THE HARP OF THE MATTER
York Press, August 2011
YORK contemporary harpist and composer Ruby Paul will premiere her new work in her Edinburgh Fringe debut on Monday evening. Sshe will introduce Encyclopedia Botanica, a series of 15 mood pieces for solo harp inspired by the flowers and plants of the British Isles.
“Each piece has the title of a wild flower, like ‘Poppy’ or ‘Daisy’c,” says Ruby. “They’re mainly very common flowers and plants, all the things I experienced and enjoyed in my childhood growing up on the Gower Peninsular, south of Swansea, near Caswell, about a mile from the sea.”
Ruby was the youngest of five children. “That’s the point when parents decide children should bring themselves up! My childhood wasn’t structured in any way by them!” she jokes. “I used to walk to school through the fields, about a mile’s walk, and as I got older I would roam further, going down to the beach and along the cliffs.
“Essentially, I was lucky enough to have the freedom of the countryside to play out, gathering bouquets, making daisy chains and rose-petal perfume, picking field mushrooms, and a love of wild flowers is with me to this day.” So much so that Ruby organises all her music engagements, such as weddings, into flower-named folders. The chance to premiere Encyclopedia Botanica in Edinburgh came initially at the invitation of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace. “The organisers asked me if I was interested in taking part and it occurred to me that these new pieces would be entirely appropriate,” says Ruby, whose concert will now straddle the Fringe and Spirituality festivals.
Acclaimed U.K. harpist Ruby Paul returns with new album
Jazz Corner, December 2010
(Yorkshire, England) - Written by Robert Sutton. It topped the download charts in the Middle East in April 2009, but Forbidden Fruit, the latest album from U.K.-based singer/songwriter Ruby Paul, is just starting to gain attention in the rest of the world with reviews slated to appear in prominent jazz and mainstream music sites. A collection of acoustic-based love songs, Forbidden Fruit brings Paul's fragile, softly crooning vocals to the surface, quite different from her work as a professional harpist.
Recently selected by Brides magazine as Recommended Harpist for Weddings, Paul has released three albums that stitch together her jazz, folk, and singer/songwriter influences. A classically trained harpist, Paul has performed regularly throughout the U.K. and was the only British harpist invited to perform at the International Harp Festival near Barcelona, Spain in June 2010. On Forbidden Fruit, the spotlight falls on Paul's delicate voice which combines the wounded sweetness of the late Karen Carpenter and the soulful richness of Norah Jones. With its stripped-down, unplugged setting, there is an air of intimacy created between the artist and the listener, allowing the emotions in the songs to truly pour through. In "You've Stolen My Heart," Paul's melancholic yearning reaches into the pits of despair; however, it's a beautiful ache, one that is embellished by the dark shadows of the guitar. But it's not all about pain. "Shaking like a Leaf" has the twee appeal of indie pop as Paul describes a schoolgirl crush with fetchingly articulated innocence. The guitar playing is crisply recorded, especially on "Something Strong," wherein each string is keenly felt. A plaintive cover of Leon Russell's "This Masquerade" has a warm coffeehouse vibe while "I'll Always Be There" finds Paul in an irresistibly upbeat mood.
York harpist Ruby Paul to perform at festival in Spain
York Press, January 2010
YORK harpist Ruby Paul is to perform at the Festival Internacional d'Arpa de Sentmenat in June at the invitation of event founder German Ocana. “I feel very honoured to be one of only ten or 12 harpists to be asked to take part this summer,” says Ruby. “The festival is run by a harp enthusiast and maker, who found me via MySpace. He draws harpists from all over the world to his festival, where musicians will play harps from different parts of the world, including Chinese and African instruments.”
The festival will take place in Sentmenat, a small town outside Barcelona in Catalonia, from June 20. “The event is free because of German Ocana's Socialist principles and it attracts audiences of over 2,000 people per concert,”says Ruby. “Last year's headliner was Cecile Corbel, and Sam Sussho, from North Africa, Chang Ye, from China, and the new Scottish harpist Rachel Hair played too.”
