dance rehearsals for hot body rubString rehearsals, cello, violin, guitarDem BonesJames bass mustard jumper, red trousers, Vault, rehearsals BodyHitting hammers for music on bench with George, did you see me dance?

I absolutely love rehearsals. Orchestral rehearsals, where you can go and sit in a room with 30 other people and forget everything outside the room in order to focus purely on the music in front of you. Band rehearsals, where I know James will be able to translate the inarticulate jumble of notes I can already hear in my own brain. WOLF PACK rehearsals, where not only do I get to air all my ideas about staging and music but I get to do it with a group of people who love and understand me and will therefore keep me in check from becoming a tidal wave of confusion. Theatre rehearsals, where I get to learn so much about another art form that so interests me from people whose knowledge of an audience and communication far surpasses my own. Dress rehearsals, the final pitstop before the event where you can start to anticipate how the whole performance will feel once you’ve added an audience and a ton of adrenaline into the mix.
I’m lucky that most of the time I’m rehearsing with like-minded people who end up becoming close friends. It makes such a difference to collaborate creatively with people who you know and trust. The saying goes that “life is not a dress rehearsal” but I disagree; you could argue that our whole lives act as a rehearsal for what comes next. We are all constantly learning and progressing: finding out how things work, how things feel, how we react to certain things and how to communicate and present ourselves to the world.

Pete, cat in the hat, Tjusad rehearsals, me on keyboardcontinued Dance rehearsals with Dan and LailaLaila, Emily, cello case, rehearsing, lovely headlighting, rig, rehearsals, VAULT, StudioRob, Danilo, Laura, guitar, flute, actor, VAULT
Skeleton danceViola, bassoon, dance, George

Tour Finale

backstage dressing room selfie yellow orla kiely coatsinks and random stuff backstage props water bottlesoutside the shed with white trainers on outside shed yellow mustard coat oral kiely beretI’ve currently got a kidney infection and today is the first day I’ve been at my laptop, hence the silence over the last week. I’ll spare you the grim details but aside from the obvious problems there have been a lot of annoying side effects. Due to the location of the kidneys, stretching out my back really hurts which makes walking and moving around difficult, and my tablets are making everything taste horrible (even water!).

These photos are from the end of my tour with Rhum & Clay. It brings to a close my two years of working with the company and it was quite weird to be finally saying goodbye. I’m so lucky I got to work with such a brilliant company so early in my career; I’ve learnt an invaluable amount from them and gained so much experience and confidence as a composer.

The last three weeks of the tour were in Exeter and I was back and forth between London for two of those weeks, which meant a lot of hanging around on cold train platforms with my bassoon as you can see. There’s also a few photos of the backstage area – backstage often have to double up as green rooms and dressing rooms and they are invariably messy; lots of shoes, caffeine, remnants of props, bolts of black fabric, LX tape and empty water bottles. My natural environment!

Thank you so much to Rhum & Clay and everybody involved in the tour. I’m so proud to have been a part of it!backstage long mirror selfie random stuff from in the dressing roombassoon dress matching mustard coat

Lost At Sea


Just call me Sailor Laila! There are over 240 museums in London and yet I can’t remember the last time I went to a museum for the first time. Last Thursday I performed at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich which I’d somehow never visited, despite living down the road in New Cross for about 3 years. On Thursday the museum hosted it’s first late-night event, Lost At Sea. The night was completely free and featured a huge variety of activities designed to appeal to both keen sailors and landlubbers (guilty) alike. There were sailor tattoos, impromptu sea shanties, rum-tasting, a pub quiz, a nautical photo booth, live music ranging from ceilidhs to choirs, a miniature literary festival, a table working out your sailor name (Lobster Snaggletooth reporting for duty) and a late opening of their new exhibition, Turner and the Sea.

I was there to play Floodtide by John Eacott, a sonic representation of the live tide reading of the Thames. The piece changes mood quite drastically depending on the tide reading, so playing the piece during high tide will sound completely different to playing the piece during a ferocious sea storm. WOLF PACK (the music ensemble I run) performed the piece for our TIDE themed concert back in April, and it was great to have the chance to play such an engaging and unique work again with a diverse group of musicians.

Fellow wolf Laura and I had a great time running around the museum afterwards, Laura wearing nautical colours and me in my boat-print dress; just call me Sailor Laila! I was riveted by the displays which included the jacket worn by Admiral Nelson (complete with the hole from the bullet that killed him), a gigantic boat engine and a huge world map printed on the floor (I’m sat next to Mauritius, the tiny, tiny island that is my homeland). It was a really fun night, thanks to John and Natasha for inviting us to play and let’s hope there’s another edition soon!

Shoes – New Look, £6 (sale). Coat – Urban Outfitters, £60 (on sale + 20% off!). Dress – ModCloth, gift (similar one here). WOLF PACK hair clip – custom made!

aIMG_9256aIMG_9265aIMG_9260aIMG_9254aIMG_9239boat flood tide national maritime museum hmm lost at sea museum late event night(bottom photo credit: Natasha Bird)