Monday, 30 December 2013
Be positive because you are great! Follow your dreams and believe in yourself and never let anyone say you can't do what you want to achieve.
Say I love you.
If you feel it, say it, no matter how hard those three words might be for you, say it anyway because if you don't, you will be missing out on an exquisite moment in life and life is all about exquisite moments. Tell your partner all the time, tell your friends and family and you will have no regrets. We don't know what we'll turn to meet around the corner so don't wait, say it now!
Speak your mind.
The wrong people will resent you for it, the right people will respect you for it.
Be strong and true to yourself and never lie. Live your life authentically and to the full and remember, you are the master of your own ship. You can achieve anything that you want!
Happy New Year to you all!
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Audio Book 5. The Big Apple
This story follows the unlikely adventure of a tiny little worm called Ronnie, who manages to worm her way from her woodland home to New York City, The Big Apple. Her story begins when she encounters two mischievous squirrels called Yes and No who try to confuse her and send her the wrong way, but somehow she makes her own way there and has a wonderful adventure. The story also features a lively Ice Hockey game. The story includes an original classical soundtrack with an unexpected twist. Accompanied by unique sound effects throughout.
iTunes: Coming soon...
Hope you enjoy listening and Merry Christmas everyone!
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
One of the forgotten treasures I found was a Freeds bag full of my old used pointe shoes! My first thought, was how disgusting they are... worn, dirty and some still covered with make-up on from various performances. Small ones from when I was little, flat ones, soft pointe shoes with the backs ripped out for day to day rehearsals and ballet classes and the last pair of pointe shoes I ever wore which was for my final performance in Swan Lake (my first and last ballet). I couldn't resist, I had to try one pair on regardless of the consequences...
They still fitted but they were so incredibly uncomfortable! I wondered how I could have spent my life in them many years ago. I went to the mirror and painfully forced my way back up onto pointe and yes, I could still do it! I guess it's like riding a bike, you never forget.
For years I blocked out this part of my life in fear that if I faced it, it would bring up painful memories and unwanted emotions but now, I feel so proud of my past and realize it's such a huge part of me, as a musician and as a performer today. I have so much amazing memorabilia, from books I was in to videos of me dancing, photographs, newspaper articles I was in and records of all my performances. These are very special treasures that will live on in my family after I am gone.
Even though this bag of history takes up a lot of space in my draw, there are somethings you should never throw away...
Thursday, 31 October 2013
Audio Book 4. Jimi & his friend Joe
Based on a tabby cat with unusually large ears called Jimi, this is a
story about two unlikely friends. The story takes you on a farm yard
adventure and features an unexpected twist in the music. The story includes an original classical soundtrack with an unexpected
twist. Accompanied by unique sound effects throughout.
Hope you all have a wickedly good evening,
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
On October 8th at 2pm, something felt like it snapped in my neck, followed by shooting pains in my face and a seriously mean headache that felt like my brain was moving in my head every time I moved! This was a vessel bursting in my brain. Nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen to me.
I was taken to hospital and lucky for me, they did not send me home with migraine tablets! Instead I was rushed to Charing Cross Hospital in an ambulance early the next morning where I would spend an extraordinary 11 days. I had head x-rays, an angiogram, a five hour coiling procedure which was unsuccessful (I would be the schmuck who had an unusual bleed) and that led me to having open brain surgery for 6 1/2 hours to save my life!
I have Doctor O' Neil (the only man alive to have actually seen inside my head), the lovely Roger, Marito and Shinead to name but a few to thank and all the crew on 11 West for making my life easier whilst saving it. For a squeamish person such as myself, I have been through more than you can imagine. Fear and pain beyond belief, I've had staples in my head! I almost died but I get to live on and continue performing and making music for you lovely people.
I am an extremely lucky girl!
What is a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage?
Berry aneurysms may burst if put under extra stress. The end result is a brain haemorrhage or stroke. The haemorrhage that occurs when a berry aneurysm bursts is known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage. Only about one in 7,000 people have a subarachnoid haemorrhage and not every brain haemorrhage is due to a berry aneurysm. Although about 70 per cent of subarachnoid haemorrhages are caused this way, no defect can be found in at least ten per cent, and there are other types of brain haemorrhage.