Ruby can look forward to five-star treatment. “I'm getting a top dollar fee, hotel room and a driver to drive me into Barcelona to do some sightseeing, so I'll go to Spain for three days,” she says..... Click the link above to read the whole article.
New Album by York Singer Songwriter Ruby Paul
York Press, November 2008
Ruby Paul's new album has come of something of a surprise, not least to Ruby herself. “I started working on a live set with guitarist Richard Lower, and hey presto, before we knew it, there was a fully fledged album. Some projects just struggle and stagnate but this one just gathered momentum effortlessly.” Ruby's starting point was the songs of Karen Carpenter. “ I'm often told I sound like her”, she says, “so I wanted to look back to the era of karen Carpenter and jazz and bossa nova songs, the music of Burt Bacharach and Antonio Carlos Jobim”, adds Ruby, whose album includes covers of ‘Close To You' and ‘Ill never Fall In Love Again'. "It's a record that's more reflective of my live sound than the very big sound we had on ‘Velvet Glove'. That focused my mind on the arrangements and the vocal sound because there would be no overdubbing, simply one voice, one guitar”
The title track, ‘Forbidden Fruit', emerged last of all. “I knew I wanted to write a French song, like Edith Piath, Madeleine Peroux or Carla Bruni: something sexy. ‘Forbidden Fruit ‘came to mind and then it was written very quickly at the end of making the album, and in terms of imagery, it stood out as the best. Richard and I rehearsed it on the Tuesday and recorded it on the Wednesday, while my daughter was at playgroup.Ruby closes the album with ‘Soundtrack To My Life', which sums up the purpose of the album and Ruby's feelings about Karen Carpenter. “For me, the ultimate purpose of singing is to share a secret with the listener. This is what I feel I have in common with Karen, a singer who sang from the heart, but not ostentatiously.”
Fundraising for Angels Appeal Proves a Real Family Affair for Ruby
The Press, July 2008
A COMBINED family effort has given The Press’s Guardian Angels appeal a timely £1,000 boost – with just 15 days left to hit the £300,000 target. York singer-songwriter Ruby Paul has led a non-stop fundraising campaign for our appeal over the past year, with the highlight being a sell-out gig in April. She also sold a limited edition DVD featuring recorded highlights of the concert in aid of the appeal, and donated her performance fee from the York Festival Of Food & Drink.
Her two children, Robin, 13 and Jennifer, three, also helped the cause, by selling off their toys at a car boot sale. Their money has taken us to within £6,000 of reaching our target to fund the new state-of-the-art high-dependency unit for children at York Hospital. Ruby, who lives in Acomb, said: “I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to reach the £1,000 mark. “I’ve really enjoyed raising money for such a worthwhile cause and it’s fantastic that the unit is nearly finished.” The life-saving unit, which consists of two state-of-the art rooms, has already received its first patients – but is still short of some vital pieces of equipment. With one final push, we hope to raise the final £6,000 needed to complete the project by October 11, when the unit will be officially opened. It will be used by children suffering from illnesses such as meningitis, septicemia, bronchiolitis, convulsions or serious physical injury. Children will have immediate access to the right treatment instead of waiting for ventilators and monitors to be taken from other patients. If you are able to help and would like to hold a fundraising event, let us know about it and we can publicise it in The Press to make sure as many people as possible support your efforts.
Ruby Sings Again for Angels Appeal
York Press, April 2008
RECORDED highlights of a sell-out gig in aid of The Press's Guardian Angels appeal will go on sale today to raise more money. The DVD will be launched at Acomb Music, in Front Street, York, where singer Ruby Paul will give a live performance just after 1pm. She will be joined by the talented teenager Natasha Merritt, who also sang at the charity concert. Both artists signed copies of the DVD for customers.
