On a dreich wet evening in the Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017. A ray of sunshine in the form of the talented and effervescent Laura Barnett was present alongside the chair of the evening, award winning singer songwriter Karine Polwart.
An event to discuss Laura’s newest book The Greatest Hits. Which takes us on a fascinating tale of fictional character Cass Wheeler’s life. I was truly impressed by the alluring idea of a novel having an actual soundtrack. Which in the case of The Greatest Hits, it does. A unique experience that I myself cannot wait to indulge in. With both book and cd promptly ordered this morning.
Laura Barnett has collaborated with musician and singer Kathryn Williams to bring together the chapters of Cass Wheelers’ life. With a total of sixteen songs and chapters, they beautifully compliment each other. It was interesting to hear from Laura that Kathryn did not want to read the book beforehand she only wanted a brief feeling of what was happening at that particular time in the book and what the mood was. Laura Barnett provided the lyrics for Kathryn Williams to mould into shape with the music.
Laura expressed that it was a ‘celebration of creativity’ and that it was a joy to work with Kathryn.
Karine Polwart caught Laura Barnett unaware with a sneaky question. What are you three favourite songs?
- Graceland By Paul Simon ~ Brings memories of driving with her dad in the car on the weekends, when Laura was little.
- Serious By Richard Hawley ~ This was Laura’s wedding song and it’s also engraved on her wedding ring.
- Hard Day’s Night By The Beatles ~ Reminds Laura of being in the car with her mother.
A tremendously delicious hour which certainly lit a spark of excitement in me. I cannot wait to review both the book and soundtrack.
Alone in her studio, Cass Wheeler is taking a journey back into her past. After a silence of ten years, the singer-songwriter is picking the sixteen tracks that have defined her – sixteen key moments in her life – for a uniquely personal Greatest Hits album. In the course of this one day, both ordinary and extraordinary, the story of Cass’s life emerges – a story of highs and lows, of music, friendship and ambition, of great love and great loss. But what prompted her to retreat all those years ago, and is there a way for her to make peace with her past?
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