A subarachnoid haemorrhage is a particular disaster because it's often fatal - as many as 30 per cent die within hours, and a further 50 per cent die within the first month - or result in serious disability. Among the survivors of brain aneurysms, the mental capacity of around half of them will be affected.
There's often little or no warning that a subarachnoid haemorrhage is about to occur. Typically, the person collapses with a sudden headache unlike any they've experienced before. They may vomit, develop signs of meningitis, such as neck stiffness and dislike of light, and may rapidly become drowsy, confused and unconscious. In milder cases, the illness may appear like a migraine or meningitis due to an infection, but in severe cases it's quickly apparent that something is seriously wrong.
Those who survive the initial episode are at great risk of another bleed unless action is taken. The standard treatment used to be surgery, which involves opening the skull and clipping off the faulty blood vessel. This operation, known as clipping, is usually done within days. However, although the operation puts an end to the risk, it carries a risk of damage (although this risk is far less than that of a second bleed.)
In recent years, a new technique has been developed as an alternative to clipping. In this technique, known as endovascular detachable-coil treatment or coiling, a detachable plantinum coil device is inserted into the blood vessels via a small cut in the skin (usually in the groin) and passed up into the brain under x-ray guidance to block off the faulty vessel. In 2005, a long-term follow-up study of patients treated with coiling showed that it's as effective as surgery, has a lower risk of complications and offers a greater chance of survival without disability. It's now the standard treatment for most aneurysms in most areas of the UK.
Recovery from any type of stroke tends to be slow. Intensive rehabilitation therapy, including physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy, are usually needed. Depression is a common problem after stroke, and good psychological and drug treatments are essential to help recovery.
After decades of being viewed as a fairly hopeless condition where only a little positive treatment could be done, new approaches are at last starting to make some impact on recovery rates from strokes. For example, researchers have shown for the first time in humans that rehabilitation therapy may help a stroke survivor's brain rewire itself, leading to regained use of a previously unused limb.
[This article was last medically reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks in July 2006]
Saturday, 5 October 2013
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:
Very Best of John Barry
John Barry had huge success in the world of film music, having written some of the best soundtracks for the silver screen including, of course, the James Bond films. This concert celebrated his music and featured hit pieces from: Goldfinger, Dances with Wolves, The Black Hole, Midnight Cowboy, Diamonds are Forever, Out of Africa, Born Free, Moonraker, Zulu and many more!
Conductor Nic Raine was joined by guest vocalist Alison Jiear and Lance Ellington. Presented by Tommy Pearson, a renowned authority on film music.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Nic Raine conductor
Alison Jiear guest vocalist
Lance Ellington guest vocalist
Tommy Pearson presenter
Absolutely wonderful time last night at The Very Best of John Barry concert! The Bond theme was so sexy but Chaplin was so stunningly beautiful, it was difficult to hold back my tears, and that wasn't the result from the 2 extremely expensive glasses of red wine I had either! Such beauty and romance...
Thursday, 19 September 2013
Thursday 26th September
Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Sunday, 1 September 2013
I have been extremely busy working hard on editing music to visuals. Two new promotional videos have now been uploaded to my website here: www.annachristinamusic.com/videos
I'm also excited to be working on a short film! This will really put me to the test and I can't wait to take up the challenge. As well as this, I am halfway through production on my 5th audio book and had a brilliant recording session last week with David Ryder Prangley and Belle Star! The response I have been getting to my stories so far has been excellent (you can read some reviews here: www.facebook.com/media) and I am so pleased with how the whole project is developing and can't wait to finish the next story! I now seem to be conjuring ideas for a Christmas story! That will be fun!
Hope you've all been enjoying the lovely weather we've been having here in London,
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
I'm so proud and excited to announce the release of my first three Children's Music Audio Stories!
Audio Book 1. March of The Ants - FREE DOWNLOAD!
