In this episode, Rosalyn sits down with Saskia Tomkins, as they discuss the invitations for vulnerability that can come with the highs and lows of living in a post-pandemic age.

Tune in, as they consider concepts of self-discovery, creative expression, and having the courage to take the lead in sharing your story; as Saskia also offers listeners her reflections on how she navigates the connection between music, identity, and culture.

In this episode we are thrilled to premiere the live video “Farewell to Music” performed by Saskia Tomkins. The track was recorded live off the floor at the 2022 Folk Music Ontario Conference. 

Link to “Saskia Tomkins - Farewell to Music” live video 

Link to “Saskia Tomkins + Mixed Museum” 

About Saskia Tomkins

Saskia Tomkins is a master musician, educator, a composer, and multi-instrumentalist, performing on violin, viola, cello and Nyckelharpa. 
UK born, she is classically trained with a folk background and a B.A.hons. in Jazz Music. As an All-Britain Champion Irish Fiddler, in 2022, she also received an award for services to Irish Music in Canada.
Saskia was the official Artist in Residence, in 2022, with Folk Alliance International, and is currently Artist in Residence with British-based organization The Mixed Museum - which works to preserve and share the social history of racial mixing in Britain of Black and ethnic minorities for future generations.
Over the years, Saskia has worked with many musicians, including: The Chieftains, Sultans of String, Jabbour, MEDUSA, and many other fabulous acts along with her husband Steáfán Hannigan and son Oisín Hannigan.

Follow Saskia on Social Media: 

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Presented by Folk Music Ontario
Hosted by Rosalyn Dennett
Produced by Kayla Nezon (Folk Music Ontario), Rosalyn Dennett (Folk Music Ontario), Tim Fraser + Tanya Fraser (Murdoch Entertainment)
Recorded by Kayla Nezon, and Jordan Moore of The Pod Cabin
Edited by Jordan Moore of The Pod Cabin
Theme music “Amsterdam” by King Cardiac
Artwork by Jaymie Karn
The ReFolkUs Project is made possible through the generous support of the Department of Canadian Heritage

What is ReFolkUs?

Introducing ReFolkUs, a new podcast by Folk Music Ontario, where we talk to artists and music industry professionals about building sustainable careers as creative workers, with a focus on folk.

[00:00:00] Rosalyn: Hello and welcome to Refocus. Our guest today is Saskia Tomkins. Saskia is a master musician of violin, Viola cello, and nickel Harpa. She's an educator and a composer, UK born, who's classically trained with a folk background and a BA honors in jazz music.

She's an all written champion, Irish Fiddler, and in 2022, received an award for services to Irish Music in Canada. Over the years, Seki has worked with many musicians, including the Chieftons Soans of String, Jabour, Medusa, and many other fabulous acts, along with her husband Stefan Hannigan and son, ocean Hannigan. Welcome, Saskia. How are you

[00:00:34] Saskia: Hi, Rosalyn. I'm great. Thank you. Let be here.

[00:00:37] Rosalyn: You are calling from a, a bit of a unique place right now. Can you tell folks where you're calling in from?

[00:00:44] Saskia: can, I'm calling in from Wolf Island at the hotel in Wolf Island, which is just off the coast of Kingston, Ontario. I did a gig with my band Medusa last night. We're still here cause the ferry only comes once an hour, so you can't get off the island until said ferry. So we are hanging here to do this interview and there's a songwriting workshops going on and there's random people and we've had a session this morning, an old time session and it's, busy and crazy and wonderful.

[00:01:12] Rosalyn: sounds like a, magical musical spot. So you're, performing with Medusa you perform with all sorts of, acts though, and I feel like you're a busy musician.

you gig and work a lot, especially in the live space. And I know record it as well. What has it been like for you kind of getting back on the road post pandemic? what are the vibes out there emerging back into the live world?

[00:01:37] Saskia: Yeah, it's interesting I feel like the pandemic was 20 years ago now because I've done so many gigs, because I do so many different types of music and so many different types of bands and musicians and artists that It feels like everybody's desperate for music again.

