Good Morning Blog Readers,
It's quite an exciting time for me musically at the moment and I've got a lot to share with you. I will start at the beginning. Back in January Jipsy headed out to a film and tv college in London near the millennium dome to be filmed for an internet music programme. It was a fun day and ever so slightly intimidating playing to 3-4 massive cameras! Anyway a couple of weeks ago we got the results back. Take a look-
I had a snowy spring (!) photo shoot with Into the Wild Wood in March. We later learned that we had been played on BBC West Midlands as well which was very exciting! Here is one of my favourite shots from the day which has been featured on our poster for our upcoming gig on the 28th of April.
A week ago I had the pleasure of performing with my Quartet at Symphony Hall in Birmingham as part of the Rush Hour Blues Series, organised by Jazzlines. The gig went very well and it has rejuvenated my enthusiasm for running my own band again. I've got plans for the future so watch this space... My friend Simon Gray kindly filmed the first set for me and I think it has come out remarkably well. Hope you enjoy it-
And last but by no means least! Regular readers of my blog will be aware that I recently joined Brummie band Boat to Row. I have been really enjoying my time practising with them and it has been very productive working on new material every week. I'm delighted to be able to announce the dates of their tour at the end of May. I'm so excited to be taking the material on the road and I hope some of you can make it.
Catch you all soon, Lydia.
Hello Blog Readers,
I'm delighted to announce that I have been invited to join up and coming Brummie band 'Boat to Row' on the drum kit for their UK tour in May. I had my first gig with them supporting Loch Lomond in Coventry on Monday and it was loads of fun. I've had a sneak peak at the dates booked in so far and there is some really good ones, and some very long drives!, but I'm not allowed to announce any yet though! As soon as it has all been confirmed
Hello Blog Readers,
2012 has been a big year for me in many ways, like any it has had its ups and downs. There has been tours, festivals, sun, lots of rain, new bands and old friends moving to pastures new.
Some of the major achievements for me have been:- Becoming the percussion teacher at Wolverhampton Grammar School, The Bonfire Radicals completing their first UK festival tour, agreeing endorsements Protection Racket and DG Cajons, performing with Interleave at Mostly Jazz Festival, Jipsy touring Mallorca, my first stage appearance since I was eleven with Macamu, and Into the Wild Wood (formerly Holliday Street) supporting Joan Armatrading. I've been lucky to meet some exceptionally talented musicians this year and play with old friends too.
I feel so privileged to have had so many wonderful opportunities and look forward to seeing what 2013 has in store.
P.S. Towards the tail end of the year Steve Tromans (pn), Trevor Lines (bs) and myself got together for a couple of plays which were incredibly good fun. We have a few dates in the year which we will be joined by Ben Thomas (tp) as the Lydia Glanville Quartet- 16th of March at Theatre Severn and the 5th of April at Symphony Hall. I can't wait, I may even write some new tunes!
Dear Blog Readers,
We all need a bit of inspiration from time to time. Especially as a creative person. Sometimes it can feel like you just keep hitting brick walls and need something to point you in the right direction or remind you why it is your doing what your doing.
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to go and see a band called Afro Mio and Kora Player Dan Wilkins play at Ort Cafe in Birmingham. The event had been arranged by an organisation called Celebrating Sanctuary who provide opportunities for refugees within the Midlands to share their music with the wider community.
There was a number of things I found inspiring about the evening. I will start at the beginning. I have always been amazingly impressed with all activities held at Ort.
Hello Blog Readers,
A lot of stuff has happened in the last couple of months over my way. Too much to really elaborate on it all, but I'll start at the beginning.
During the late summer months I had to pleasure of being accepted as a Protection Racket Artist. Protection Racket make, in my humble opinion, the best soft cases for drums and percussion on the market. I have used their stuff for years and I'm delighted to make my endorsement of their products.You can check out my Artist profile on their website.
At the end of the summer I went on Tour with Jipsy to Mallorca. The band is the brainchild of my good friend and longterm musical collaborator Sarah Boughton. Like me she has caught the World Music bug and loves exploring sounds and rhtyhms from different places in the World in her own music. We did four gigs whilst we were over there on which I was playing Cajon and Percussion. We also had the opportunity to record four tracks for our new EP in the Rush Music studio and we even made a video for one of them on a boat (see photo). More information will follow!
Pretty much as soon as I came back from Mallorca I was straight back into teaching and acting (!) as part of the Macamu Show. Macamu is run by another longterm musical collaborator Hannah Rhodes. I did some sessions for the her album of Children's songs earlier on in the year and she invited me to play for the launch. Little did I know that would entail not just playing percussion but also acting, singing, playing guitar, dancing and playing ukulele. I had an absolute blast during the week though! You can see the trailer for the show below. We're scheduled to do another one in January.
Now order has returned to my life for a while and I've a few of my own projects which I'm looking forward to. Tomorrow I'm playing at Theatre Severn with my new quartet featuring Ben Thomas (tpt), Simon King (gtr) and Alex Phillips (bs) and in November Project Cuabno are returning for a reunion gig. I'm also delighted to announce I will be joining Hannah Fathers for her gig with Holliday Street supporting Joan Armatrading. Check out the gigs page for more info.
Thanks for reading,
Hi Blog Readers,
It's been a hectic couple of months for me but with schools finishing for summer and holidays beckoning I have found a brief spot of quiet in my life. I've been really fortunate with my performance work of late, the Bonfire Radicals have nearly completed their first season of festivals across the UK, and I've had some really exciting projects like Interleave (see previous blog) and Jipsy who will be off to Mallorca in August (more about that another time). Anyway a few weeks ago Hannah, James and I from Holliday Street were invited up to Liverpool for a photo shoot with Joan Armatrading!
