Anne Swan / Bio

Earliest memories for Anne were of the War; air raids, sirens, the blackout and doodlebugs. Sleeping in the shelter - afraid on the top bunk but quite safe on the bottom one! Then she and her brother were evacuated to Rutland; this was heaven, with fields, farms, cows (with horns), carthorses...an early tractor. It was wonderful and for the rest of their lives Anne and her brother loved the countryside.
Their mother played the piano. No television then and the wireless was mainly for the news; but the gramophone had the latest musicals on 78 rpm: Carousel, Oklahoma etc. There were board games and card games (to improve the memory) and singsongs round the piano. Anne grew up singing 'Pack up your Troubles' and 'Daisy Bell'; then, later, Ivor Novello and Vivian Ellis.
However, a school expedition to St. Georges Chapel Windsor opened a whole new world - organs and church music. This led to the purchase of her first records; Dame Clara Butt; Isobel Baillie and Kathleen Ferrier singing duets by Mendelssohn 'Greetings' and 'I would that my Love' - still among Anne's favourites.
Piano lessons started young, but she didn't work at it and gave up as soon as she could. Later, of course, Anne came to regret this. Music was always important to her and opera proved irresistible. Free time was spent listening to records - Albert Schweizer on the organ, requiems, cantatas, opera. All wonderful music. But she also enjoys Glen Miller, Armando Trovajoli, 'Peanuts' Hucko etc.
In her late twenties Anne decided to hire a piano and try and play 'Love from Judy', 'Camelot' and so on. But, instead, starting writing songs - her first effort was for her boss whose dog had been run over and killed. There were then many years without a piano, so no playing.
However, as a shorthand typist, her fingers were kept active. Some 55 years' ago, typing meant banging hard on one top copy plus as many as 19 carbon copies. So, 19 carbon, 19 flimsy copy plus 1 top copy - that is 39 sheets of paper. Not being a very good typist, this meant any mistakes had to be amended (using a rubber) on 19 flimsy copies; exhausting. No electric typewriters then; a messy ink ribbon to be inserted and the letters on the keys needed cleaning so they would print clearly. Once, Anne found the machine wouldn't work after she had cleaned it; the mechanic said it had been a mistake to clean it as the typewriter was 20 years' old. If you tried typing fast, several keys went up too close to each other and the whole lot jammed. Another messy, disentangling job! What with the roneo and gestetner machines, she was often covered in ink: typing today on computers is so much easier.
Blessed with good health and enjoying games/sport, Anne and her brother had a lot of fun. She used to hurl cricket balls at him with her lacrosse stick to improve his fielding and batting. She broke her leg skiing - in those days no safety bindings, no quick release. But what a glorious world that was in the mountains; in spring with the flowers, in winter with the snow - and wonderful views All her life Anne has been fortunate; either living in the country or, when living in towns, the countryside was easily accessible.
Music took a back seat for many years until she married and once more had a piano. Anne's husband was patience personified; he suggested she take a text to set to music, which would give her something to work to. As she loved singing, this proved an excellent idea. Unfortunately Anne hasn't got a good voice which still upsets her as she enjoys singing in choirs and church. When she was widowed the Rector and choir of her local church were very kind and supportive and often tried singing her anthems. Given that Anne cannot write music out very well and suffers from nerves when trying to play them on the piano, it was not easy for anyone to learn to sing them. Anne greatly appreciated their kindness and is very grateful to them all for their encouragement.
Writing silly verse was another hobby; which she still does for fun.
After her husband died ,Anne found herself spending more time at the piano, making up more tunes. Going to concerts and operas in person was so special compared to hearing them on t.v. or radio. She would find it impossible to choose a favourite composer or piece of music; so much depends on mood. Certain pieces on the radio/tv cause her to stop whatever she is doing.. Wolf, Rachmaninoff, Gounod's' O Divine Redeemer', Strauss' 'Morgen'; Granados 'La Maja' etc. Mandfred, with Schumanm ,and Laidman Browne reading Byron's text. Simply beautiful.
At 80, Anne realized she didn't want to die without trying to get at least some of her music recorded and, thanks to Appletree Studio, this has happened. She will always be grateful to her amanuensis Philip Goss (and his colleagues) who waved his magic wand and created a sound she loves

General Info

Artist Name
Anne Swan
Profile Page
Classical / Instrumental / Easy Listening

Contact Info

Witney, ENG, UK
Philip Goss

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