Anna Emmins looking forward to paxton Literary Festival

Anna Emmins, A.K.A Electric Penelope, is “really looking forward to” playing at the Paxton Literary Festival on the 7th of September. She will be giving two performances of “The Ballad of the World’s Vanity”, from Wilson’s Tales of the Borders, which she has been setting to music especially for the event. There will be a 3pm matinee and 7:30pm evening performances in the Music Room at Paxton House. Emmins hasn’t performed there before, but has seen other musicians there, so is excited for the “fabulous acoustics” which the room has to offer.
Emmins is also excited to see “Lord Kames’s Puzzle”, a radio play by Rob Wilkinson, who she describes as “a fabulous writer”, also adapted from one of Wilson’s Tales. “Lord Kames’s Puzzle” will be showing before “The Ballad of the World’s Vanity” at the Paxton Literary Festival.
As well as Emmins the evening performance will also include “The Vacant Chair” by local storyteller Mary Kenny and a talk on Wilson’s Tales by Andrew Ayre. The Matinee will include a speech by local historian Jim Herbert, two tales from storyteller John Nichol finishing with Emmins’ ballad.
“The Ballad of the World’s Vanity” has been a different creative process from Anna’s usual work. It started well, “The first three verses were no problem” but as the ballad is in 14 verses, Emmins has found it “a challenge”. Because of the length of the Ballad Emmins can’t just write “a basic song”, as that would get repetitive, so the difficulty has come in adding variation throughout, which has been “tricky”. But Emmins says is “is the sort of challenge that I like”
“This is what I like to do, I like to do things that benefit the community, and this fits in well because I am already a songwriter … music is what I’m good at”.
Emmins is producing “The Ballad of the World’s Vanity” in association with the Wilson’s Tales Project, whose aim is to bring new life to a series of tales from the borders which were published in the 1800s. The Paxton Literary Festival is the Project’s first event, and Emmins is excited to see how it goes down.
“It’s the first time something like this has been done in this part of the World. It’s all authentic to this area and local people are taking the local Tales and putting their own individuality on them”
“My song is a small part of the festival so it will be good to see what the other performers have done with the tales – I will be able to experience it without knowing what to expect just like the rest of the audience”
If you wish to be in the audience for this ground-breaking event, tickets are available from the Maltings Theatre and Cinema in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Anna Emmins

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