Dear blog readers,
Over the past month or so most of my creative energy has been occupied with a new project called 'Interleave'. International jazz heros Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam of Jazzlines commissioned (with a lot of help from PRSF) two innovative electronic musicians- Annie Mahtani (laptop) and Shelly Knotts (laptop)- to create a new piece of music with four jazz musicians- Percy Pursglove (bs), Lluis Mather (sx/fl), Sam Wooster (tp) and myself (dr). After spending a lot of time messing around with interesting effects and soundscapes, working on collective improvisation as well as duos and trios, waiting for computers to do their job properly and drinking tea we are beginning to merge into a six-headed improvising monster that can create pretty much any sound imaginable.
I have found the project a real challenge. Free improvisation is something that I have always loved and I was fortunate enough to have lessons on it with the late master of the art Tony Levin, however it is not something that I have done a whole lot of until now. One thing I have noticed is that with the freedom that I have within the group I am coming up time and time again against restrictions. Restrictions in my technique at the kit and my dynamic control, my own inhibitions and confidence/ lack of it and my pre-conceived ideas about how free improvised music should sound.
When we first began playing together I found everything enjoyable and was relatively uninhibited with my playing. I was really into finding out what Annie and Shelly could do with their laptops and loved hearing how they could affect my sound and me theirs. I was also really psyched to get to play with Percy, Lluis and Sam as they are all amazing musicians. We had a lot of fun experimenting in duos/ trios with the computers and working on different textures as well as just getting used to how everyone played.
I've found the project continually more challenging as it has progressed.
Hi Blog Readers,
Again far too much time has passed since I wrote in this space. I would say it was because I've been too busy but actually it's because I find it really hard to think of things to write that would be of interest to the rest of you. Anyway this time I am going to use the space to tell you about 'The Bonfire Radicals' Summer Adventure.'
We have been fortunate enough to be invited to play at a number of festivals this year and it will be our first ever tour. There are lots of great events in store but I am particularly looking forward to Notting Hill Mayfest on the 18th of May, where we make our London debut. We have the opportunity to play acoustically in the beautiful surroundings of St John's Church, which will be a rare treat for us. I will also have the pleasure of playing in the new project of my old friend and collaborator Sarah Boughton- Jipsy- who will be supporting us on the night.
Please check out the dates on the above poster and come along if you can. You will find more details on my 'Gigs' page and on The Bonfire Radicals' website. If you want to know about stuff to do with the band on a regular basis be sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud pages.
To whet your appetite for what is in store here is a video of us playing our epic new song inspired by Ivo Papasov.
Hi Blog Readers,
As yet another new year has begun I decided it would be apt to fill you in on some of the things I've been upto and some of my plans for the year ahead.
It has been a busy time for recording recently. At the end of 2011 I was in the studio with Hannah Rhodes, in between her hectic performance schedule with the RSC and Pegasus Theatre, laying down some percussion tracks for her children's album. As always it was a pleasure to work with Hannah as she is a true professional and her songs were gorgeous. It is also a joy to have enough time in the studio to experiment and layer multiple percussion parts, which is something I couldn't do live unless I acquired some extra hands! I can't wait to hear it when it is finished. She is launching her album at Pegasus Theatre in Oxford on Sat 15th Sept at 1.30pm and 6pm and Sun 16th Sept at 11am. Keep an eye out if you've got small children!
The new year has brought on a time of intense activity for the Bonfire Radicals. We are delighted to announce that we have started working with Colin Whitehouse who will be helping us to manage and promote the band. We hope that this will be the start of a long and productive relationship with Colin who has a lot of business experience. At the moment we are focusing on honing our playing as a band which is proving challenging but highly rewarding. We have some new material which will really show of the individual skills of the musicians and develop our overall sound world.. We've also been invited to play at a string of festivals in the summer, look out for us at The Beltane Bash, Nottinghill Mayfest, Lakefest, Eadale Folk Festival, The Lunar Festival, The National Forest Folk Festival, Sea Fest and Cropton Folk and Roots Festival. We will be lucky enough to play alongside artists such as Martin Carthy, The Levellers, Jim Moray, 3 Daft Monkeys, Toploader, Peatbog Faeries, Goodnight Lenin, Reef and The Old Dance School to name a few! If you can't wait until May, fear not! You can see us for free at The Brighthouse pub in Birmingham. As always all events are listed on my 'Gigs' page.
Hello Blog Readers,
A topic that often rears it's head for me and I'm sure many other creative people is 'survival'. Will I continue to be able to keep on doing what I love and be actively involved in the creative side of the arts in the future? Over the years I have seen so many people move away from music and into more stable careers. For example I am the only person from my GCSE music class who is still actively pursuing their performance career. On my jazz degree course we started with 24 students and ended with 14, despite having gained extra students over the four years. Of the fourteen graduates I know of at least three who have embarked on non-musical paths. I would be interested to know if the stats are similar across the board with other creative disciplines.
It doesn't take a genius to come up with many of the reasons why people chose not to pursue their talents. The job description for a musician is arguably one of the most off putting and it is surely similar with other creative subjects. Firstly you have to work incredibly hard for very little monetary compensation, you also need to be able to motivate yourself and be good at finding jobs/projects/funding, having excellent people skills is also very helpful along with reliability and punctuality, you probably also need to be able to drive/do admin/haggle/chase up money/teach/lead groups/run promotional campaigns/work with children/use computers and not to mention- be superb on your instrument and have the ability to walk into a situation with people you have never met and make music.
What I am really interested in is what sets those who continue with their art apart from those who don't?