I’ve decided to release a few flute pieces (and a short harp cover) on bandcamp! You can download them all for free or, if you really like them, can name your price! Just click below to have a listen and download!
Feel free to print this and use it for cards, wall pictures and general personal use! If you really like it and want to show your appreciation you can make me incredibly happy by sending a little donation via PayPal or sharing this post on facebook and twitter. Either of these things makes me happier than anyone could think possible and will make me smile crazily (you can demand photos if you don’t believe me)!
This is an illustration I did for fun a few years ago. At the time I was at a certain well-known university studying Mathematics and battling with depression and it was just nice to create something again. Usually I’d use music to combat depression, but I discovered that playing music in halls of residence gets you hated pretty quickly by the hall wardens and there were only 8 practice rooms on campus between over 20,000 students so there were never any free (no wonder the waiting list for counselling there was about 3 months long). One of the guys in my halls resorted to practicing his saxophone in a field, because he was threatened by the hall warden for playing in his room. I’m glad that I left.
NOTE: There might be a depression post coming up soon, because I’ve recovered enough to feel strong enough to speak about it and because I think it’s good to tell people about these things for solidarity and to reduce stigma (because stigma against an illness that affects over 25% of the population at one point or another is ridiculous).
I am now “Plymouth’s top jazz flautist” according to twitter. I know this because I am probably the only jazz flautist in the whole of South Devon (with the exception of my dad, who often prefers to play saxophone).
This post is a bit of everything – music I’ve recorded, pictures from the past year’s worth of gigs and news of gigs to come and some lovely testimonials from people I’ve played for – I hope you’ll enjoy it and feel free to ask me anything you like in the comments!
Over the past year I’ve been lucky enough to play lots of gigs with a great little gypsy swing band called Hamer & Isaacs. I met them, by chance, at a blues night at a pub where a mutual friend had invited us both along. I thought they were pretty cool and took a particular liking to one of them (that’s a different story) and since then I’ve stood in whenever one of the others can’t make it!
After playing with the band a fair bit, a few of them spotted my Sterry Cartoons creations on facebook and asked whether I’d like to design them an ‘art deco’ logo. I thought it’d be good fun to have a go (having not attempted logo design before) and this is what I came up with (see right).
All of this led to some really wonderful testimonials from people I’ve met through the band:
“As a professional musician for nearly four decades, I have been very impressed by Hannah Sterry’s contribution to our gypsy swing band as a deputy flautist over the last few months. She has deputised at short notice for both our lead guitarist and swing violinist, not easy roles to fill, and I have been awed by her levels of competence and creativity. Her improvisational techniques display an intuitive flair and inspiration well beyond her years, and she exhibits the stage presence expected in a seasoned veteran. I would heartily endorse her as a flautist to any potential employers, whether in the fields of jazz, rock or classical music.” ~ Julian Isaacs of Hamer & Isaacs Gypsy Swing Band
“[Hannah] is a brilliant musician and I love working with her in the gypsy swing band. Her flute solos inspire me to up my game!” ~ Melanie Scullion B.A Hons.P.G Cert. P.G Dip.Perf. Professional violinist, violist and peripatetic music teacher.
I’ve haven’t been playing jazz and designing logos the entire time though. Whenever I’ve had a few hours free, I’ve been working on a few of my own musical side projects! Most recently I’ve been doing a bit of recording with my little sister (she’s ridiculously cool, but you can’t take her anywhere). 😛
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might have heard it before, but here’s a little bit of chilled out flute music I recorded as an earlier side project (it’s not jazz, but it’s cool and floaty)!
P.S. If you like any of my music, you can download it for FREE on bandcamp. Just click the link above. If you really like it and want me to make more music, you can donate however much or little as you like with the “name-your-price” button and you’ll get a gigantic smile and thanks from me!
Anyway, I’ve just been told that dinner’s on the table, so I’d better go, but I hope you’re enjoying the story so far and I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the last year and adates of my upcoming gigs! Hope to meet some of you at some point and as always, if you want to ask me anything, or have any great music recommendations, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! 😀
Flautist Hannah Sterry performing jazz flute for The Cottage Hotel’s Summer Music Nights in Hope Cove, Devon.
Ansa Back playing at Morleigh Village Hall
Hamer & Isaacs live at the Millbrook Inn, South Pool. Photo Credit: timhirstphotography.com
BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY (27th May) Ansa Back will be playing at Bigbury Golf Club from 4pm.
JUNE-SEPTEMBER The Sterrys will be playing every Tuesday evening at The Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove for their Summer Music Nights. Feel free to come and join us, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace and take in one of the most Mediterranean views that the South Hams can offer!
This might get me a whole lot of hate, but it’s a handy chart that I feel I should share with every musician, artist, photographer, writer or other creative who has ever been asked and even sometimes expected, by complete strangers, to work for free.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t work for free, but stressing that it should be your choice, that you shouldn’t be pressured in to it and do not need to feel guilty if you refuse. Would you ever expect a builder or lawyer to work for you for free?
Example: I have been asked before (by people I do not know) to play 15 minute slots on the harp (not an easy instrument to transport) for absolutely nothing, for profiting festivals and offered only a 5% discount on the cost of a ticket in return. Obviously, my answer was no.
Music is a skilled job and those choosing the profession should be paid accordingly and not exploited.
I’ve just found out about the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP). They provide a brilliant website for finding free classical music scores and seem to just generally have a really good collaborative/community attitude. Here’s what they have to say on their website:
“We at the IMSLP believe that music should be something that is easily accessible for everyone. For this purpose we have created a music library to provide music scores free of charge to anyone with internet access, with several other projects in planning. IMSLP is also entirely collaborative, and all contributions are greatly welcome.”
I just thought it was a great project that you might like to know about. If you’re really keen you can even follow them on twitter (@imslp). Hope you find it helpful!
Here are a few useful sites I’ve found whilst researching how to start advertising and and selling my music without having to pay anything. Hope it helps!
Bandcamp is probably the best website regarding ease and freedom of music sale. You just upload the tracks and album art and name your price. They take 15% commission, and PayPal take a little too, but if you read through their FAQs there’s plenty of information and advice to help you manage your music independently. UPDATE: Bandcamp now have a facebook app, so it’s possible to sell music via facebook pages. Here’s the info: http://bandcamp.com/facebook_app.
RouteNote are advertising that they can get your tunes on itunes, and you don’t have to pay anything up front as they take a percentage of the money from sales. If salesincrease you can pay a flat rate each month and keep all of the money from your sales.
RootMusic have quite a neat module for playing music on facebook pages. If you want to customise it, you have to pay,but the free version looks quite tidy and does the job. You can also use a facebook app by ReverbNation, but in my opinion it didn’t look so tidy.
Get British Businesses Online will give you 2 years worth of free domain name. The only catch that I can see (other than the fact that you have to be based in Britain) is that you have to use google sites to build a website.
If you’ve found any other useful sites like this, please don’t hesitate to comment!