Emily Portman is a songwriter who writes songs inspired by lullabies, motherhood and metamorphosis and likes to sing folk songs of subversive, brave and witty women. In this talk with musical accompaniment, Emily discusses her own feminist interpretations of the traditional songs she sings and the original songs she writes. Emily will explore themes of gender, transformation and her experimental forays into re-writing ballads.
Emily Portman is the 2013 holder of the BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Original Song; an accolade which reflects her power to lure listeners into a complex and darkly surreal netherworld, conjuring a dark and brooding realm. Her ethereal voice belies a world of dark storytelling, cruel deeds and sordid city landscapes, part inspired by traditional balladry and part by rich literary sources, from the myth of Leda and the Swan to the magical realism of Angela Carter.