know, like, that's, I feel, I feel proud, I guess that I'm managing to juggle these plates, because I always wanted to be be a musician. And, you know, and it's tough. There's lots of tough elements about it. And, you know, a lot of people feel that they can't balance a family and be a musician, because, because it, you know, you end up having to turn down so much work because of various things. And I think, you know, if they can still see if your kids can still see you being you that's, that's really good for them to know that or they could, you know, they can still have the life that they want to do. And, yeah, I think it's, I think it's really nice and also have an understanding that time is that their time is or that your time is split, but over things that are important, you know, and especially our, whatever your artistic discipline, that's something that you've worked at, usually your whole life, or, you know, from an age of being able to do it, you know, with dance or art or whatever, and you've committed so many hours that just because, you know, you decide to take on the responsibility in whatever capacity of being a parent, you don't stop. That doesn't stop, because that's part of who you are. And so I think it's important is for your children to see that that time still happens in time still exists, like I still have to practice because otherwise, if I get a call to go and do a gig, I can't if my lips not in I'm not going to be able to do it. So, but it's not at the expense of time with them. Yeah, it's, it's just part of our daily life and routine. And so yeah, I do think that that's important. But I'm only kind of starting to, like, put that time and now you know, it's taken me a while of not feeling bad for doing practice, even though I believe that I shouldn't feel bad for doing it. And I have to do it. It's still, you know, it's still actually doing it. But yeah, it is good.

Yeah, I love that. I love the way you describe that. Because that's like, that's how I feel. It's like, I think it's wonderful. Especially, I mean, I don't have any girls, but for my boys to see, you know, the woman who if they end up with a woman that they, you know, that becomes a mother should their children, but she still does all the things that she did before she had kids, you know, it's just in your slotted into your life, like you said, you you're practicing your you know, it's part of what you do, and your children see you do that, which is just, I love that it is so wonderful. Yeah, I love it. And I think

you know, like, for, for our kids as well, we're definitely noticing that they, they all seem to love. Like either whether it's performing or I think kids kids respond to what they're exposed to, don't they so but as they're always making up songs now, even though their three year old, he's really started to get into the dispersing in and they'll be they'll be doing that payment, these payments, dinosaurs and he's making up songs. And you think that's just because it's exposure, and I'm sure it's like, you know, all children or children are sponges, aren't they. So whatever you do in your house, your children will pick it up. And whatever. So I think that's the thing, whatever it is that you love, and you want for any mom, even if they're not, if it's not art, if it's you know, yoga or, or climbing, or whatever it is that you want to do is kind of your hobby, if the kids can see it, that they absorb it. It's something that that often it can be something you end up doing together because they think oh, my mom is this, I'm interested in it. mom or dad's doing this. And that's what we've kind of found with ours, whatever it is, we're kind of doing that they want to do. And then you end up still being able to do the thing that you love and you do it with them. I my husband really loves drawing. And he's always drawn and he's you know, he's really good at drawing but it's just something that he does for himself and he really enjoys it and so the kids are annual sit and draw with the kids. And so their art is amazing. Well, me I know I'm so it's my kids, but I think that there is really, it's really brilliant. But I'm just like since they've been able to hold a pen you sat there and drawn with them. And so that's something that they are really like to do. I mean so then when I I see it and if we, you know, draw it or whatever, and I'll draw, they're just like, Oh, what's that meant to be mommy?

Daddy's is better, just like, I'm trying. No, but

they do they just pick it up so much that I think it is important, therefore, for them to see you doing things that you enjoy.

