Francesca Simmons/Madame Ceski is a Welsh musician, composer & performer, based in Bristol. Her music crosses over from theatre, to radio, into alt-folk and experimental. She regularly works with live animation companies The Paper Cinema and 1927 as devisor & performer, alongside other collaborations. She has performed widely across the UK and internationally, and her music has been played on Late Junction, BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru.
Being a violinist, her music is often string and vocal based, and touches upon improvisation, field recordings, and mixed media. She is fascinated by ‘folk’ in its widest sense – the transformative nature of people’s habits and traditions, ranging from the mundane to the spiritual.
In January 2021 Francesca received one of Sound and Music’s COVID-19 Composer Awards:
“During lockdown, I bought a protective coverall suit from Screwfix, with the aim to create some Covid Ritual Music – to assemble a quasi-folk costume, tune & instructive dance to ward away Covid. The support from Sound and Music will help me realise this, in collaboration with 3D artist Finn Dovey & Bricks Bristol”
Watch the video for ‘Covid Ritual Music’ below, and see Francesca featured on Grayson Perry’s Art Club here