GENRE: Country blues, Experimental folk, Avant-pop
RELEASE DATE: Monday 16th August 2021
LABEL: Sonically Depicting
ARTIST: Bell Lungs ft. Lewis Oxbrow

A new collaborative composition from Ayrshire-based psychedelic folk songstress Bell Lungs and Americana-country blues artist Lewis Oxbrow from Glasgow.

This song is inspired by the letter which Jourdon Anderson sent in 1865 to Colonel Patrick Henry Anderson, the man who “owned” Jourdon and his family until slavery was abolished. The Colonel had written to beg Jourdon and his wife to come back and work for him, an offer which Jourdon artfully declined in a biting letter which pulled no punches.

Lewis and I have never collaborated before, and come from quite different songwriting approaches, so we started by talking at length about the kind of person Jourdon Anderson was. We were struck at how he continued to serve his community on his own terms following his freedom from slavery. He became a sexton in a church, and we felt that his faith was of immense importance to him, as it is referred to several times throughout his letter. He also calls the Colonel’s plantation his home, and mentions how much he would like to return, but his self-respect means he could only do so if the Colonel paid Jourdon and his wife the backdated wages they are owed. Lewis and I tried to imagine what that position would feel like, if slavery was all that someone had ever known. Jourdon clearly had a sense of humour, and while we felt he might have had a degree of sadness at never being able to return to the physical place he clearly had affection for, we are convinced he was more satisfied leading the new life he had made as a free man.

We also drew on the sound of 1920s and 1930s folk and gospel music from the American South, and this song pays homage to that. We were inspired by then-common themes of freedom and the concept that being “truly free” isn’t possible until after death, when the protagonist reaches heaven.

collaborations & session-work

“Lobster Island”, a collaboration with Loris S Sarid from his debut album “Seabed-Sunbath” | 2022 | GUEST VOCAL

“ERSTENS.) | Tatraum Projekte Schmidt | Cologne, DE | January 2020 | SOUND DESIGN

Edinburgh Art Festival : Pauline & the Matches | Custom Lane, Edinburgh | August 2017 | VOICE/GUITAR/VIOLIN

Hablik  by Simón Ortega – music by Ceylan Hay and Dr Graeme Wilson| January 2018 | COMPOSITION / GLASS INSTRUMENTATION

Learn2Dance | Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock | February 2018 | VIOLIN


“Stones, Clouds” Concurrents #2, January 2017, with Emma Bowen, Christian Ferlaino, Cath Keay, Una MacGlone, Simón Ortega, Mike Parr-Burman | LYRE/RADIO

Minerva Scientifica commission, written in response to the research into listeria life cycles by microbiologist Dr Clare Taylor, 2017 | COMPOSITION & TEXT / NARRATION / INSTRUMENTATION

Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2018: ”The Faceless Enemy of Me, Sits in the Squares” by Bobby Sayers | VIOLIN & COMPOSITION

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra with Phil Minton, June 2017, Glasgow Jazz Festival || VOICE/VIOLIN/WHISTLES

MASTER ROCK” by Maria Fusco, commissioned by Artangel/BBC Radio 4, October 2015 | VOICE


GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF VISUAL ART 2012: High-Slack-Low-Slack-High, with John Cavanagh and Gayle Brogan, Clydeport Authority Building / Riverside Transport Museum | VOICE


Golden Ghost, “Eudaimonia”, Epiphysis Foundation, 2011. On tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12 | VOICE

“Circle, Cycle” by The Great Auk Collective | UNFIX Festival of Performance Art & Ecology, Centre for Contemporary Arts | Glasgow UK | in collaboration with Svenja Meyerricks, Gayle Brogan and Luke Devlin | LYRE / SPOKEN WORD


“Women’s Whispers” by Meray Diner | NARRATION

Viking Moses / Sam Goodwill “Clown School/Oxygen”, Song By Toad 2017 | VOICE

Singing Moondogs | Balkanarama @ The Caves | Edinburgh, UK, 2017 | VOICE


Daniel Padden and friends, Old Hairdressers, Glasgow in March 2013 | VOICE

Recording with LT Leif & Gaze is Ghost,2017 |Song, By Toad | Edinburgh, UK


Sir Plastic Crimewave  | Henrys Cellar Bar | Edinburgh, 2017 | SPOKEN WORD


Bell Lungs 3(1)

24-25/2/23 | VAULT Festival | London, England | theatre piece “Instructions on How to Cry”

18/3/23 | St Vincents Chapel | Edinburgh, Scotland

22/4/23 | Platform Arts Centre | Glasgow, Scotland

27/5/22 | Edinburgh International Children’s Festival | Edinburgh, Scotland | as part of Roarie Bumlers

29/7/22 | Merchant City Festival | Glasgow, Scotland | as part of Roarie Bumlers