So, The gate, there's twice as much work as there was before. That's what it feels like. and for that, I'm really grateful. But the coming back into it from the pandemic, my first couple of concerts, I've been performing since I was 11, 12, and I didn't know that I got nervous.

Until my first couple of gigs after the pandemic and I was like, oh, I, I got terrible stage fright, which really shocked me cuz I've never had it before. And I didn't know what to do with it. And I thought, oh, okay. Performing is a practice thing. Same as anything else. That was very interesting. while I was having a meltdown, I was also, that bit of myself was watching me and laughing at myself going, haha, this will serve you.

Right. You're so arrogant. the first one, I told the audience, I'm sorry, I have Bo Shake and I'm sorry I'm currently crying and shaking, but, but this is how it is. And they were all lovely and it sorted itself out But it's quite nice to be back.

[00:02:53] Rosalyn: I remember the first, everything, like the first concert I went to in the first. Conference I went to. it was so emotionally overwhelming. I, I cried at everything. I also had like two babies, so I feel like during the pandemic, and I feel like that made me cry at, I also cry at like Tim Horton's

[00:03:09] Saskia: Yeah, yeah. You have babies and your emotions are never the same. been there.

[00:03:15] Rosalyn: that's really interesting that to experience those, Feelings for the first time that I feel like, can be kind of ubiquitous

for performing artists to feel that, that kind of nervousness. how did you work through it?

[00:03:27] Saskia: I put my bow on the strings and took a deep breath and hoped for the best, and eventually it, it dissipated. because I was so open with the audience, especially the first concert, I had quite a few of the audience coming up to me afterwards and thanking me for my honesty and my openness because they experience that in whatever field they're in.

and I also had musicians who were at the concert coming up and saying, it's really nice to hear that you also can struggle with that. But I, I realized that, I've always thought of the stage as just being my natural habitat, like a beaver.

[00:04:03] Rosalyn: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:04] Saskia: And when you take yourself out of the land for a while, out of that space for a while, it's almost sort of a, a PTSD thing.

I don't know.

it was interesting. It's almost a panic thing.

[00:04:14] Rosalyn: Yeah. I mean if, if, that's your natural habitat to be removed from it, forcibly removed from it for two years, that must have been tough.

[00:04:23] Saskia: There's a lot of us in the same boat, I think. But it's fantastic to be performing again. And it, and it's interesting cuz there's still, it surprises me, there's still audience members who come who say, this is my first concert. I've just decided it's time. I'm ready to go out again and re reintroduce myself to the world.

And I, I find that extraordinary. Well, we've been living with this fear for so long, and I'm still careful. I, I still, well, I got covid two months ago for the first time, which was kind of crappy. But there's still a real fear out there and cautiousness,

and audiences are coming back, but they're still not back up to par.

The gigs are there, but the audiences aren't quite there yet. But he's coming. He's coming.

[00:05:05] Rosalyn: it's neat that folks appreciated or like we're vocally appreciating that vulnerability. know, it's one of the. Reasons why we started doing this podcast was to kind of tap into, or maybe kind of ride this wave that, people are, being more open about, talking about the struggles o are open to being a bit more vulnerable.

Cuz certainly, the veneer of. How good things look online or on, social media and stuff and it's really neat to kind of crack it a bit and, and see what's underneath. I think a lot of folks appreciate hearing about that from people.

[00:05:37] Saskia: Yeah, that's true. and also you were saying about performances you went to afterwards, you cried and you, yeah. It might be because you had babies, but I've seen a lot of audience members crying who haven't got babies or probably had babies 30 years ago. they're allowing themselves to be Yeah.

Vulnerable. Also, the music just hits, I mean, you and I, we've, we've got music. We've always had music, so, you playing in your bedroom or playing in your living room alone? It's kind of a little depressing, but you can still, we've still got that, that music thing, but a lot of people, they didn't have that.

[00:06:08] Rosalyn: Yeah. and it's also just nice to watch other people and enjoy other people making it and creating and you know,

[00:06:15] Saskia: Yeah. one of the things I realized that it really hit home was, Performing again in front of an audience, you realize that the audience is so much part of the performance because there's an energy sharing a two-way thing, and it's so almost visceral, but it's really easy to take these things for granted and not notice.

