Sophie Janna
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Tahini Marshmallow #1 Iona Fyfe

Tahini Marshmallow #1 Iona Fyfe

Nov 07, 2021

Whoever reads my newsletter or follows me on Facebook knows that I gave in: I found a new "day job" for a few days a week. Cancelled gigs, lockdowns and half-empty venues now won't stress me out quite as much. Although it took a few weeks to get used to working in an office again, there are lots of things to love, for example my sweet colleagues, getting to learn new things while getting paid, and listening to music on my train commute. (Oh and getting a cup of great coffee on the way! And seeing the sunrise!) But I wanted to talk about that music during my commute :)

I've got a Spotify account for listening to music and I noticed that Spotify keeps sending the same artists my way, artists who already have tons of play on Spotify. And I would love to discover new music by artists who don't already have billions of listeners. So I had a plan: I would ask my own favourite musicians if they could recommend a calm song (for my way back) and an energizing one (for the way there). I created two playlists on Spotify for this purpose, which I called Tahini Marshmallow* Espresso Folk (the energizing one) and Tahini Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Folk (the calming one).

And I want to introduce my first invitee to you! The wonderful person below is Iona Fyfe. I admire her a lot because besides being a great musician, she also fights for recognition of her native tongue, Scots. As you might know I became a folk singer after I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland as a twenty-year-old, studying Linguistics. And I grew up speaking a dialect (West Frisian Dutch - which is not West Frisian, but is called Westfries in Dutch...). So Scots is very close to my heart and I love that Iona uses Scots on social media, making it more visible. I never dared to do that with Westfries, being afraid that people would not take me seriously: speaking the standard language has long been seen as a sign of proper education. All the more reason for Iona to make sure that Scots is being recognized as a proper language variety. It's also the language in which she sings. And she's been nominated Scots musician of the year - please vote for her via this link!

Iona picked a song by Molly Tuttle for the energizing playlist and her own "Guise of Tough", a bothy ballad that I remember from going to sessions in Edinburgh - and I love Iona's version! For the calming playlist she chose a song from Sarah Jarosz' new album as well as her own "Northern Lights", a beautiful song for Aberdeen written by English concert pianist Mary Webb (1901-1989).

* The Tahini Marshmallow in the name comes from this INCREDIBLE recipe from - I'm addicted to them and I couldn't believe that you can make marshmallows yourself. And it's not even difficult! And they are so much better than anything you can buy in the shops! And if you don't like or have tahini, you can use peanut butter - or just vanilla. Or earl grey? Or - the possibilities are endless. But I love the ones with tahini. I do usually make only half the recipe because otherwise I get sick eating almost half a kilo of sugar in a day.

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