New Music: Jess Ryan
There are times when members of the human race can astonish and surprise, when the pure power and energy of the spirit rises to face down the harshest demons. If you think that a rather hyperbolic opening for a blog post please feel free to find the extraordinary, often distressing and ultimately inspiring story of Scottish singer/songwriter Jess Ryan in some of Janice Burns’ pieces for the Daily Record.
Earlier in the year my colleagues at the University of the West of Scotland supported the recording of a single by Jess, which has just been released for download here. She wrote the song, ‘How Would You Know’, in tribute to the charity Children First who had been a crucial support in Jess’s own journey from the dark into the light. The song is simple, stark, honest and most incredibly, given its genesis, positive and thankful. The arrangement, by Jess and UWS 4th year student Stuart Edgar, perfectly serves the message of the song in the way that all good arrangement and production should. Having wondered for some time about the role of ‘executive producer’ I must confess to experimenting during the 2 day session by leaving the studio for hours at a time then returning with unreasonable demands that destroyed the flow of the work and caused extreme annoyance to the artists. Excellent fun. Best of all during Jess’s time with us was getting a sneak preview of her new songs. Seated at the piano in UWS Studio 1 she ran through several new works, all of which displayed an emerging maturity ripe for studio development.
In the meantime Jess Ryan continues her campaigning work for Children First. Please visit the Bandcamp page – downloads cost £1 with the money going to the charity. If you want to know more about the work of Children First here is a good place to start.
In the meantime enjoy this beautiful song, full of hope and reconciliation.