But after the pandemic, I noticed it was so, it's so strong. And it's a two-way sharing. It's not just the musicians giving the audience a gift. They want to also giving the gift of their energy and their focus and their enthusiasm yeah, it's quite a beautiful thing.

And that, that's my, that's my drug, that's my drug of choice.

[00:06:55] Rosalyn: Yeah. So then how do you mitigate those highs and lows then now that you're back on the road getting the highs from, from the audience and, and feeling all those good feelings How, how are you mitigating that

[00:07:08] Saskia: Oh, that's such a tough question. the higher the highs, the lower the lows, right?

Most of the time I am so busy that my highs kind of. It's like a washing line, you hang your laundry on the line, then it goes to the next clothes bag of a eye.

Most of the time it manages to, I manage to do that, but I do find that I don't have as much energy as I used to. And I'm sure it's because I floated around in my garden for two years going, oh, look at the butterflies. And I wasn't in fifth gear. fifth gear is now really hard to get to. And I, I'm not as good as sustaining it as I used to be.

So I do a lot of sleeping. Sleeping seems to work and floating around in my garden, which is a is a good thing. But I, I found as well that, I struggle a bit with, with the darker side now, which I, I always manage to smooth over and my emotions are much rawer than they used to be.

And less controllable than they used to be. So, if I have gigs where, I'm on the high and you can't sleep cuz you're, you are at that place and then you have to sleep in the next day. And then if there's nothing for a few days, I finally get very sad.

But I allow myself to cry. I allow myself to be quiet. I, I, I allow myself to feel those fields cuz I know they're transitional. It's not permanent. my heart thinks it's permanent, but my brain knows that it's not, it's only temporary. So it's like, okay, let's just sit in this for a bit. Okay.

Time to move on. Yeah.

[00:08:34] Rosalyn: you have, uh, Brilliant, wonderful musical family

[00:08:39] Saskia: that's my support network as well. and I have a grandchild now, which really helps as well, you can't be sad around babies

[00:08:45] Rosalyn: what's it been like are your kids

[00:08:47] Saskia: So Ashin he's a phenomenal percussionist and he now runs really lovely recording studio with Noah Sullivan in, in Montreal. And yeah, he's gigging with lots of people as well. And then Ella is the one with the baby, and she's a singer, but she's a model, currently dealing with a almost a year old baby now. And then Aisha is my 19 year old, and she's recently gone. Said, oh, I've been fighting against being a musician, but I realize that I'm a musician she's an singer.

And plays guitar and writes songs. But recently, she's only recently come back to that because she's realized that her boyfriend's a musician and her two best friends are singers and writers and all these things keep heading her back onto that path. And she said, I can't, I can't fight it anymore, mum.

This is just who I am. It's like, yes.

[00:09:39] Rosalyn: Finally.

[00:09:41] Saskia: Finally the teenage years have gone. Thank goodness for that. Yeah. so having a, and obviously Stephan, who's my husband, who's s Stephan Hannigan, who's a really amazing musician, and in the arts, I have a really good support network. I think you breed your own tribe.

You'll find that when your kids get older,

[00:09:59] Rosalyn: I can't wait for the next time I see your family band, now that you might have new members in it. That's exciting.

[00:10:04] Saskia: Yeah, I think, well, new old members, I suppose they rejoin.

[00:10:08] Rosalyn: That's a neat Dynamic to be. And I joked about this with an Angelique Francis who

has a family

band and,

[00:10:15] Saskia: fabulous.

[00:10:16] Rosalyn: and she has more siblings that aren't yet in the band. And I joked about, oh, well, is there pressure?

Like, are they gonna be disappointed if When's a doctor or something and No, but it's, it's neat to, but it's, it's kind of funny that that's kind of ubiquitous throughout these musical families in some ways that you had a daughter that like fought against it.

Like that was rebelling, not being a musician was, was rebelling against the family order.

