Biography

Penny Burns

Email: penny@open2sound.co.uk

Phone: 01588 620867

Creative musician from Shropshire, Penny Burns is a composer, songwriter and therapeutic sound practitioner. She produces her own compositions and also provides useful support resources for teachers and music-group leaders working in recreation, education and health promotion.

Born in the 50's, Penny was the fourth child in a music-loving family in Worcestershire and soon became familiar with a wide variety of music: from ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’ to ‘Chopin’ to ‘The Shadows’. Penny loved the way that music could transport her to other places. She felt at home when she listened to music and on an adventure when she was creating it herself. From the moment she first pressed down a key on the piano, Penny was hooked. Amazed by the enjoyable sensations that the note produced, she played the piano as often as she could.

Fascinated with the way that music could affect our senses, Penny took up piano lessons at the age of four and after moving to Herefordshire in the 60's, her first orchestral composition was publicly-performed at the age of fourteen. At sixteen, Penny formed her first folk-band and sang solo with guitar in local folk clubs. Throughout her twenties, she performed extensively in folk clubs and festivals, and her songs 'Blow Winds Blow' and 'Down by the Harbour' were played on local radio.

Through folk music, Penny discovered the art of social musicianship and valued it highly. So when she moved to Shropshire, in 1986, she decided to explore this side of music making further. First, she founded an all-inclusive group called ‘Elastic Band’, which was so flexible that sadly, it finally snapped and collapsed. But by 2004, she was co-directing the highly successful ‘Spotlight’ community-music project in Bishop’s Castle, which delivered regular open-mic sessions for shy beginners and epic gigs for progressing artists, at ‘The Three Tuns’.

Sparked by an interest in the health-benefits of collective music-making, Penny trained with the College of Sound Healing, and qualified as a therapeutic sound practitioner in 2005. She was able to integrate social musicianship and sound therapy into her work and in 2008, went self-employed, leading workshops and sing-alongs in care-homes and for ‘Autism West Midlands’, ‘Age UK’, and ‘The Alzheimer’s Society’. At this time, she was also commissioned to write poems, songs and instrumentals for local music groups. In 2011, Penny co-created her first soundtrack for film: ‘Shropshire Museum and Art Gallery’, a public information film. http://vimeo.com/29008874

Penny’s historical musical ‘Caradog and the Celts’ was published by Lazy Bee Scripts in 2014 and has been performed in the UK, US and Australia. Many of her other printed support resources are currently published by Sheet Music Plus and CDbaby. A mixed selection of Penny’s music can be heard on her SoundCloud profile:

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-579010433

Lazy Bee Scripts: http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk/Scripts/Results.aspx?iSc=2209

Sheet Music Plus: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q_ows=Open2sound&isASP=true

CDbaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/pennyburns

Currently, Penny is taking commissions, developing her own work as a musician, songwriter and sound artist, whilst completing a non-fiction book centered around sound, called ‘The Lullaby Effect’.