Seventh Wave Music
SEVENTH WAVE MUSIC is the creative and business wing of NIGEL SHAW and CAROLYN HILLYER, renowned musicians & artists who live and work on a thousand year old farm in the heart of Dartmoor, a mist-veiled landscape of wild hills and moors in the southwest of England. The inspiration for all their work is drawn from the raw beauty, hidden spirit and ancient memory of this deep ancestral land. Their creative output includes more than thirty music albums, paintings, traditional flute and drum making, published writings, workshops, art installations and festival events. They have also built a large neolithic-style roundhouse at their farm, created from granite, oak and rye grass thatch, and used as a ceremonial ancestor house. Their recorded albums and live performances form a magical tapestry of ancient instruments, unusual songs and music both wild and tender, using wooden and clay flutes, traditional whistles, recorders, smallpipes, bowed dulcimer, piano, overtone flutes (fujara and koncovka) and many types of hand drums and percussion. For nearly 20 years Carolyn and Nigel have been making many of their own instruments, as well as offering flute and drum making workshops every year on Dartmoor. Nigel carves flutes that carry the songs of these islands, using woods indigenous to Britain, including oak, yew, ash, holly and thorn. Carolyn creates traditional frame drums from skins sourced locally and prepared by hand at Lower Merripit Farm, including red deer, wild horse and salmon. They have travelled with their work to Australia, USA, Japan, Jamaica, Canada, Central America, the Arctic, Russia, throughout Europe and the UK. A recent concert tour took them to a Nenets tribe reindeer herders’ festival in the far north of Siberia. They regularly host Rivenstone on their Dartmoor farm, a much-loved, intimate and unique festival of sacred world music.
ABOUT OUR BUSINESS Seventh Wave Music is a long-established, organically grown, truly independent music label. It started in Nigel’s London basement in 1985, moved from being a solo enterprise into a partnership in 1992 , arriving on Dartmoor the same year, and finally landed at Lower Merripit Farm in 1995. It consists of the two of us, with a small office that used to be a dairy, a studio that was once a hay loft and a store room where cows were wintered, in a farmstead that has been inhabited for over one thousand years. We run a fairly humble business. There is no mobile reception here, which has slowed the pull into the fast waters of constant communication (for which we are grateful!) As performing musicians we spend a lot of time each year out and about doing concerts. Our time on the farm is split between office, music studio, painting studio, instrument making sheds, running workshops, organising events and the seasonal cycle of working on the land. For this reason you may not get an immediate reply to your call or email, or receive your order with the same speed offered by big online companies – but bear with us, we will respond as soon as we can and with a personal service you won’t find on Amazon! We have rarely sold our work through large online retailers or other distributors and have always retained hands-on control of how our music and publications are designed, produced, promoted and sold. We do not have a large marketing budget but have gently expanded through word-of-mouth and personal recommendation: a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to that over the years. Our aim has always been to maintain integrity and authenticity in our work…building on small but strong foundations; offering music that is created with care and which strives for the highest quality we can achieve; being fair to customers, honouring to audiences, grateful to those who support what we do; remembering to acknowledge the sacred land that inspires us and the people from whom we learn; sharing our land as much and in as many ways as we can.
TECHNOLOGY We love the visual and tactile aspects of a physical format and spend a lot of time getting those just right, so we are very happy when you decide to buy our music on CD! However we now have all our titles available as full album downloads – we generally do not offer single tracks except for special promotions or extended versions. We hope you continue to enjoy both the audio and the physical body of our work!
ETHICS All independent musicians are directly impacted by free downloading of their work by individuals onto Youtube or through online pirating sites. Periodically we contact these sites, explain our situation and politely ask them to stop, but rarely get a response! So we add our voices to the many that sing out: if you like what we create, please make the exchange fair by buying from us. And again, thank you so much to everyone who continues to do that; we are still able to produce our work because you still support it.
LICENSING A word about PRS and PPL. These are two royalty collecting agencies that have been increasingly keen in their pursuit of small shops, healing centres and individual therapists for large licence payments on behalf of their musician members. We have been contacted by many of our customers about this, some of whom have even decided to stop playing music on their premises. We are not members of PPL and have never been, although they spent some years collecting in our name until we wrote stiff legal letters! You do not need a licence from PPL to play our music in your shop or centre. We are members of PRS but do not feel that all aspects of the licensing system being imposed on smaller businesses are working to the benefit of independent musicians or our customers. Therefore for some years we have been issuing individual permission letters to people who buy from us or sell our music which allows you to play our work without a PRS licence. These documents lay out the terms of the permission and can be presented to the agency if required. Please contact us if you need help with this.
OUR THANKS Some final words of gratitude…thank you again twenty years and more of enjoying, supporting, caring about, participating in, applauding, reading, dancing to, dreaming with and being enthusiastic about our work. Thank you for sharing our music, books, paintings, drums, flutes, concerts, festivals, workshops and land and, by so doing, enabling us to continue to envision and create. With love from Nigel and Carolyn.