All profits from the DVD will go to our Guardian Angels appeal, which aims to raise £300,000 to fund a new high dependency unit for children at York Hospital. Acomb Music is offering a ten per cent discount on all its stock for customers who bought one of the Guardian Angels' DVDs. They cost £10 from the shop, or £11.50 (including postage and packaging) by logging on to www.rubypaul.com The concert took place at the Basement Bar, City Screen, earlier this month and more than 100 people attended to pledge their support and enjoy the music. Making it to the rostrum was Natasha, a pupil at Huntington School and Bethan, a classically trained singer from Bootham School, was runner-up. The three singers joined each other on stage to sing the fittingly titled song, Opportunity, which was also composed by Ruby.
Big launch of Ruby’s appeal DVD
LIMITED edition DVD being sold in aid of the Guardian Angels Appeal is to have an official launch in York’s Borders book store. The DVD features recorded highlights of a sell-out gig when more than 100 people flocked to see Acomb singer Ruby Paul perform at the City Screen in April. The concert raised more than £500 for the appeal, but Ruby, who is a mother of two, hopes to double that amount with proceeds for the DVD. The singer-songwriter from Acomb is a dedicated supporter of the Guardian Angels Appeal. She said: “It just seems to be a lovely way to continue promoting and raising money for the Guardian Angels and promoting the name of Guardian Angels. “It was a really special concert as I had two young girls performing with me at City Screen. It was a really memorable occasion and it is continuing to raise more money for the appeal.” The DVD is currently available to buy from the website www.rubypaul.com and has been sent as far away as Enfield in London. People can also buy it from Acomb Music, Banks Music, City Screen, Philip Martin Books in Walmgate and The Press offices in Walmgate. Borders is also stocking it and to celebrate the fact, Ruby and 16-year-old singer and musician Natalie Vass will be performing at the store on Saturday July 19, at 2pm. The DVD featured Ruby performing with 16-year-old Natasha Merritt and 17-year-old Bethan Ratcliffe following a string of performances in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon and London. As already reported in The Press, we are now less than £40,000 off the appeal’s £300,000 target.
I Had a Miracle Baby
Mums The Word, Spring 2008
Ruby Paul is a singer from York. She is releasing a single called "Miracle Baby". This song was inspired by her own journey to concieve and give birth to her daughter, Jennifer Rose. She tells her story:
"When you decide as a couple that you want to have a child together, you think it will be a straightforward process. It was not so simple for my husband and I who tried to concieve for years with no success. Our hearts would sink as we saw friends and aquaintances getting pregnant. Eventually, the doctor referred us for IVF treatment. the IVF journey is not an easy one. I was nervous about the treatment . My husband felt bad he could not give us the baby we so wanted. Financial factors and a rollercoaster of emotions add to an already stressful situation. Nothing is certain as debts mount and you have to keep a positive relationship and lifestyle whilst your mind is on just one thing. Initially, I felt focused and positive as the treatment began."
In reality, ten days is not a long time but feels interminable. Sometimes I would obsess over pregnancy magazines convinced all was well. At other times I would plunge into despair when a period came. We had four attempts at IVF at Leeds General Infirmary. I wrote Miracle Baby to celebrate our journey and our lovely little daughter. It will strike a chord with anyone who has faced infertility, but will also appeal to all parents, as every child is a miracle."
