Celebrating in sound and image the life and music of legendary Cornish cultural force
Brenda Wootton grew up in West Cornwall in the 1930s, and with no formal musical training developed a later-life career as an international touring musician. An unlikely star, by the 1980s she would be recognised by fans on the streets of Paris, while back home she was simply:
‘…Brenda from Penzance, one of us, doing rather well overseas. Unknown to us she could regularly fill the most prestigious halls in capitals all over Europe, meet and perform with the major stars of the day, shake hands with presidents and royalty, and conquer all she met with her music and supercharged personality.’ (Mike Sagar-Fenton)
She took her love of Cornwall with her wherever she went, and was hailed as a champion of Cornish culture from as far afield as Australia and Canada. 'Mordonnow/Sea Waves', made possible with support from Arts Council England and FEAST, is a collaboration between Florence and cultural start-up Bosena, led by Denzil Monk. The project will work with Brenda's family and fans to establish a new public archive documenting her life, along with a new audio-visual work and immersive gallery and digital exhibitions.
If you have memories or photos of Brenda that you'd like to contribute to the project, please do get in touch.
More updates to follow!
In collaboration with
AGAN GERYOW YW KANA HWATH / OUR WORDS SING STILL
now available on
This audio piece was commissioned by BBC Arts/New Creatives in 2019, and explores young people’s attitudes towards Cornish, giving the language a space as a living part of contemporary British culture.
A soundscape of life in Cornwall surrounds the sounds of language lessons, playing and poetry in Cornish, from young children raised bilingually through to the next generation of adults rekindling their connection to this ancient language.
Complex emotions surrounding Cornish identity are examined, and we hear how young people today can still struggle to embrace their heritage and language.
Recorded during the autumn of 2019 in west and north Cornwall.
Featuring music from Cornish groups Dalla and Black Eyed Nancy, and a new commission from Cornish-language poet Taran Spalding-Jenkin.
Esther Johns & the KAOS Group
Rachel Reed & Treloweth Primary School
Joe Lewis from Go Cornish
Émilie & Olwen Champliaud