Yeah, it just becomes a part of life. It's like, it's not a sure thing. That it's like, Okay, now, we're now done going to do this, but it's just incorporated in your life. It's just what you do. Yeah, I love that. That's this beautiful, that's so good. How did you feel then this, I like this concept of identity about how we view ourselves as a woman, then we have children, you know, how do we see ourselves? Did you sort of have a concept of your own identity change when you became a mom,

I don't know, you know, I don't know whether it really has. If I think about it, like, I still feel like I'm really easy. And I'm very lucky, because I've got the same friends, I haven't. And a lot of my friends from school, we all move back to the same place. So we all kind of went out to study, whatever we did at university, and then we've all kind of come back to the same place. So I've got a lot of the same friends, a few of them have also had children at the same time. And all my friends from studying at college, still fairly close with them. And I think I've still I've been very lucky that I've been able to be facilitated to still work. And so I kind of feel like I don't think I've changed. Does that make sense? It does. I don't feel any different. I think I just, I just Yeah, I think I don't feel any different. I have literally got more responsibilities, but I think I try and yeah,

it's yeah, I'm not putting words in your mouth. But it's almost like, because you've got this musical practice, which is endemic to you, and you've got the relationship with your husband, who's also got the music, it's like, you're able just to bring the children into your world. And continue with that, what you had, and the children and sort of they have joined into your world, and you'll still be able to maintain who you are without any sort of like, oh, I have to give this up, or I have to do this. Now whatever.

I think so. I think and I'm very lucky that I guess I'm surrounded by people that have supported that. And being with with me and my husband both being artists, you know, that has challenges, you know, it because it's not like often, often, for other friends who are artists, they're married to someone who has got a stable job. And not that not all artists are stable, but we're freelancers so it is up and down. So one of them, you know, so they can be they can kind of project work that they want, but they know if they're gonna if they're going to have a family or whatever, there's going to be a stable income coming in nine

to five sort of thing. Yeah, yeah.

Whereas obviously, we both of us, we haven't got that. And we've always relied on because, you know, very lucky, we're very, very equal. We've always kind of both worked in both, both on whatever. So having a family for us and me being a moment. We've we've, we've kind of thought, well, we're going to do it and we'll make it work around this and Jamie chipped in just as much as me. So I don't know, I yeah, I've been able to just kind of carry on and also have things in place. For the work that I do that I will take the children if I need to. So I've been very lucky that I've been able to do it. My work that's kind of more artsadmin like I've gotten I've done, I've done like training and I've just had the baby in the sling. Because so because I'm breastfeeding and I'm gonna go to work and have to take the baby and that's just it. So and but I've been very lucky that people have been very accepting of that. Because if I was maybe in a business where that wasn't acceptable, you know, not all businesses, it isn't acceptable, you know, if you're a nurse or whatever, can't take your baby to work. So I do feel very lucky that I've been able, you know, the support network around me at work as well as home as men that I have been able to have children and still work as an artist, you know, and that so and I know not everybody does have that support. So I do feel very lucky. I think sometimes it's what it's wanting to do it though, isn't it like I think I am. I'm quite proud RTX I'm like, Well, I still want to do this, and I want to have children. So therefore I have to, I have to make it work. And so I have to put myself in positions, that I can do it. So yeah, a lot of it is setting things up that I've had to do myself. You know, a lot of my work and everything I've gone out to find and projects I do the funding applications for and everything which I have to do my own time, there's been a lot of midnight 1am is writing funding bids for you. But that means that when we've been lucky, and we've been successful, it's meant I've been able to do the work I want. And because I've been project manager, and they've been able to make things work. So yeah, it's it is. It is hard work to make it work. But it's worth it. If you want to make it if that makes sense. Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah. Absolutely. You also teach music. Is that right?

Yeah. Yeah. So I do peripatetic teaching. So I go around some schools, it's mainly been primary schools, and I do private teaching at home as well, which is, some kids are mainly adults that I teach privately.

Yeah. Yeah. Is that changed a lot through COVID? Did you have to do lots of stuff online?