Sid is the smallest of the ants, and no one notices him at all. One day he joins the other ants in a march and soon grows very tired. But when a storm suddenly soaks them with rain, it’s up to Sid to save the others from the rising waters. The pace is quick, as befitting a march, and will draw kids in with young Sid’s heroism. The story is told in rhyme and includes a lively original classical soundtrack, character voices and nature sounds throughout the narrative.
"March of the Ants is not quite like any other audio production I have listened to". Steven Brandt - Audiobook-Heaven 2013
"March of the Ants is a fun story that kids will love to hear over and over again". Alice Berger - Bergers Book Reviews 2013
"The music has a catchy tune that will make toddlers want to move in a marching pace. I listened to this audio book with both my children who thought the story was cute and liked the music that accompanied it". Laura - Library of Clean Reads 2013
FREE DOWNLOAD HERE: www.musicaudiostories.com
Audio Book 2. Chris the Caterpillar
One day, a fairy called Butterfly, discovered a sad looking caterpillar called Chris, sitting in a dark corner of a shed at the bottom of a garden. Chris wanted to have colourful wings like the fairy and fly in the sunshine. The fairy explained that she could help and flew back into the garden to call on her friends. With her magic wand, the fairy took a tiny splash of all the colours of the flowers and then her wand began to glow! But Chris does not believe in magic. Will he finally become what he’d always dreamed of being, a colourful butterfly? The story includes a dynamic original classical soundtrack. Accompanied by nature sounds and sound effects throughout the narrative.
"I think this would be just the thing for parents and children to do together on a rainy afternoon or at bedtime". Steven Brandt - Audiobook-Heaven 2013
Audio Book 3. Johnny No Cash
Follow the adventure of Johnny the hamster as he stumbles over the countryside, crosses a river with pirate crows and enters The West. He encounters the villain Nancy the skunk, who tries to ruin his quest to cheer up his friend Cowboy Dan who has a cold. The story includes an original classical soundtrack and sea shanty. Accompanied by sound effects.
Hope you enjoy listening,
Monday, 5 August 2013
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Its been such an incredible journey so far and I feel like the best is yet to come! What started off as a college assignment with my first story, 'March of The Ants', has turned into this wonderful project and I have enjoyed every minute of it!
Speaking of which, this month I have launched a brand new website which features a new video page and as of today, my shop is now open! I've been working very hard to get this project up and running and I have to admit, the response has been amazing! I have met some lovely people along the way and I'm looking forward to returning to all the various Primary Schools and nurseries for presentations in September.
Over the next summer month, I will be going to many summer fairs and events, spreading the word with my little helpers and promoting our free audiobook download. Visit my website here: www.musicaudiostories.com to get yours!
I can't wait to begin my next adventure with my new story...
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Here are some photos of my trip...
Friday, 26 July 2013
PRETTY LITTLE LADY? ANNA-CHRISTINA SOLO ACOUSTIC SET AT AVALON:So why am I in this unlikely venue? I'm here to witness the first 'Official' solo acoustic set by Anna-Christina from Lilygun. This time she is doing things differently and in Lilygun's downtime she is stepping away from her full-on rock mode and taking her first steps in singer/songwriter territory. Songwriting is nothing new to this lady as she wrote all the songs on last year's long awaited Lilygun debut album. However, she is now stepping out of her comfort zone and into uncharted waters. Anna-Christina doesn't believe in taking the easy route - most people in this situation would just play stripped down acoustic versions of their band's existing well tried songs. No - that would be too easy! Instead we get four never before heard songs and a cover.
