With Handmade Festival but days away I’m still trying to figure out what to do and play. It’s a special gig in a special place for a special festival and I want to try and do something that respects that.
Consequently, I’ve grabbed as many things that make and play sound as I can that I think I can get away with to come up with something. This includes instruments I haven’t used for ages and trawling through 14 years worth of minidiscs of field recordings for help with what I’m trying to do.
Hope I can create something to reflect what I feel about it all.
About two weeks ago, I was on a barge travelling down part of the Northamptonshire arm of the Grand Union Canal. There was banked up snow a metre thick in places along the road side. Our first morning on water was spent breaking through the ice of a frozen canal. We travelled back through snow at times, leaping on and off the boat to open and close locks, snowflakes falling around us.
But now, after what seems like about 3 days of sunshine, spring is EVERYWHERE! Bold, bright dawn chorus. Birds singing over the hedgerows as I ride home from work. And blossom. Blossom, blossom, blossom.
Lucy Stevens is a East Midlands based ( I think ) audio and visual artist whose work looks at the relationships between the human world and the natural world. I’ve followed her work for a bit and found ‘the pigeon stuff‘ a really interesting – turning the mundane and everyday into something special. Her latest residency though looks amazing and is sooooo my dream gig.
For her latest project, Lucy is going to Ricklundgården, in Southern Lapland to create recordings, drawing and digital prints of birdsong. Yep, she gets to sit in idyllic beauty listening to birds and nature and drawing all day. Like I say, MASSIVE GIG ENVY. Am really looking forward to see what comes of this and also reading about the work in progress via the blog she has especially set up for it here – Drawing Birdsong
Well, there was a lot of effort and excitement that went into the Public Service Broadcasting gigs that went ‘PFFFT’ in a moment after the first show; my ears buggered by the massive volume of a PA trying to make the music heard over 200 odd people chatting to one another.
It hurt. It hurt a lot. I had to pull out of the other shows as I couldn’t go through with it another two nights in a row.
Ironically, I have taken solace in one of the loudest sounds I know. Church bells.
The new bells of Notre Dame courtesy of the wonderful Des Coulam