Yeah, so a lot of it was online, which is tough. I think teaching online is really, there's some really good things about it, in the sense that it's actually you can fit more people in, you know, condense it. So and, and you you don't have in, yeah, you're not having to do too much traveling. So that's good. And it's convenient, especially for adults. Because often if you finish work, and then you have to go out to the clarinet lesson, you can be bothered to go and do that, you know, on a dark evening. And actually, that timelines worked quite a lot for them because they can slot in the parents with the children because they're, you know, if you've got to having to take little Germany to x and x. You know, it's tiring, isn't it after your work? So some parents are actually quite good. But but it isn't. It isn't the same. Yeah. Nothing can nothing is the same as having face to face lessons. So that was tough during the pandemic, but everyone that I teach cope so well. And it was amazing to be able to keep it going.

Yeah, yeah. So your place is called Darby. That's it. Right. Yeah. And you're near Birmingham? Yeah. Are you from the North?

This is one of those questions. Because, you know, I think it's because if you're from the south, everything north of Birmingham is the North. Whereas if you're from the north, then like, then it depends on where you, you know, if you were from Yorkshire, you would not pass me as a Northerner. It'd be like, Midlands, that's not enough. Whereas if you were London, you'd probably class be a Northerner. So that depends on who you talk to.

Looking at the map, like there's still quite a lot of north north of you. Yeah, quite a lot going up.

Yeah. To be to be safe. I'm in Midland,

you're indecisive. I

don't know where I am just hovering around.

That's funny. It's like your relative to other people telling you where you are.

That's it. That's it.

Sorry, I'm scrolling now. What sort of projects? Can you share any projects that you've got on the go stuff you've got coming up that you want to share? With the list? Yes.

Yes. So what am I doing? So we've got a work one of the jobs that I do I work for a hospital trusters arts coordinator on Amis music coordinator, and during the pandemic, we did some Commission's and writing some stuff. So this year, we've got We've got quite a big project coming up in the summer, which is going to be a reflection on the pandemic and stuff with the staff. And so we've written a song for that, which we'll do with the staff choir. And it's hopefully going to be a sharing a lot of the staff wrote poems and things like that as part of like reflection for them. So I'm organizing that which will be hopefully really beautiful and really reflective and really nice. And then threaded wise, we've got at the moment, putting together some for some summer festivals. And we're working with the University in Nottingham as well to develop some tech which will support the access. So that's a bit of a kind of experiment as to what they are developing and we will try will pilot is from festivals and see, see how it works. And if it works. So we're going to be doing that in the summer, as well. And that's ongoing and yes on collective performances. And we're going to try we're going to we're getting back on with some threaded stuff this year as well. So we've got some dates of the day with names and we're gonna write some new music. Yeah, which I'm really looking forward to. And then, yeah, we've got the red tree, which is the the music I've written for the theatre company that's been live streamed. On Sunday, the twin, it's Sunday, the 29th of January at Wolverhampton theatre. So I mean, if it's live stream, I imagine that anybody could get one even if you're in Australia, you could watch it I imagine if it's live streamed,

yeah, for sure.

So that story, the red tree, I think it's aimed at children six upwards, and it's about, it's about the little girl who she wakes up in a room and she's got nothing to look forward to. And each book, each picture of the book is a different kind of scenario. And it's about anxiety, depression, really, I think the book, but then at the end, it's all hopeful. So they've been doing a lot of work. And so it's going to be live streamed into schools during the week. But anyone with children that especially after the pandemic that has that type of, you know, children, because children have experienced a lot of isolation and anxiety more than I think. I know, I know, that happens anyway. But I think just so it's just such a big thing. At the moment, I think they thought it was going to be a really great book, because it might help children reflect on their feelings a little bit. So for sure. A good one to check out if anyone wants to watch some live stream theater. So yeah, and then. Yeah, and then I think, and then apart from that, I just got to try and get some more gigs in but I am being honest, because I'm on maternity leave. So yeah, real thing, but. But I have just after LUMION and really started school in September. So that juggle, I've got on with some stuff, but I need to get back on that. And then I'm also starting my baby music classes back at the start of next month as well, because I do a little group called Ed tempos. And it's really lovely. And so because I've got Aluna, I can take him and I do that, because that's really nice. And it's really good now, because I've got the children and I've seen them go through that. So did did it with the others. It's like it actually is amazing. I know. I know, music is amazing for children's development. But I've seen firsthand that now. Like seeing it go from nought to five. Because they did all this stuff like rubes is like her ear and all those musical issues that the pianos just work like to work out tunes. And that that's just because of exposure, you know, and you don't have to come from a musical household for your children to be able to do that. I think all children can do it. It's just exposure. Yeah, that's Yeah. How