[00:10:39] Saskia: Yes. Yeah, ashen did that as well. Just to let you know he did it when he was younger. Yeah. He was going to go into become a professional video gamer. and then we sat down and talked once about what, life really means and what's really important, and if that's what you wanna do.

Absolutely. And then I said, but you gotta make a decision and stick, and, and work towards it. And then, yeah, the penny dropped. He went, yeah, I, he was trying not to be his dad, but then one day he went, yeah, I'm myself, but I'm like, dad and I can't fight it anymore. And the world is grateful for that.

[00:11:13] Rosalyn: Yeah, certainly.

[00:11:15] Saskia: but it's like in the old days if your father was a fisherman, you would go into the fishing industry. If they were a baker, you'd go into baking. It was just family vocation and musicians are the same, but it happens less, in this day and age. But I think the music world is still pretty much like that.

[00:11:33] Rosalyn: Well, speaking of, family the piece that was created out of your the artist in ency at the, at Folk Lion really, incredible. There's a video. You can, you can check it out online and we'll link to it in the notes. But yeah, speaking of crying, I wpt watching the video.

It's, it's really, impactful and emotional story. What was it like to share, to share that journey with, with the public and, and, and tell, tell folks a story of your family.

[00:12:01] Saskia: It was really tough. It was really tough. It was an amazing thing to do. It was an incredible thing to do, and very healing from myself and my family my kids and my mother especially well, and me as well. And we've all traveled a lot since then within ourselves and our growth.

it was, to bear, bear my soul, knowing that.

[00:12:22] Rosalyn: Hmm.

[00:12:23] Saskia: A lot of people would see it. I'm a, I'm actually a very private person, and I think some of that comes from When, you come from a family that has been so traumatized by their past and by keeping secrets, Secrets are so damaging, and when you're brought up where secrets are the norm.

You can't talk about things you can't tell anybody. You've gotta keep it going. You end up shutting everything in. So, although I'm, I, I think of myself as a very open person. I'm actually very secretive and private. So that was like, you, you can go so far and then never, never see anything underneath that.

But I even, I didn't know really what was underneath that. So, so that I had to dig deep into the well. But what's happened is that I, I feel like. My insides, and I've seen it with my kids and my mom that churning up and it's allowed all those deep scars to, to finally heal over. And it's been the most extraordinary journey.

I mean, the gift that Focal Alliance gave me, they probably don't really know, but the gift they gave me is the most extraordinary gift. That's, yeah. And, and because of that we've met family on my black family side. So for, for listeners who don't know, my mother was the child of an English, a white English woman and a black American gi.

And there was lots and lots of complications in there. And after the war uh, the government. Tidied up the brown babies as they're called and put in children's homes. So there's a lot of stuff parallels to Canada with the indigenous stuff. So it's, yeah, it's been incredibly healing and amazing.

it still goes on, there's a, a documentary organization that are interested, I dunno if it'll happen, but they're talking about making a full length documentary. Which is super exciting.

it's extraordinary family. I didn't know. Who didn't know us, who didn't know, knew nothing about us, and, because both my mom and myself have had our the black side of us erased in terms of our upbringing and our culture and everything else. It's really extraordinary to be in touch with that and there's this kind of acknowledging, ah, this is part of me, this is part of who I am.

it's mind blowing. There's, there's this thing that though that you go, well, I'm, I, as I say in the video, I'm, I'm brown on the outside, but I'm white on the inside. Just because of the way I was brought up. But it's still, and my mom's the same, but it's this still hasn't quite got to round to saying that she's black yet, even though she's half black.

but my kids all now say that their grandmother's black. Which wouldn't have happened at all. it's a whole, whole thing.

[00:15:23] Rosalyn: Yeah. Yeah. has that new. Framing of your identity, has any of that seeped in to your music and, and, and how you're, you're approaching your instruments?

[00:15:38] Saskia: I've always played blues. And I've always I've done a lot of sort of blues and creole music in the past, but I've always felt like I did, it didn't belong to me. Just the same as, I don't think the Irish belongs to me, even though I'm a really good Irish fiddler because, I'm not Irish, and you get this, it is an identity crisis thing that happens on a daily basis and always has done.

