York musician Vanessa Simmons is gearing up for the launch of her debut album after her performances recorded on a mobile phone drew attention from around the world.
Vanessa has been writing and performing her own music for over ten years, but until recently she had only shared it with her family and friends. Vanessa said: “My friends encouraged me to put my music online, which I did for the first time about a year ago. The recordings were very basic, recorded on my phone in the York St John University chapel where I work. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response from people all over the world who want me to release an album, it’s very exciting.”
Vanessa now has her own website where she has over a thousand fans from 19 different countries around the world, including Russia, USA, South Africa and Trinidad. She dedicates 45 minutes a week to answering fan mail, which often includes requests for her to perform concerts in fans’ home countries. She is planning to tour North America in summer next year.
Vanessa’s new album, Fragile Stars, is a collection of original piano compositions and songs. The work includes musical interpretations of literary works including poetry from local poet, Daniela Nunnari. The album also includes one of her most recent commissions to produce a collection of spiritual interpretations of selected Sci-Fi Literature to accompany a book by Dr. Liesl King. The piece is titled ‘Winter’s Requiem’ and is an interpretation of Ursula Le Guin’s ‘Left Hand of Darkness’.
The album launch is due to take place at Mansion House on 20 June, preceded by a sell-out concert in the Guildhall earlier in the same evening. Fragile Stars will be released onto iTunes and Amazon worldwide from 21 June 2012.
In the meantime, to find out more about Vanessa Simmons and hear some of her collection, visit her website.