This series of solo acoustic gigs are going under the rather puzzling name of 'Pretty Little Lady?' Yes, the question mark is intentional - but why you may ask as there is surely no question? Well this little lady is puzzling so... The first song is actually called 'Pretty Little Lady?', and once the lyrics hit home you begin to understand. This is actually hard hitting stuff lyrically and there is quite a bit of venom in there - directed at a person or persons unknown. The uncompromising nature of the material continues with the second song 'Dirty Rotten Liars'. Anna-Christina might look quite demure and unoffensive, but certain people have obviously left her seriously pissed-off! Some of her songs with Lilygun have dealt with some of the 'Scum' (her word) she has encountered in the past, but now she is really letting rip and venting her anger in a much more direct fashion! Although anyone attending tonight wanting to hear Lilygun songs is going to be disappointed, there is one song that most people will recognise - a cover of the Garbage song 'Fix Me Now' - again showing a different side to this intriguing lady - It's not all anger and attitude after all. Listening to the debut Garbage album that this song comes from you see where Anna-Christina draws some of her inspiration from. but of course that band's Shirley Manson is another lady you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of!
The turnout tonight is rather good - especially for an expensive upmarket venue on a Tuesday night. Anna-Christina's set is very well received by those present. The lady herself seems to rather enjoy the chance to vent her anger as well - she looks quite relaxed and at home in this new environment. There are a few more of these acoustic shows lined up and I'm sure future performances will be even better. However, Lilygun fans fear not - I hear are returning to the live scene in a matter of weeks... As with the choice of her band name Lilygun, Anna-Christina is a mass of contradictions. This softer acoustic approach still drips with venom. And yet in spite of the aggressive nature of the lyrics in tonight's songs, she adopts a much softer vocal style than she does when fronting her rock band Lilygun. Is this the real Anna-Christina finally starting to rear her head? I think the vocal style she displays tonight sounds more natural - she is really allowing her voice to soar and approach it's real potential. She sings well with Lilygun, but I get the feeling she has been holding back for some reason and now her voice is starting to fly. I think the real Anna-Christina is only just starting to show herself - the chrysalis has started to open and the butterfly is getting ready to emerge... [Author: Dom Hemming - 26/2/13]
PRETTY LITTLE LADY? ANNA-CHRISTINA SOLO ACOUSTIC SET AT THE HORN - ST ALBANS:Although she is appearing here tonight in solo acoustic mode Anna-Christina isn't your typical laid back singer/songwriter. There may be no elecric guitars or drums present, but don't expect the usual nice innoffensive hippy hippy style songs about flowers and lovely summer days in the country. No - this lady has axes to grind! The method of delivery may be different from the power of her rock band, but lyrically these songs pull punches! From the opening title track 'Pretty Little Lady?' (the question mark is quite deliberate but you have to hear to song to understand) it's very obvious Anna-Christina has things to get out of her system and issues to deal with! The lyrics of the first couple of songs in particular aren't for the faint hearted and obviously come from bitter personal experiences. This method of expression seems to be her therapy. Although Anna-Christina needs to vent, this series of acoustic shows in and around London (more to follow) seems to be working well for her as in spite of the less than cheerful nature of the songs she actually seems very happy and to be really enjoying herself. The 'therapy' is working! This is probably her best solo show yet as although the venue is small and intimate it is actually quite busy. What makes this show more of a triumph is that away from her London home and the support of friends and family this crowd of people who have no idea who she is really enjoy her set. The 'Pretty Little Lady' herself obviously really enjoys playing for this very appreciative audience too - the atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming. I have a feeling she will be back...
[Author: Dom Hemming - 10/3/13]
PRETTY LITTLE LADY? ANNA-CHRISTINA SOLO ACOUSTIC SET AT PROUD CAMDEN:The 'Pretty Little Lady?' (her deliberate question mark) is playing a Garbage cover - this is 'Fix Me Now' and is usually the last but one song in her set - it looks like we've missed almost the entire set in spite of being at (or outside) the venue when she was due to take to the stage. It's a quite different sounding but good version of the song - I think the vocals are better than the Garbage original and Anna-Christina's voice really soars in a way she doesn't allow it to when she is fronting Lilygun. The set finishes with new (for these acoustic gigs) song 'Resolution' which goes down well judging by all the applause. It's certainly interesting to see another side to the intriguing Anna-Christina and I really like the way she uses a higher part of her voice that people people who have only seen her perform with her rock band Lilygun will be unfamiliar with. Talking of Lilygun - they will be returning to the live scene next month and will be one of the last bands ever to play at the famous Bull & Gate before it closes as a music venue...
