A song inspired by the work of author Daphne du Maurier has been released by Clay Country singer Richard Trethewey.
Frenchman’s Creek is accompanied by a video shot on a deserted beach near the mouth of the Helford, close to where the novel of the same name was set.
“I was so inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s 1941 novel, Frenchman’s Creek,” explains Richard, who also plays fiddle and cittern.
“Once I finished it, I decided to walk the coastal footpaths around Menabilly, where du Maurier lived in the house and landscape which partly inspired Manderley in Rebecca.
“As I was walking, the entire tune and arrangement for this song arrived in my head and I had to record it as soon as I got home.”
Richard turned to film makers Grace Fox and Rob Moth to devise and film the music video for the single.
“I wanted to have a video which captured the essence of the novel and retold the story, even though the track is primarily instrumental,” he said.
“Without giving away too much, as with the novel, the pirates - although well hidden in Frenchman’s Creek - do not go unnoticed!”
Richard is joined by Samuel Stephens and Alex Basnett from Aggie Boys Choir, as well as Nicola Edwards, Tom Philp, Jamie Sterritt and Clemo the dog who complete the pirate ensemble.
The video was filmed on a remote Helford beach. “The only disadvantage was we had to carry all the filming equipment, props, instruments and costumes across several fields, keeping a wide berth of the cows, who were quite interested in what was going on!”
The song is the second single from his album Two Halves, which is due for release in early 2024. The first, Queen of the Cornish Rhine, was released in February.
“Two Halves was first imagined for vinyl, with one side of songs and music inspired by stories from Cornwall’s wonderfully evocative river estuaries, while the second unearthed stories from Cornwall’s rich industrial heritage.”
Richard has a long and solid pedigree for performing and recording in Cornwall. His debut solo album, Dig Where You Stand (2012), explores the music associated with Cornish industries and marked the beginning of a long-standing relationship with Camborne Town Brass Band.
In 2018, he won the Kan Rag Kernow (Song for Cornwall) contest as part of The Rowan Tree. The band came joint first at the Pan Keltek contest in Ireland, and won the Liet International song contest in the Netherlands, against competition from much larger minority languages from across Europe.
The following year, they explored the Cornish community that made their home in the Kolar Gold Fields in South India during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Between 2017 and 2021, Richard was composer and musician for Cousin Jack’s theatre company, producer of The Mousehole Cat and Percy Pengelly and the Wibble Wobble.
In 2020, he became a Cornish Bard, with the name Kaner Drollys or ‘Singer of Stories’. During lockdown, he transcribed his songs and released a songbook, Story Singer, in 2021.
He is also a music therapist and now works at Little Harbour Children’s Hospice for Children’s Hospice South West, as well as privately in schools and in the community.
The song and video Frenchman’s Creek can be found on YouTube or on his website richardtrethewey.org