long have you been doing you? Is it teeny? Temporary? Tiny?

Yeah, TV tempos? So we started it when Yeah, we started it when I was little. And so when was that? 20. I think it started in 2019. And we did a bit of it before the pandemic. And then then we did it. We moved it online for a term. But it was one of those things that was just tough to do online. And then I could have gone back and started it face to face, but because of a lot of the restrictions, and the and just the risk assessments and all the cleaning and everything, I was just a bit overwhelmed. I was like, oh, you know, I'd be really stressed about under disinfect everything because I have to do that in teach with teaching in schools, but it's kind of with older kids, you can disinfect the stones you can disinfect everything I've touched, but with babies and children and putting things in their mouths and using the right cleaners and I was like Ah, there's just too much. So I thought I'll just wait until things have calmed down a little bit and find a way to make that work. So we're starting the face to face stuff, but that's really really nice and it's nice to help other parents use music as a way to communicate with their babies and be confident to do it as well because it's like you know so many people and but you find that being a vocalist as well, that we can all sing and We have different levels of as my dad always says Rosie likes to sing. Definitely doesn't

mean that Gabby,

I think, but I think what's really what everybody can and babies don't care about how, whether or not you're any good, they just love that sound and the connection. So, and sometimes it's just finding, it's just knowing what to do and how to do it. Give mums and dads the confidence, or grandparents or whoever it is the confidence to communicate with your baby through music and song because it just enhanced their development so much. And you know, into even intonations between words, there's some specific things that they can they latch on to, and tones of voice for positive and negative and things like that, which, once you know it, it's really nice for you to be able to use that and communicate with your baby. But a lot of it is confidence and parents not having the confidence to sing or not, not even knowing the nursery rhymes because it's been such a long time. You know, if you did it as a child, and if you don't have any other children in your family, you know, if you've not got siblings or children or cousins of children, your child could be the first one for a long time. And you just have no idea what any of these babies absorb. Yeah. Yeah, so that's really nice.

Yeah, I work in childcare. That's my day job. I mainly work with what are they probably 18 months to two and a half, maybe nearly three year olds. thing I find, like, I don't care. I've been doing that job for nine years now. And I'll old and I don't sing properly. When I'm at work. I just you know, hey, you've got that proper singing voice and then you've got you this this when you sing Happy Birthday to someone in a group you just sing. You don't do your prophecy voice? You know what I mean? Yeah, I just I just crack on and sing the silly songs. And I think a lot of stuff for parents, I just get so embarrassed because they think you've got to be able to sing properly, to sing and so like, your kids just want to hear you sing like they don't they're not going to judge you. And they're not. They just and you're right. It's like the rhythms and like almost like, you know, when you read a really good book with the, like, the poetry the way, the like the rhythm of the words coming out like it just expanding on that and singing something or, you know, just I don't know, like, it's just this, this expansion of language and the kids love it so much, especially if you can throw into actions. That's always good. Yeah, I think I think parents just get embarrassed because they think, Oh, I can't do this. And who's watching me and, you know, it's yeah, it's like, Just do it. Yeah, enjoy the process.

The end result doesn't matter.

Yeah. And your kids just love it. They just they want to hear it. Thank you so much for being on the show. It's been a pleasure chatting to you, Rosie. It's been lovely.

Thank you so much for having me, Alison. It's been lovely.

Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast. Please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mom