So now the money has landed in my account I can start in earnest.
It is worth noting that in the same week the money arrives, Birmingham goes into local lockdown measures, and 3/5 of the band, the recording studio and my producer are in Birmingham. I am just over the border, with one remaining band member a couple of miles away.
So my first task is to figure out how the plan can change in the short term (hopefully) to accommodate this. So my diary is filling, but with zoom meetings rather than real ones. We are creative people, I am sure we can figure it out. But the annoying thing is online meetings are not real time. Collaborative music making just doesn’t work. So it will consist of talk, and the transferring of files, but not true interaction.
However… I am careful not to be downhearted. I am grateful. I still have access to these wonderful people. And the real difference is in my own head. Previously I have held my sound ideas in a bubble… unable to do anything with them until after the fact of making, while saving up. So what happens is a bolting-on of sound after. What I am already feeling is that shift of thinking. The fact that I can record things, manipulate them, send them to Michael* for him to work with, and discuss with him the possibilities, and feed them back into the work I’m drawing/making almost immediately is fantastic.
My photographer Laura** is also in Birmingham. Originally we planned to do a starting point studio visit to document things that would get picked up and followed. Maybe we can do this while the weather is nice, in the local park, or my garden… but not just yet… I shall take not such great photos, and we can record a sort of Q&A together, and also with my fellow artist and project co-curator Sarah Goudie… but I think a little creative and clear thinking will be required to make this read coherently at the end.
It is interesting that any documentation of projects all over the place at the moment, are also documents of pandemic response, not just the work. I think we have to not just come to terms with this, but embrace what the restrictions make us do instead, that perhaps we would never have thought of. And to make us appreciate the luxury of sitting in a small room with another person, a microphone and a musical instrument.