But now I'm, I'm coming to the point where I go, no, this is, this is my music. This is part of who I am. and there's a thing that it kind of settles, it settled in me. And I'm more me than I've ever been, which is I like me, it's a good place to be. But it, it's coming, it's coming outta the music and I, and I'm, I'm doing a over the pandemic.

I did a lot of writing. Before I made the video, I was doing a lot of composing, sort of more classical stuff. It's just the way that it was coming out. But I've now been listening to a lot of black and mixed race classical composers. I'm, I'm going on an explorer on a journey to see how they use their own music their own identity and culture within classical idiom.

So, I dunno where it's gonna lead, but it's really, it's a really interesting journey

[00:16:52] Rosalyn: I'd love to just explore for even a moment, like how Because you brought up that feeling of like, oh, I play Irish music, but I don't feel like that belongs to, to me. And it's, as someone who I, I love, I love traditional music, so much of all different kinds and have wrestled with those same feelings of different music.

If you're not from that, culture. what's your approach been like to that? I, I feel like I've seen you play in, in a whole bunch of different genres and you're, you're such a brilliant musician that way that you're able to, to dance between, between them really seamlessly, but also really authentically what, what's usually your approach to learning different, styles and,

[00:17:32] Saskia: I had a conversation last night with somebody here on the island who's uh, she's put on a, an exhibition of black diaspora, African diaspora art. And we had this big conversation about cultural appropriation in the arts and how art visual artists tend to be really worried about cultural appropriation, whereas musicians tend not to be.

Because music since beginning of time has always borrowed from other places. Or a musician will go and go, Hey, it go, here's something. And go, oh, I love that. So they want to learn it because it's interesting and it informs them as a musician. So that's where I'm at. I think as long as, as long as you honor a tradition and really really listen to it and really.

Take from it. Where, where is it actually coming from? Rather than, you know, in the Irish world, rather than just playing the Irish washroom and going, Hey, I play Irish music, which I've seen. I mean, it happens in every tradition, but if you actually really listen and immerse yourself in that music, To figure out what is the essence?

What actually makes that music, that music, what's the essence of it Then once you've learned that and you've been able to recreate that, then you can take it where you want because you're honoring that tradition, but you are then giving it life. You're not keeping it in a museum, which is always, nobody wants music covered in dust.

It's a, it doesn't work. so that's my thing. And also I, I just, I get excited by things. I hear a new, a new type of, band playing or a fiddler playing or whatever it is from wherever in the world. And I just get totally excited by it. And I want to know everything there is about it.

then suddenly something else will come up and, squirrel, I've pivoted because I want that one. And then at some point I'll go, oh, back to that one again. That's how I am.

[00:19:23] Rosalyn: Hmm.

yeah. But does that have to, do with a bit of your, your neurodiversity too, like the way that you

learn and learn music?

[00:19:33] Saskia: Totally. Totally. It's recently discovered that I'm a, I've been, I've been told for years that I'm adhd, but I used to laugh it off until, recently, like many, many artists are going, oh, that's me. And it's so, yeah. It's so, so true that that type of. hyper focused on one thing for a while and then it's completely forgotten about because there's a hyper focus on something else more interesting has come along or as interesting.

And then at some point you'll hear something, you go, Hey, I was doing that. Oh, I love that. And then you're back to it again. that's definitely uh, a neurodiverse brain. It's definitely not a neurotypical brain. But it's also the same brain that forgets to eat lunch cuz they're into something. Yeah.

[00:20:20] Rosalyn: I wonder if during the pandemic there were I think this might be not necessarily a musician thing, maybe it's broader than that, but you know, a lot of people having that time to do that, to do that work and kind of, get to know themselves a little bit.

A little bit better and

[00:20:39] Saskia: I, I think the pandemic's done that. Yeah. That, that time alone time has done it to a lot of people. Which is why people are quitting their jobs everywhere and going off to be pig farmers or whatever it is, cuz they've figured out that that's their passion in life. It's wonderful. I think it's wonderful.