[Author: Dom Hemming - 17/3/13]
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
A long time ago, I was sitting in Mr Bailey's house with a group of musicians and they were all jamming. One of them asked me to play something and I said no! It wasn't because I wouldn't, it was because I couldn't! This will sound completely crazy because I am a singer in a rock band, but I've never been able to sing in front of other people in any situation that doesn't involve me being on a stage with 3 other musicians rockin' out.
Fronting a loud energetic rock band is completely different to the intimate settings of any acoustic performance and I was always very impressed when I encountered solo acoustic acts performing around London. I couldn't even do karaoke!
And so I decided to face my fears... "Pretty Little Lady?" is a concept I invented for a series of solo acoustic gigs I began to perform this year. The half an hour long set was made up of new songs specially written for these gigs and a Garbage cover song. If they had turned out to be a disaster, I would have just stuck to what I was good at however, they were very successful and I ended up having a lot of fun.
Monday, 1 July 2013
As London continues to fall to their unique sound, Lilygun adheres to no rules. A guitar based rock band, Lilygun was formed by Anna-Christina, the songwriter/singer/guitarist. Her unusual combination of classical roots mixed with dark aggression has resulted in an uncompromising and unpredictable Rock that has an edge to it and has been described as a shower of bullets and petals.
Anna-Christina's unconventional theatre upbringing plays an interesting part in Lilygun but more fascinating, is her spectacular comeback and triumph over tragedy when her life was almost cut short after suffering from a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage.
This is a band free from rules, fashion trends and the common trappings of most rock bands. Not willing to submit to the norm, Lilygun has the ability to create a strange and captivating atmosphere when playing live. When the question arises of whom or what they are like, it's always met with the same reply, "I dunno"!
The name "Lilygun" was just two words thrown together at first but as they progressed, it took on a meaning all on it's own. It's a perfect representation of the many contradictions the band has. Something beautiful inverted into darkness. Aggressive and heavy in parts of the set they play to soft and fragile and all projected with a sense of glamour and a certain freshness and vibe of their own.
After the success of the band's first two singles, notably the second single Moonlight receiving rave reviews and making XFM’s Playlist on the Ian Camfield Rock Show, Lilygun's self-titled debut album is out now on A Line Records/Cargo.
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Music Audio Stories
What started off as a college assignment I created, developed
into this fun new project. Whilst working on my first audio story
'March of The Ants', I searched online for
other audio stories and couldn't find anybody combining original
classical music with original children's audio stories and sound
effects. I decided to invent my own genre and call my creations 'Music Audio Stories'! These special audio books can be enjoyed by children aged 3 to 7 and are
tailored for the blind as well. They can also be a useful learning tool
for children with impaired vision or vision disabilities.
With five stories completed, I have worked with many actors and musicians including the Olivier nominated actor Paul Kaye - Mr Wormwood in the award winning West End hit musical Matilda as well as appearing in many TV and film roles such as Franky Wilde in the award winning 'It's all gone Pete Tong' and is currently in the new series of Game of Thrones and Tom Meadows - who can be found touring the world drumming for some of today's biggest artists such as Kylie Minogue.
Friday, 14 June 2013
Welcome to my new blog!I began this blog in order to write more about the various projects I'm involved in as well as other fun things and experiences I have along my crazy entrepreneurial journey! The first project I will tell you about, is the one which takes up most of my time!
Music Audio Stories
I am the founder of Music Audio Stories - an original audiobook company specialising in fun, entertaining audio stories for children. The interactive audiobooks not only encourage children to take part in the story through drawing, song and dance, but they also inspire them to act out the scenes and be part of the magical journey.
You can follow Music Audio Stories on social media here:
And the website is www.musicaudiostories.com
Creating these stories has become such a source of joy for me. I love every moment I get to experience with Music Audio Stories!
I'll keep you posted on all activities as I go...