“Lockdown made me want to be free musically. There are no boundaries. I’ve got a very rich inner world. In my head, I’ve got all this inspiration”, recalls Emmy-nominated Sarah Class as she tells the Isle of Wight County Press about her forthcoming new album, Natural High

Written during the Covid-19 shutdown, the compilation fuses worldwide ‘virtual’ collaborations with inspiration from Sarah's lockdown strolls.

“We did go for lots of walks. I spent time outside to fill me up again,” says the composer, singer and songwriter, whose Isle of Wight childhood inspires and informs Natural High, as it does with all her work.

Described as a ‘joyful and reverential tribute to the powerful magic of nature’, Sarah has involved friends - old and new - in creating music that draws on nature-linked gods and goddesses from a host of cultures.

No mean feat and the process was intensified by coronavirus. 

When she had to stay home, technology allowed her to embrace new ways of working with musicians from as far afield as Iceland, Cyprus and the United States. While her own horizons were contained, her creative ones felt no such restriction.

Sarah calls Natural High ‘truly authentic’ and she is releasing it under her own record label, Glorious Technicolour Records.

Today(Wednesday), Oceans - the final part of her Bodies of Water Suite from Natural High - premieres on YouTube. Watch (and listen) HERE from 6:30pm.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Sarah has three Emmy Award nominations under her belt, as well as Classical Brit Award nomination, a No.1 album collaboration with Hayley Westenra, and a Best Score Award, for Sir David Attenborough’s BBC TV series BBC Africa and The Meerkats. She has worked alongside legendary producer George Martin and Dire Straits’s Mark Knopfler.

Sarah grew up on the north of the Island and spent her time walking in woodland, among the bluebells. It is this idyllic image that her new album seeks to replicate.

“I feel very excited. I’ve never done anything like this before. I think people will be able to hear freedom in the music. It’s our relationship with nature - reassessing what it means to us, especially in this current climate. Natural High feels truly authentic. It’s a mixture of what comes from my mind and what comes from my soul,” she says. 

The spiritual side of nature is at the forefront of the album - with nods to a wide range of genres. 

Online meeting platform Zoom meant she was able to forge new links with Iceland’s Sinfonia Nord - winning an invitation to visit in person, when she is able.

Soprano Aliki Chrysochou - a former Britain’s Got Talent star - is involved. Her contribution was sent from Cyprus. Los Angeles-based Stevie Blacke produced a double string quartet - as if the pond between the UK and the US did not exist at all. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Sarah said: “They would send their parts back to me and I would collate them. Eventually, I sent it to Abbey Road studios in London to be mastered. The process was intense and interesting!

“I really would love people to hear it. It’s a balm to the spirits. It’s meditative and operatic. Every track is different."

Lockdown, says Sarah, focused the mind: “When you’re doing something like this, it takes resolve and magnitude. I’ve invested a lot emotionally. Because of lockdown and the pandemic, I went into business mode and had to be resourceful. I’m good under pressure. When I set myself a deadline, the rest starts to flow!” 

Sarah’s rich and varied career has (so far) presented a host of memorable moments. 

One springs to mind: “Hearing Cantamus Aurora! The first time I heard the choir sing the chorus of Summer Song. We were in Sir George Martin’s Air Studios. It’s a converted church. George was there and so were 100 women, up in the gods above us. Hearing them sing this epic, euphoric chorus took the roof off. Hearing so many musical forces together, in one special vibration, is one of my happiest achievements.”

So, with unlimited studio time with which to tweak and finesse, how did Sarah know when Natural High was ready to share? “There is a process that starts within you. It’s an evolving thing. I just know when something is finished and when to stop messing with things."

Sarah says she would have loved to have worked with Eva Cassidy, and hopes to work with an upcoming young singer called Imogen Williams and as she forges ahead with her future plans - including a natural history series for Netflix and an Australian feature film, the muse - and the Isle of Wight - go with her.

Natural High will be released on September 25 but is available for pre-order HERE.