Saturday, 25 May 2013

A precious gem of a song that will make sunflowers bloom in your heart

Review of Sunflowers and Precious Gems, a song written and performed by Chris Hoskins

I'd like to introduce you to a beautiful song written and performed by Chris Hoskins, a very talented poet, songwriter and performer, who I'm proud to say is one of my dear friends.

So, although in one sense I can't claim that this is an impartial review, let me assure you that it is entirely honest and heartfelt. I already knew that Chris was an outstanding writer, composer and performer, but nevertheless I was astonished and delighted when I first heard the song. That was several weeks ago, when Chris made it available for download from her website. Yesterday, I viewed the accompanying video on YouTube for the first time, and was even more overwhelmed by the beauty of the words, the music and the accompanying imagery, and the way they combine together to produce something out of this world.

I don't usually review music and am hesitant to make comparisons, but Chris's work evokes for me two of my favourite singer-songwriters, one very well known and one a little less so. Her words have Paul Simon's subtlety and poetic precision and her melodies his gentle perfection, while something about the clarity of her voice and the fervour of her performance calls Eddi Reader, the Scottish singer and songwriter, to mind.

Let me give you a bit of the background. Chris wrote the words originally as a poem, submitted to a competition run by Amnesty International in 2005. The poem, unsurprisingly, won first prize. A few months ago, prompted by the shocking rape and murder of a young woman in India and recent terrible events involving young girls in the UK, she decided to set the poem to music and create a song in support of Amnesty International's work to stop violence towards women and girls.

It is, of course, impossible to fully describe or explain any work of art in another medium. So rather than my scrabbling around trying to find words to do justice to Chris's song - here is where to find the song and accompanying video and enjoy it for yourself.

Sunflowers and Precious Gems - song and video

If you decide you love it, you can support Amnesty International by purchasing the song by download from Chris's website:

Sunflowers and Precious Gems - Download here for 99p.

It will only cost you 99p. Half of the proceeds will go to support Amnesty International and the other half will help to cover Chris's costs. Please download it, make the song your own and do your bit to support Amnesty International and help to make sure that violent abuse of women and girls, in the UK and worldwide, becomes a thing of the past.

Happy listening