Rachel Wilson

cello pic

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!

I graduated from the RCS in 2014 and since then have been teaching and working as a freelance musician.  I love yoga and completed my 200hr teacher training in June.  I have a goofy and sometimes dark sense of humour, I enjoy being outdoors and I love animals. I also enjoy climbing, life drawing, reading and cooking healthy vegan food.

How did you first get into music?

I was given a tiny keyboard as a kid and was obsessed immediately.  I especially liked the cheesy pre-programmed songs!  With encouragement from musical members of my family I started getting lessons and was offered the chance to play the cello in primary school.  I learned classical music in this way, but my Dad introduced me to rock and folk music and throughout my life I have been interested in exploring many different genres and styles.

What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?

Music has always spoken to me in a very emotional and visceral way and performing allows me to express myself in ways I never could with words alone. Listening to music transports me and connects me and has always been a refuge and a joy.  It’s also endlessly fascinating; the kinds of sounds people can make with different instruments, the theory and physics behind it and the infinitely creative ways music can be used to move and unite people.  I can’t hear anything else when music is playing, I can’t sleep when I hear it and I sing and tap and dance most of the day.  I don’t think I ever decided music would be important, it has just always been and although my relationship to it is always changing, it is integral to my life.

What has been your musical highlight so far?

This is a tough one because for me there are so many ways to enjoy music.  One of my main passions is chamber music so simply playing and rehearsing within a string quartet has been brilliant. Playing alongside anyone who is joyful about creating music is always such a pleasure.  A recent highlight was performing with Patsy Reid and Ross Ainslie at Celtic Connections last year as the variety of music and the excitement of performing in large venues was really thrilling and the musicians were incredible.

Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?

Dvorak, Britten, Shostakovich, Janacek, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Daniil Shafran, Stephen Isserlis, Vladamir Horowitz, Martha Argerich, Jacqueline Du Pre, Nicolas Altstaedt, Belcea Quaret, Martinu Quartet, Bombay Bicycle Club, White Stripes, Knower, Tank and the Bangas, The Staves, Bob Dylan, Pixies, Snarky Puppy, Peaches, Death from Above 1989, Sylvan Esso, Bon Iver, Kate Tempest, The Villagers, Lizzo, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Courtney Barnett, Ane Brun, Beyonce, Lau, Everything Everything, Sufjan Stevens, Tune-Yards, Agnes Obel, This is the Kit, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Beatles, Tame Impala, Jeff Buckley, First Aid Kit, Sam Amidon, Regina Spektor, The Shins…

What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?

To break my spine trying to carry my cello up Ben Nevis.  I also look forward to meeting new people, performing in unusual places and connecting with others through music.