Caro works as a community musician and facilitator, with a particular focus on songwriting. She completed a summer school at Guildhall School of Music & Drama in Creative Music Training, which informs much of her process and technique.
Kelpie: Collaboration with Yoko Pwno and Castle Chorus
The Kelpie is a mythical horse demon associated with Scotland’s rivers and lochs. They are renowned for inviting travellers to climb on their backs, before dragging them off into the water and their doom. ‘Kelpie’ from Caro Bridges and Yoko Pwno brings this legend into our modern world. In Caro’s song, the shapeshifting Kelpie teaches us the value of change, even as it pulls us under. This modern update of tradition is reflected in the music. Caro’s gentle lilt is backed up by beautiful harmonies from the Edinburgh folk and roots community choir she directs, Castle Chorus. Folktronica act Yoko Pwno add intricate fiddles and guitar, plus Pink Floyd-esque synth and percussion. The single also features a standout drum performance from Skye-based Iain Copeland (Adam Sutherland, Sketch). Released on 22nd December 2020 after several months of work preparing, writing, recording, filming and bringing it all together, the song received airplay on BBC Scotland, Skye Radio and Celtic Music Radio. We also collaborated with storyteller Erin Farley and Marine Conservation worker Kerri Whiteside to produce a podcast exploring the song’s themes.
The Scientist & The Siren: Work in Progress
The Scientist & The Siren is a story about where things meet. A marine scientist meets a mermaid, both of whom live on the edge of the land and the sea at a time when the land and the sea are getting ever closer. This story currently exists as a podcast demo and was performed live in collaboration with Aurora Engine at The Pianodrome following a short residency and at an independent sharing in Morningside.
Audience quotes include “You succeeded in making a fairytale about mermaids for grown-ups!”, “Beautiful, meaningful, and powerful performance,” and “Dystopia but with more hope.”
Linlithgow Museum: Songs for a New Museum
Caro worked with primary school children in Linlithgow to create songs for the new museum that opened in May 2019. Each song was based on an object selected from the museum’s collection linking to the young songwriters’ historical learning of the local area.
St Columba’s Hospice: Voices & Sounds
Following a year of running a Singing for Breathing group at St Columba’s Day Therapies Centre, Caro led a pilot project ‘Voices & Sounds’ in early 2019 to give all people with a connection to the hospice an opportunity to come together and make music.
Quest for Oz: Song of the Monkeys
As Musical Director for Vision Mechanics’ outdoor illuminated adventure show Quest for Oz, Caro led singing workshops in East Lothian primary schools and worked with animator Fiona McAndrew to involve over 300 children’s voices and faces in animated installation ‘Song of the Monkeys’. She also composed and produced the rest of the soundtrack.
The show took audiences around the Land of Oz on a quest set by the Wizard himself to rebuild the yellow brick road, visiting live characters and installations including Glynda the Good Witch in her bubble garden, her evil sister Mombi in the Badlands, stopping off at the Carnival of Dreams, and finishing up with a makeover from Assist & Divine.
Castle Chorus: Mercy in the Motion
Castle Chorus’ Weekend Away 2018 was spent learning about Marine Protected Areas from Kerri Whiteside, Coastal Community Engagement specialist with Fauna & Flora International. We focused on Lamlash No Take Zone on the Isle of Arran, and Caro led workshops for the choir to create a song all together. Castle Chorus were honoured to perform the song as part of COAST’s (Coast of Arran Seabed Trust) tenth anniversary of the No Take Zone event, as well as on the seashore right next to the NTZ itself.
Canal View Primary School: On The Same Side
In 2015, Caro led a nine session songwriting course for P7 at Canal View Primary School in Wester Hailes to create their own song. As part of the project, the whole class contributed to the lyrics, structure, and musical decisions, visited Edinburgh College’s recording studio, and recorded their song with support from an Edinburgh College student. The project was reported in local press.