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About Artistic Fields

Artistic Fields has been created by William Drew-Batty and Victoria Panton Bacon.  William is a musician and poet, Victoria a writer and campaigner.  They both feel passionately about the power music has to add impact to vital words - be they intimate, personal messages or public statements, perhaps for remembrance or conviction.  William is also a qualified teacher of singing, piano and music theory;  teaching one-to-one or in groups.  Victoria, as a writer of three published books and with a background in journalism and charity work, speaks publicly about her work;  always encouraging her audience, young and old, to consider how the lives of others affects the world in which we live.

 
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Artistic Fields

 

William Drew-Batty

I have worked in the music profession for over 30 years; teaching piano, singing and musical theory - and am also a composer and conductor, with a post-graduate degree in music composition and conducting. I am also an experienced piano accompanist and former professional baritone.

I believe that musicians should always keep an open mind and my early years as a session player introduced me to rock, jazz, folk and electronic music. I am passionate about music that has an intrinsic connection to the written word and love creating 'musical stories' for all ages of performer and listener. I also believe that music has the ability to help fulfil lives and am a strong advocate of working with people of all ages, backgrounds and ability.

Over the years I have composed operas, musicals, mixed instrumental ensemble pieces and choral works. I also compose to private commission, provide musical scores for film and collaborate to create audio books.

In 1997 I worked with Terry Waite CBE to produce 'Songs of Solitude', for narrator and Orchestra and have since collaborated with the writer Kevin Crossley Holland. Recently I have written music for a touring production of 'Women of Troy', the short film, 'The Day We All Came Home' and two short pieces of music theatre, 'Late Closing' and 'The World is Upside Down'. In 2021 I wrote the musical play, 'The Unknown Bird', based on the life and music of Ivor Gurney, and toured venues across Norfolk and Suffolk.


My new opera, 'Flannan Isle', a true story based on the poem by W.W. Gibson  will be staged in Autumn 2022.

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During the first Lockdown in 2020 I was encouraged by Victoria to play live music from my open window. The house we lived in at the time had an upstairs balcony and at 7pm every evening I played music to the streets of Bungay. People soon became used to my informal concerts and timed their daily walk to coincide with the performance. I gave 71 concerts, everything from Bach to Chopin, Elton John to The Smiths, and created a live-stream video on social media. We had theme nights, musical quizzes, requests, local, national and international celebrations. My music began to be followed as far away as New South Wales, Japan and Argentina! I began to understand the importance of music and community and am now fully committed to providing music for my home town.

The Unknown Bird - the story of Ivor Gurney, composer and poet. In the summer of 2021 Artistic Fields toured my musical play based on the life of this remarkable artist. Gurney had been born into quite a humble family in Gloucester but rose to become one of the foremost composers of English song in the first half of the last century, The play, including many of Ivor's songs, deals with his struggle with mental illness and takes us from his time as a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral, though the trenches of World War 1,  introduces us to his enormous poetic output, lost love and poor health and brings us, finally, to his death in a mental institution in 1937.

 

Victoria Panton Bacon

As a writer and campaigner I work from my home in the market town of Bungay, in Suffolk.  I write across a variety of subjects, but mostly about World War Two history;  I am passionate about recording true testimonies of those who are still with us and able to tell their stories.  My three published books are Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer, Remarkable Journeys of the Second World War and Remarkable Women of the Second World War.  For more information about my work please visit my personal website www.victoriapb.co.uk.  To buy, click on the following links:

Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer (penguin.co.uk)

The History Press | Remarkable Journeys of the Second World War

The History Press | Remarkable Women of the Second World War

I also run a family charity, Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope, which helps child amputees in developing countries.  These children are some of the neediest and most vulnerable children in the world.  It is a privilege to be able to care for and campaign for them.  For more information please visit the website:


www.elizabethslegacyofhope.org.

My background, however, is journalism and politics.  I worked for six years in the newsroom at BBC Television Centre, and before that for the Conservative Party, including in the Political Office in 10, Downing Street under Sir John Major.

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'Remarkable Journeys of the Second World War' - 'A Fascinating and Touching Book' - Dame Joanna Lumley OBE;  'This collection of World War Two Memories is a gem' - Jonathan Dimbleby;  'The Bayeux Tapestry of the Second World War' - Edward Wilson

Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope (registered charity number 1141287) was established in May 2011; firstly helping child amputees in Tanzania - we now care for amputees in Sierra Leone, Liberia and India - giving them not only prosthetics but education, everything they need for a better life.

'Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer' is my first published book;  it is my Grandfather's diary of being a pilot during the Battle of France in the summer of 1940.  The Times described it as 'The best account of the chaos and confusion of war outside the pages of Evelyn Waugh.'

 
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10, Upper Olland Street, Bungay, NR35 1BG