Stuart Elwin is a remarkable artist. Not purely because of the music he has released (although we do rate it very highly – otherwise we would not release it!) but because of the obstacles and difficulties he overcomes and deals with in his life and therefore his music too.
He is a life long personal friend of Plankton Records partner Keith Dixon and Keith watched Stuart’s life change as he grew up into adult hood. Stuart was diagnosed with the eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) which led to him going from having relatively good eyesight as a child to him eventually losing his sight in his 20s. Stuart now has a guide dog – after losing his long time companion (and a big part of the family too) Saul, he has recently taken possession of Forrest and they are growing into a great team together
With the support of his wife Sylvia, daughter Toni and his family and friends Stuart has continued to live an active life and to follow his dreams and passions – a big one of which is his music. When you consider that when you listen to Stuart’s music he has written and arranged it in his head, played and sung everything you hear, recorded it and engineered, produced and mixed it too while alone in his home studio on equipment that has dials, knobs and sliders (most modern equipment is screen and/or touch pad based) then you can see why we call him a remarkable artist!
Stuart started off his musical journey by picking up the bass guitar and then he moved onto guitar, keyboards and drum programming etc. He has played in several bands as well as worship groups at church. His first release with Plankton was as part of the group Asylum who had a track on our “Greenbelt Fringe ’95” compilation CD. After Asylum, Stu wrote and recorded his first solo album “Discerning Reality” which we released in 1994. The songs on this album (and all that have followed) see Stuart writing about all aspects of his life – his loves and relationships with family and friends, his faith and the triumphs, trials and tribulations of him dealing with his disability and other people’s reactions to it and to him too. And always lurking in the background and present in some measure is Stu’s quirky sense of humour too.
His next album was 1998’s highly regarded “Living In The Dark”, sales of which raised money for the UK charity, the RP Society. Music release wise there was then a long silence due in part to practical situations in Stuart’s life. Eventually, after being able to re-establish and set his studio again and with the replacement of some faulty and/or outdated gear Stuart returned to writing and recording and eventually emerged with a new album. November 2020 saw the release of the lead-off single “The Tongue Is A Fire” with a stunning video which was organised by his talented fire-eating and professional dancing daughter Toni (who appears in the video too) using her colleagues and contacts and saw Stuart also eating fire (!!!!) and then in December 2020 we released his 70s/80s electronic influenced “Dreamscape” album which fulfilled another dream of Stuart’s which was to have the second half of the album be mainly atmospheric/experimental instruments, an idea inspired by some of his favourite artists/albums from the 70s including David Bowie, Todd Rundgren and Brian Eno. Royalties from this album will be split between UK Charity Guide Dogs for the Blind and a local charity that has and does help Stuart a lot, Hartlepool Vision Support.
Stuart is also a presenter on his local radio station, Radio Hartlepool, where he is known as ‘Little Stu’, has played in national blind tennis tournaments and enjoys attending local art workshops too . He continues to be a man of many talents and interests!
Released 2020 Cat No: PCDN 176. DIGITAL RELEASE ONLY
“The Tongue Is A fire” Single
Released 2020 Cat No: PLANCD 027. DIGITAL RELEASE ONLY
“Living in The Dark” album
Released 1998 Cat No: PCN 152. DIGITAL RELEASE. Also available on cassette (enquire via email)
Other Plankton releases featuring Stuart Elwin:
“Plankton. Forty Years 1978 – 2018” 2CD Slipcase set
Released 2018 Cat No: PCDN175. 2CD set available in the on-line shop 2 CD set available in our on-line shop