[00:20:55] Rosalyn: and then, and then you're kind of emerging, back into it now with these. Kind of maybe new tools or something, a little bit more self-awareness.

[00:21:02] Saskia: what I did in the pandemic, I thought, I dunno, how long is this gonna last? But need to make sure that I don't forget to practice, cuz if I don't have a deadline or something coming up. Suddenly I'll realize two weeks have gone past and I've been reading or whatever.

and so I set myself an alarm. I have a, I have a, my phone is full of alarms that go off for different things, but I set my, so 11 o'clock every day I practiced for an hour and I didn't care whether I wanted to or not. That's what I did. And, and I practiced with the metronome for about six months every day.

And it was extraordinary how. How that changed my play. It tightened me up cuz I'm a very emotive player and I go with the flow. But you have to remember that sometimes you have to walk as well. That, that heartbeat is really important as well as the river. Yeah. And when you're playing with other musicians, it's really easy.

It's a lazy, lazy way of relying on the other musicians to keep you in time. so I sorted that bit of me, which was great.

[00:21:59] Rosalyn: As someone who was so busy performing prior to the pandemic how did you deal with, with the isolation

[00:22:08] Saskia: well, I, I play with, cuz I live with my husband, obviously he's a musician. So we got to play and we did some live streaming, but our internet wasn't good enough so. We gave up on that. But then I, I got a phone call from a friend of mine, Georgia Hathaway, who's a fiddle player, who said, I really need to play with people.

And I was thinking, who, who would I like to jam with? And so I've, I thought I'd really like to jam with, my favorite people in the world. Are you and Leah, Kirsten and Marta soak. Do you want to meet us in the park and have a jam session? Like Sure. So I drove down to Toronto and we met on a bandstand and we were all masked and miles away from each other cuz it was the time of terror and and we had this amazing jam.

And then a film company came along. Who were they happened to be filming the hundredth anniversary of this particular park, and they were interviewing people who used it. they they came up and said, can we film you using this park? I said, sure. And they said, what's your band called?

And can we book you for the, for the launch of the, of the documentary? I was like, whoa. This is all very sudden. It was like speed dating. So, what we found interesting was that four of us were, were all non-male. And what was really interesting is that we were all, as we were jamming with just tunes and improvisation, we were all waiting for somebody else to take the lead.

And, and then realized that none of us were taking the lead because we were so used to, all of us were so used to supporting other musicians on the stage that we didn't come forward. And it was a real eye-opener for us. So, yeah, it, it was amazing. Anyway, so Medusa was formed and it's a phenomenal creative group of of individuals who, are very.

Happy to improvise, happy to take tuned sideways as far as they'll go and make wonderful, beautiful and ugly sounds and be just into the music. And now I'm on tour with them and we've just, somebody gifted us money to make an ep. we've just done that. We've just had it mastered and it's yeah. In May it's coming out. And I feel very grateful to be in this new extraordinary, creative group. It's just exciting. So exciting.

[00:24:33] Rosalyn: Well, you know, it's gotta be good when you get a, when you get a gig offer at your first jam, your first rehearsal, and that's,

[00:24:41] Saskia: it's,

Yeah, it's like everything's just plopped into place. It's very interesting

[00:24:45] Rosalyn: you were the first person that I ever followed on TikTok.

[00:24:50] Saskia: really,

[00:24:51] Rosalyn: Yeah.

[00:24:53] Saskia: that's so


[00:24:54] Rosalyn: on and like, looked up like fiddle and like the first person that came up was you. And, and you've got like, you've got a, like a. Pretty sweet following and like some pretty amazing engagement on there.

Was that a, was that a part of that practice schedule or, or how did you come to find that online community?

[00:25:12] Saskia: So, well, my, my kids kept saying, mom, you've gotta join TikTok. You have to join TikTok. You'll love it. And I was like, oh, no, I'm not doing TikTok. It's for young people to do stupid dances, blah, blah, blah. Okay. Okay. They kept pressuring me. So in the pandemic, I, got into it and, and discovered the musician community there, which is extraordinary.

