Nature’s Grace album release for Helefonix, aka Walkern's Helen Meissner

Helen Meissner aka Helefonix.

Helen Meissner aka Helefonix. - Credit: Emma Massie

Life has been pretty exciting for Hertfordshire’s award-winning music promoter turned record producer Helen Meissner.

A spin on BBC Radio 3 on Elizabeth Alker's Saturday morning show was the icing on the cake following a play from Cerys Matthews on her Sunday morning show on BBC 6 Music and her awards from American-based Clouzine Magazine.

Helefonix's Nature's Grace album.

Helefonix's Nature's Grace album. - Credit: Helen Meissner

Walkern-based Helen makes music under the moniker Helefonix.

A self-confessed late starter, Helen only started making music this time last year, in her mid 50s.

"During lockdown I was reminded of my love of nature and birdsong specifically," said Helen.

Helefonix's Song Thrush Serenade was played on Cerys Matthews' BBC 6 Music show.

Helefonix's Song Thrush Serenade was played on Cerys Matthews' BBC 6 Music show. - Credit: Helen Meissner

"When I was at junior school I used to do projects in the holidays, I’ve still got a book called The Song Thrush, where I shared my (very short) story of discovering a nest and watched fascinated the progress of the fledglings.

"So it’s no surprise that I decided to record the song thrush and make it the soloist on a track I composed. This was the track which Cerys Matthews played."

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Emboldened by her success, Helen then approached poet/broadcaster Ian McMillan and asked if he would consider collaborating.

Helefonix ft Ian McMillan artwork for How To Fly.

Helefonix ft Ian McMillan artwork for How To Fly. - Credit: Helen Meissner

He responded enthusiastically and offered to create a piece specially for Helen.

“Working with Ian was a real pleasure. He was so relaxed and not at all precious with how I arranged his poem.”

The resulting track, (Teaching Darkness) How to Fly, was the one picked up by BBC Radio 3.

It includes lambs recorded at Church Farm Ardeley, church bells from Walkern, a local cockerel, blackbirds and the video accompanying the track is full of rural bliss and sunrises.

Helefonix's The Little Things artwork.

Helefonix's The Little Things artwork. - Credit: Helen Meissner

Another track which is of huge significance for Helen is The Little Things, which features footage recently uncovered of her late grandparents, Herbert and Gladys Davies.

 

While they were Watton-at-Stone residents for much of their lives, the Durham accent from her grandfather’s childhood brings a warmth and charm to his philosophical musings, which are again set to music.

The CD cover of Helefonix album Nature's Grace.

The CD cover of Helefonix album Nature's Grace. - Credit: Helen Meissner

Helefonix's 11-track album, appropriately titled Nature’s Grace, is available now on CD form via Helen’s website. 

It is on general release for streaming on Sunday, September 5.

Visit www.helefonix.co.uk for more.

The CD sleeve back cover of Helefonix album Nature's Grace.

The CD sleeve back cover of Helefonix album Nature's Grace. - Credit: Helen Meissner


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