Photo by Hanna Collins
A singing holiday to remember with folk duo Suthering
Julu and Heg, who run the retreats, are folk duo Suthering. A couple in life and music, the pair met in a choir whilst living in Bristol. They moved from Bristol to Devon in 2019, just before the pandemic hit, in a bid to create a life more connected to community and nature. These themes can be found woven into their retreats as well as their own music and in their band name (which means "the sound of the wind through the trees") which was inspired by the Robert Macfarlane book Landmarks.
Their musical journey actually started on one of their singing retreats when their love of teaching songs and bringing people together, gave birth to their successful touring duo Suthering. They began writing and arranging songs together and a wonderful musical collaboration blossomed.
Since then duo have taken the folk scene by storm with their unusual and fresh approach to folk. 2022 and 2023 saw them travel the UK extensively; from Penzance to the Scottish Hebrides and everywhere in between, putting them firmly on the map as one of the top folk duo's in the country. Julu and Heg are true story-tellers who champion female characters, creating new narratives for women and unearthing the female heroines of folk. What sets them apart is their wonderful chemistry and charisma on stage, natural humour and two beautifully matched voices. With an unusual mix of cascading, dramatic piano; intricate, fingerstyle guitar; flute, whistles and harmonium, Julu and Heg bring an exciting take on folk storytelling with their evocative and distinctive sound. Their arresting a cappella arrangements have been memorable favourites with audiences.
Their debut album If We Turn Away, which was recorded and co-produced by Lukas Drinkwater, was released in February 2022. The album has received glowing press reviews and critical acclaim with radio play across the country. Folk Wales described the album as having "hard hitting, beautiful songs". They are currently working on their second studio album which is being produced by Sean Lakeman.
Their retreats are an extension of their own music. Each retreat encompasses their passion for community, a cappella harmony singing and their love and respect for nature. Here they share these passions with their participants, combining their skills in singing and choral techniques with their fantastic sense of fun and humour.
Photo by Pete Axford