A letter from Miriam Stockley

Miriam Stockley, the lead vocalist for Adiemus, did our site the great honour of stopping by last October and leaving the following post in the Discussion Area; as I was trimming older messages from the board, I thought her post, and the background info she supplied here on the formation and recording details of Adiemus, was simply too valuable to toss out—so I've moved it here. (If she still stops by here, I hope that she won't mind that I've preserved this.) =)

The unedited letter follows:

Dear Noah, John, Bob, Ryan, Simon, Leszek, Jason and all the other people that I have met through the net!

Today is the first day I have truly sat down to read all your comments and 'eavesdropped' on all your discussions. Some of them were fascinating, some made me chuckle and some were slightly misguided. Nevertheless I am absolutely thrilled and very excited to see how the whole site is run. Noah, you are a genius!

For fear of boring you to tears, please could I just give you a little information on how Adiemus started and correct a few misconceptions.

I started doing commercials for Karl and his former partner Mike Ratledge in 1994. He knew that I was involved with the more ethnic style of singing after being in a group called 'Praise' which was quite successful in Europe. When the Delta commercial came up, I sang did the lead vocal pretty much as it is now, but the chorus vocals were performed in a classical style.

The advertising agency liked the lead vocal but wanted much more of an 'African/child like' approach. So I suggested bringing in Mary Carewe who has a much brighter younger sound to sing with me in the choruses and I also suggested Bob Saker to do the male part. So when you listen to the title track of the SOS album, you will also hear a little male voice singing away in the chorus. I thought it only fair to mention Bob as Mary & I get all the credit and after all, he was on the original commercial which started the whole thing off! A big cheer for Bob!

Unfortunately, Bob was not involved in any of the other Adiemus tracks. The commercial was a big success and the advertising agency kept getting requests from the public for details of the record and, ofcourse, there were no details to give. So Helen Hodkinson, (Karl's manager) who had just joined Jenkins & Ratledge, went to Virgin Records and secured a record deal. Karl then composed the rest of the album and the rest you know.

I noticed that a few people asked which parts I sang and which parts Mary sang. If you listen carefully, you can hear the difference between our tones eg: Kayama on SOS, where we sing the choruses together, and the rest of the song where I do all the lead vocals, or Hymn, Cantus in Solitus & Amate Adea where I am 'solo' even though I track my voice up to 12 times. Mary & I sing all the big bright sounding choruses together, doing each part in unison and multi-tracking them. All the other voices you hear, whether in harmony or not are me.

In Cantata Mundi, I worked extremely hard as I did most of the vocals without Mary. Song of Aeolus was one of my favourites as it was such a challenge. I could also experiment with my voice more and use different tones.

We performed both albums live at the Albert Hall in London last year and one of the highlights was Song of the Plains. The percussionists really played their hearts out and the audience loved it. I hear that there is another Adiemus album in the pipeline which will be released next Autumn.

I am not involved with Karl's new album, which, I believe is a Chamber Music project. In fact, some people commented on the new Cheltenham & Gloucester commercial shot in Alaska, thinking that may have been Adiemus. Neither Mary nor myself were involved with it this time.

Thank you to the person who came to the concert in Finland - the one I couldn't do because of illness. Your comments were very kind. May I also clarify the point about my 'new album' Dream Catcher. It isn't my album. I only co-wrote a couple of tracks on the album and the producer David Lowe used some of my weird voice samples on one song.

I am however in the process of getting material together and co-writing for a solo project which will be completed next year......Watch this space!

If anybody would like to write to me personally, my e-mail address is: MiriamStockley@msn.com. I can't always promise a prompt reply as I am already writing over fifty letters a week, but I do like to reply personally at least once.

I also have a page on the web - more for the session side of my career which has given me invaluable experience in recording and television studios. I never knock that part of my past. It has enabled me to branch off into other areas of solo work with confidence.

I hope that you are still awake after this epic and please feel free to ask me any questions (providing I know the answers) you may have in the future.

Thank you all for supporting Lloyd Bard. He has done some great work for cross-over artists but most of all, thanks to Noah and all of you for your loyalty.

Much love,

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