New Years Resolution
The Talk, March 2008
Matt Seymour thinks musicians should stop being lazy this New Year. I do take his point about many acts playing the same venues and treating Myspace as if it was the only medium of communication. Let's face it, Myspace is seriously addictive and where better to make music than in a friendly pub packed out with one's mates? The problem is though, that playing your local night after night isn't going to get your CD's on the shelves, or your music on the radio. To get our stuff out there we need to be touring, networking, interacting with the media, and producing our own high quality recordings. Musicians are inclined to stay in their comfort zone, I agree, but I don't think it's just laziness. Once you start to look at what needs doing it can seem overwhelming- trying to be your own manager, tour manager and record company, managing on and off-line PR...not to mention the musical tasks of songwriting, arranging, rehearsing, recording, producing, and gigging. For singer-songwriters like myself , it's even harder, as we don't have band members to share the load with.. so it's no wonder that many of us are dreaming it, rather than doing it. Matt's editorial struck a chord with me, because getting off my backside, musically speaking, is my New Years Resolution. I look around other local singer-songwriters and find some good role- models: David Ward-Maclean and Miles Cain busy networking and promoting with other artists; Jess Gardham and Holly Taymar, doing well in National Competitions, the impeccable Edwina Hayes, her arduous tour shedule making her one of the most hard-working acts on the circuit. I've started the ball rolling and on days when I'm facing frustration I remind myself "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". Here's one tough cookie getting going, to help put York and North Yorkshire on the map... Ruby Paul
Natasha is choice for Angel show
York Press, February 2008
A BUDDING young musician and a York singer-songwriter will be joining forces in a charity concert to raise money for The Press's Guardian Angels appeal. Ruby Paul held auditions last week in search of a soloist to accompany her in a concert on Tuesday, April 8, in the basement bar at City Screen. Ruby auditioned seven girls and chose 16-year-old Natasha Merritt, a pupil at Huntington School, as the winner. Together they will raise funds for a new high-dependency unit at York Hospital, which will reduce the need for seriously-ill children in York to be transferred to hospitals further afield. Ruby said: "The Search for the Voice of an Angel has uncovered a wealth of young talent. The standard was very high, with many of the applicants having entered previous competitions in York and been placed highly. "I was spoilt for choice for my support act, but decided on Natasha as the winner. She sang her own song with a catchy refrain entitled Shut Up And Listen To Me, all about making her own way in the music business." Natasha, who says she is influenced by performers like Kate Nash and Corinne Bailey Rae, accompanies herself on the piano. She has previously sung in school concerts and at St Andrew's Church. Natasha has produced a CD of her own original songs which will be on sale on the night of the concert and she will be donating a percentage of the takings to The Guardian Angels appeal. Ruby said: "I greatly enjoyed conducting the competition and meeting the young singers, whose talent and commitment was really inspiring."
Rainbow Ball's Colourful Night Helps a Great Cause
A DAZZLING ball at Harrogate's Crown Hotel has raised £22,000 for an IVF treatment fund. Nearly 500 guests gathered at the venue for a 007 ball organised by The Rainbow Appeal Fund Committee in aid of The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust IVF Unit.
Guests were greeted with sparkling champagne and a performance by singer songwriter Ruby Paul, a former patient of the unit who wrote a song Miracle Baby inspired by her personal experience.
“I was delighted to be given the opportunity to perform at the ball,” said Ruby.
“It’s fantastic that so much money was raised for the unit, I hope that they can continue to help people as they helped me.” The evening’s entertainment featured a Shirley Bassey tribute act, young performers from The Red Shoes Dance Studio, York, who danced to a selection of legendary Bond ballads, authentic belly dancers from Greece, live music and a 7ft look-alike of infamous Bond villain Jaws.
All money raised on the night will help fund the refurbishment of the patient waiting area of the I.V.F Unit, which is based at the Clarendon Wing of Leeds General Infirmary. The full article contains 202 words and appears in Harrogate Advertiser newspaper. Ruby Performs Miracle Baby at IVF Ball
YORK singer-songwriter Ruby Paul reached the finals of the 2006 UK Song Writing competition with her composition, Something Strong.
"It's the premier British Song Writing Competition of its kind, so I'm absolutely thrilled to get recognition for my writing after quite a few years of grafting away," says Ruby. The competition was open to professional and amateur songwriters alike and Ruby's song reached the finals of the Folk and Country category, beating more than 4000 contestants
"The idea for the song came to me, in the kitchen, peeling vegetables, the old saying, 'something old, something new' kept going round in my head and then I got the next line, 'tie the knot forever true,' and I was already singing it to a tune in my head." To conclude the song, Ruby wanted another 'something.' It had to tie all the other 'somethings' together and give the song a unique meaning. She came up with 'Something Strong'....