And it was a real way of connecting with people other than. My family in my living room and yeah, and, and it was wonderful and I thought, this is fun and all the duets that you do. And then I discovered that people really loved the nickel Harper, so I, of course I did lots of that. And then the pandemic finished and I've hardly been on since.

So I got what I got

about, yeah. But I got to like two and a half thousand followers in a couple of weeks or something. It was crazy. And then I, I'm up to about three and a half thousand. But of course it's slowed down cuz I'm not, and in my calendar I have, on a daily alarm that now says, do some, do some more videos for TikTok.

And then I think, oh yeah, but I'm busy, or I'm teaching, or I'm doing this. And then it hasn't happened. And every so often I think, oh, I must get back into that because it's a really fantastic community and also a really good way of engaging fans and you get super fans from it, which is great, which we seem to need in this day and age.

it's an interesting platform and I absolutely

love it.

[00:26:32] Rosalyn: I'm looking forward to your return

just to improve my own TikTok feed.

[00:26:37] Saskia: I've just had my butt kicked by Rosalyn Denn.

[00:26:42] Rosalyn: Speaking of videos, we had the distinct pleasure of getting to film a video of you performing at the Folk Music Ontario Conference in 2022. You were you were playing in a Empty gigantic ballroom

and the videos, it's uh, Micd up real nice. So it doesn't feel that way.

And, and it's a, it's a really gorgeous, gorgeous piece. Do you, do you remember the name of the piece and, and, and what you played and why?

[00:27:14] Saskia: I played a Carolyn piece by Telo Carolyn, who's the 17th century Irish composer and heart player. I think I did Karen's farewell to music and I hadn't seen it, so I dunno what it's like. But it was, I was jamming by the fi in the, in the Fireside jam session place.

I'd probably been there for about five hours then somebody came and said, Hey, do you wanna come and do a, a recording? I was like, sure. So I wandered in. With my nickel half and went, oh, this is cool. And that, that piece is one of my favorites. But it's also, it's also one that. My, my dad found for me, my dad wasn't a musician.

He was a furniture maker and, and sculptor, but he was real music nut, huge record collection, really eclectic. That's partly why I'm into so many different types of music, cuz of him, cuz he would, when he discovered that I was interested in music, he would find things. He would say, Hey Saskia, you gotta listen to this.

Hey, we could learn this. And he heard the chieftons playing some pieces by Turo Carlan. And he went out and ordered a book of Turo, Caroline Music, which I still have, falling to pieces. And he went through with his guitar. He was an amateur classical guitarist. And he went through and played pieces and found ones that he liked, that he thought I should play.

And that was one of the pieces. I've never recorded it, so it was I was obviously feeling quite, I was in my fields at. Two o'clock in the morning, I was like, I'm gonna play this for my dad. And then I, I worried afterwards whether I was too emotive and too emotional in it and whether I drag it out or because I was so tired.

Or was it amazing? I have no idea to this day cause I haven't heard it.

[00:29:00] Rosalyn: Well, we will listen to it right now. This is Farewell to Music played by Saska Tompkins. you wanna see the, the videos quite gorgeous. And we're gonna put the, the video up on our, on our YouTube, on our website. So,

[00:30:00] Saskia: Oh, that makes me really


[00:30:02] Rosalyn: Suke, I am so glad that we got a chance to, to chat today.

Thank you so much for, for speaking with us.

[00:30:09] Saskia: Oh, that's a pleasure. It's been amazing.

[00:30:11] Rosalyn: Where can people go to find out like where you're playing and, and, and where they can, where they can find you

[00:30:16] Saskia: Huh. So, I, I have I have a website saskia, no P noh in Tompkins. And I mostly update my, my gigs on there. Or I'm on Facebook and Instagram. Yeah, that's kind of it, really. Facebook. So my, my Facebook professional account is Saskia Tompkins, a musician of the Boeing Kind,

And TikTok, I should probably start putting my gigs on that of my

[00:30:43] Rosalyn: And we'll, we'll, we'll put links to that too, so anyone who's listening can, can click and, and, and find you online. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:30:52] Saskia: It's a pleasure. Thank you for asking me.