Damian Helliwell now lives on the remote Scottish island he was brought up on, the Isle of Eigg off the north west coast. A place steeped in musical heritage and famed for its pioneering steps in land reform and community ownership.
A virtuosic mandolin and tenor banjo player who also plays with and writes for the Scottish band Daimh. He has recently received great acclaim for his compositions on their most recent album ‘tuneship’. This however, his first project with his own band, is his true compositional debut. Since returning to his place of upbringing Damian found endless inspiration for composing. Over the course of working for 4 years on his self-build straw bale house and recording studio he produced a impressive body of material of some three albums worth. Much of this is more closely related to the traditional idiom of Damian’s musical background, some of which is featured on the album ‘tuneship’. As his writing style developed however his music naturally veered further from the tradition melodically and rhythmically, into a more expressive, accessible and emotive sound. It is this more ambitious material that Damian decided to launch his new project with. Stretching boundaries, sitting outwith any one genre, challenging and engaging. Whilst still retaining the seniority of structured melody that the traditional genre values above all else, , Damian allows his wrting to more freely follow the natural flow of phrase, letting each phrase complete its expression. The stunning beauty and personal freedom of the environment of his place of home has undeniably had the biggest influence on Damian’s life and music. It has markedly shaped his outlook, his desire for a new world, for personal freedom and growth, and active participation in solutionary transformation. It is this passion that comes through in his music so clearly.