Potter’s Daughter

There’s something mesmerising about a potter’s wheel. In the 1950s, the BBC used a short film of a potter as an interlude (reputedly during breakdowns and when moving cameras from one studio to another). He didn’t seem to be making anything in particular. His blob of clay rose from the turnable to become a tall cylinder, which he gradually shaped and re-shaped. Sometimes it looked like an elegant vase, sometimes a wide bowl that would have made a rather good chamber pot. But it was a lot more entertaining than most of the adverts on the TV these days.

I was reminded of this early form of ASMR video by an entry on the Proglodytes blog, in which Thomas Hatton interviewed Dyanne Potter Voegtlin, the creative force behind Potter’s Daughter. Although the band was new to me, a little research soon revealed that they are Dyanne (piano, keyboards, vocals), Jan-Christian Vögtlin (bass, bass synth) and a sprinkling of guest musicians. They released their debut album, The Blind Side, in 2018; here’s the fifth of its twelve tracks:

Movement IV starts with a stomping piano romp reminiscent of some of Renaissance‘s more upbeat tracks. A proggy electric guitar joins the dance and usurps the stage for a while before handing back to the piano for a reprise and finale. This is the liveliest track on the album, and it certainly grabs your attention.

In contrast, Silver Moon is a jazzy instrumental ballad for guitar and piano, sounding like something from Soft Machine‘s Bundles.

Those two album tracks exhibit a range of styles, from classical to progressive rock to jazz, but there’s also a singer/songwriter dimension to their material, best illustrated, I think, by the 2019 single, Blood and Water. This was a collaboration with Renaissance vocalist, Annie Haslam.

Then, in 2020, Potter’s Daughter released an EP called Casually Containing Rage. It contains two straightforward singer/songwriter/pianist compositions and this powerful response to the events that gave rise to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It’s a cry from the heart that we can all relate to. “We could be … so much better than this”.

Potter’s Daughter will be performing at ProgStock in a few days time, and they have a new album, Close to Nearby, that is due out very soon. Crotchety Man will be following them with interest.

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