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Alice in Wonderland Suite, Women Are…


In 2020, Esther Swift composed a four movement work Alice in Wonderland Suite for the Women Are... Project.

I have always loved the story of Alice In Wonderland, partly because of its absurdity and partly because of Alice’s autonomy and self conviction in the face of adversity. To me it presents as an alternative coming-of-age story in which the heroine is adventure and bravery, always choosing to act on her curiosity.”

Connecting directly with lines from the text, the movements include:

i. Drink Me

ii. Drowning in My Tears

iii. I’m Mad, You’re Mad

Iv. Everything Has a Moral

Her piece was then paired with original artwork by cartoonist Kaitlin Aitken.


Harpist, composer and singer Esther Swift is internationally recognized for her contribution to the pedal harp and her distinct compositions and songwriting style. She is a leader in creative collaboration in Scotland, having worked with The Unthanks, Jimmy Goodwin, Aidan O’Rourke, and Siobhan Wilson. She has been commissioned to write compositions for many organizations, ensembles and individuals, including Manchester Jazz Festival, The Scottish Forestry Commission and Chamber Music Scotland. She has appeared one Radio 3, Radio 4, and Radio 6 with her own music as well as performing in festivals including WOMAD, The Dutch Harp Festival, Etno Krakow, The Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Malaysian Book Festival. A fierce and open minded work ethic, alongside a desire to create and celebrate new music keeps Esther in constant demand, both locally and internationally, as she embraces her diverse and unique career.

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