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Interview with singer, pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins and singer, violinist Rebecca Daniel at 2023 CAS

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The Blue Coast Music booth.  Fiona Joy Hawkin, singer/pianist, Me, Cookie Marenco record producer, Rebecca Daniel, singer/violinist, Ariana MacDavid assistant engineer.


One of the highlights of the California Audio Show 2023 was getting a “goody bag” containing a double album and two CDs compliments of record producer Cookie Marenco.  All of the music was performed  by piano player Fiona Joy Hawkins and also included in the performance was the violin played by Rebecca Daniel.  They also both performed vocals.  Both of these artists were in the CAS Registrar area for all three days of the show in Blue Coast Music’s booth so you had the opportunity to meet them both.

Since I was attending the show and they were available for me to ask some questions, I decided to do an interview that may be of interest to our readers.  This was a spur of the moment decision and there already is a wealth of information about them out there, so I focused more on their thoughts on the California Audio Show 2023 and the audiophile community.

Byron: How did your music career begin?

Fiona: I was given an old piano when I was 8 years old.  I composed some short pieces when I was young.  I trained at the Tamworth Conservatorium of Music.  Currently I play solo or with Rebecca.

Rebecca: My father was an opera singer and I gave my first concert at the age of 5.  I had a musical connection with my neighbor and friends.  My creative work is with Rebecca or the World Celtic Orchestra.


Byron: Do you have a favorite musical instrument?

Fiona: Stuart and Sons piano with 102 keys.

Rebecca: An Andrea Castagneri violin from 1741.


Byron: What are some of the places you have performed?

Fiona: Carnegie Hall, the New Orleans Jazz Museum,  Sydney Opera House.

Rebecca: Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall.


Byron: It seems you have performed with a number of musicians.

Fiona: T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates), Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, Dire Straits), Jeff Haynes (Pat Metheny), Eugene Friesen (Paul Winter Consort), Heather Rankin, Charlie Bisharat (Shadowfax).

Rebecca: Yes, also John Denver, Barbara Streisand, among others.


Byron: You seem to play a variety of music based on the the 600 Years in a Moment album the attendees were given at the show.

Fiona: Yes, the album draws on Celtic music as well as vocal and instrumental performances intended to represent Mongolia, Hungary, China, Africa, Tibet, Ireland, the Middle East, and Native America.

Rebecca: I have performed a variety of music with various performers such as John Farnham, Anthony Warlow and Olivia Newton-John, INXS, Men at Work, James Galway and the Chieftains, Bread and Tommy Emmanuel.


Byron: What other interests do you have?

Fiona: I am a Mom with two Kids.  I also have a dog and 3 cats.  I enjoy cooking and painting.  I am not into sports.

Rebecca: I am also a Mom with two Kids.  I have one cat.  Outside of music I enjoy vintage clothing, art deco furniture, cooking and Sci-Fi.  I am also not into sports.


Byron: What do you think of the California Audio Show?

Fiona:  I am having a lot of fun.  My favorite room is the AudioVision SF room playing an all-Technics system with the small Rogers speakers.  I would love to bring those speakers home with me.I am interested in purchasing the small Rogers speakers in the Audio Vision room.


Byron: Those actually belong to the show promoter Constantine Soo.  He actually reviewed them for a few years ago.  Perhaps he can help.

Rebecca: I am enjoying myself.  I think my favorite room is across the hall from us (Aaudio Imports).


Byron: What are your thoughts of the high-end audiophile scene?

Fiona: I am not a fan of streaming.  I do not believe the internet should be a part of the music listening process.  I like the the format that you actually own so I have a large vinyl collection as well as an SACD player.  Also audiophiles seem to be very cognizant of noise in the music.

Rebecca: I feel the music should be more important than the quality of the recordings.  I have a large collection of 78s and also a wind up gramophone.


Byron: I inherited a number of 78s and had planned on playing them except I found you have to get up every 3 to 4 minutes to change the record.

Rebecca: Yes that is one of the drawbacks of playing 78s.  The music is still the most important.


Byron: On that note, I know some high-end equipment and accessory companies state their products make you want to toe tap and dance.

Fiona: That is totally not true.  We make and perform the music that makes you love to toe tap and dance.

Rebecca: And we play classical music (laughing).


During parts of the interview both Fiona and Rebecca along with Cookie and her assistant engineer Ariana made sure the attendees coming in get a “goodie bag”.  The attendees including me were excited to receive the gifts.  Thank you Cookie Marenco and Blue Coast Records.


Byron:  Thank you both for your time.  I plan to play the records and the CDs from the “goodie bag” as soon as I get home.


A side note, I am now home.  As I write this article, I have enjoyed playing the records and CDs from the “goodie bag“ twice.  I thoroughly enjoyed both of these records and the CDs which proves great performances and great recordings can go together.  All of these recording as well as many fine recordings are available at

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One Response to Interview with singer, pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins and singer, violinist Rebecca Daniel at 2023 CAS

  1. Thanks so much Byron, it was great to meet so many audiophiles in one place, and all having a great time listening to amazing gear and music. It was a long way to come from Australia, but Becky and I really enjoyed the show. The albums are all from my catalogue and I would LOVE to hear back from anyone who got a chance to listen. They can find all my streaming links, socials and contact right here:

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