Everyone is Music
Ep 09 Bruce Dickinson and WaterBear, The College of Music
This week I am joined by Bruce Dickinson, co-founder of WaterBear, The College of Music.
Bruce is cut from Rock and Roll cloth and I felt it was so important to hear this perspective of music education and thinking on our podcast.
Bruce was also a co-founder of BIMM but became aware that due to the incredibly rapid growth that he no longer felt in control of where it was headed and for Bruce it had become too big and so, in 2012 Bruce sold his interest and then in 2013, reformed his band, Little Angels for a Download Festival and subsequent tour.
However, Bruce felt that he still needed to be giving back to education and so in 2018, along with Adam Bushell, founded WaterBear, the College of Music. A WaterBear, if you don't know, is a Tardigrade, an incredibly small yet incredibly Resilient creature and indeed, Resilience and Mindfulness are components that are built into all of the curricula at WaterBear, The College of Music and student numbers and class sizes are also kept to tight limits.
Bruce and I discuss this plus reality shows, portfolio careers and opportunities within music.
Bruce also treats us to an exclusive reveal on a new venture for WaterBear .....
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15. Ep 15 John Kelly37:49Great to be back this week with another wonderful interview.This week I am talking with John Kelly. John is a musician, singer, actor, activist and much more besides.I first met John at The Orpheus Centre, Richard Stilgoe's residential creative hub for young adults with disabilities.John was program coordinator and I was running music technology sessions in the main.John has had an amazing career to date, working as a youth worker, music educator, actor - John toured the Ian Dury show "Reasons to be cheerful" in the Dury role.John made a surprise appearance at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony, singing the sometime controversial "Spasticus Autisticus", Dury's banned anthem to equality.John talks passionately about the Social Model of Disability as opposed to the Medical Model. Some fascinating insights come from this including John's childhood exposure to Music Therapy as his only access to music.John talks about his role in shaping the National Plan for Music with a greater emphasis on both technology and mixed inclusive approaches.We talk about the development of the "Kellycaster", John's bespoke guitar/software system that was developed with Drake Music.John talks about wanting to address the expectations of disabled people in education and greater diversity.John has an album out soon and his new single, 'Which side are you on?' is out now, is challenging, beautiful and you really should listen and download!John Kelly's Linktree "Which side are you on?" - John's new singleEternal GuitarsMy Links
14. Something had to give01:36This week I suffered overwhelm. Too many deadlines converging on the same week. End of term deluge! Something had to give and i promised that I would never compromise on editing and content on this show. Hence no show!Next week an amazing conversation with the wonderful John Kelly. See you there!
13. Ep 13 Leon Clowes33:14Welcome to episode 13.This week I am in conversation with Leon Clowes, a transdisciplinary artist. Using autoethnography, self-compassion and Brechtian techniques, Leon's creative practice is informed by lived trauma.This is a very honest conversation and I can only thank Leon for the integrity and openness that takes place.Our conversation begins at Drake Music, where we met in 1995 and quickly moves into addiction, growing up queer in the 80's against the backdrop of AIDS and then family trauma. Leon maintains perspective and humour throughout and it is a real testament to his creative practice and the formalising of this through his creative practice research PhD.I really believe that this is a very important conversation and although difficult at times, Leon's unwavering belief in the creative process is, ultimately, uplifting.Leon has just won a commission - The British Music Collection's LGBTQ+ Composers Open Call which is due to premiere in September 2022.Leon's WebsiteSoundcloudTwitterInstagramCommission detailsEternal GuitarsMy Links
12. Ep 12 Emma Hughes26:28Welcome to episode 12.This week my guest is Emma Hughes. Emma is the choir coordinator and director at Soundabout (Listen to Ep 7 with Clare Cook) and was instrumental in developing their work and delivery over Zoom during the Pandemic Lockdowns. Emma talks about the organic growth of her roles at Soundabout and particularly choir leading and setting up the tech.When I first contacted Emma, she was out on tour and I finally got to ask her where, what, with whom.Emma reveals that for the past 11 years she has been the live Bass player for Kate Nash and had been on tour with Kate in Germany. The portfolio career model is truly alive and very well. Emma talks about how she got the gig with Kate whilst an undergraduate studying performance and writing her dissertation on Music Therapy whilst on tour. Through working as a TA in SEN schools, Emma's interest in this area grew and she began to build her music practice over the ensuing years.Emma talks about the upcoming program at Soundabout and then we talk about Emma's journey into community music, the organic nature of this. We talk about music in society and how as working practitioners we begin to unpick formal training and develop new ways of thinking, playing and teaching through our work. Emma touches upon Christopher Small's idea of 'Musicking' and how all of the people surrounding music, the bar staff, the venue, the ticket seller, for example, all play a role in the activity of making music. I'm sure we can all resonate with this idea.As this episode goes out, Emma is on her way to Glastonbury Festival to perform 2 shows with Sam Brookes. I look forward to catching up with Emma in the months to come as I'm sure that her career in music will only continue to be a fascinating one.SoundaboutKate Nash Touring LifeSam BrookesEternal GuitarsAll My Links
11. Ep 11 Rachael Perrin and Soundcastle23:06This week I am talking with Rachael Perrin from Soundcastle. Soundcastle are an amazing community music organisation, running sustained programs in community spaces, some of which are very discreet and 'Hidden'. Rachael describes this so well for us. Musical Beacons is a program for vulnerable families, often young women with children escaping from abusive situations. People's Music is a program all about adult mental health recovery. Soundcastle's work is often in gaps in current provision and is all about mental health and wellbeing.We discuss the challenges of attracting funding when much of your work, by its very nature, must remain invisible.Rachael tells us about The Soundcastle Community, an online space for community musicians to connect with other but also offering extensive training programs. Rachael describes this as a kind of online Arts centre.Soundcastle also work in sector development, consulting on inclusive practice and lots of training provision, including Mental Health First Aid.It was great to hear about Rachael's own journey into community music and her passion for the work.I was so impressed by our conversation and I raise a glass to Soundcastle's commitment to transparency in all that they do. Happily sharing their business model and all that they have gone through to get to where they are now. True community spirit.Soundcastle websiteThe Soundcastle CommunitySoundcasle LinkedIn All other social media use @SoundcastleTeamEternal GuitarsMy Links
10. EP 10 Me, Myself and I08:56Welcome to episode 10. This week it's me. I wanted to take a pause to reflect on the last 9 episodes but also to say something about my journey. Talking with guests about their journeys always makes me reflect upon my own and in this short episode I talk about responsibility and awareness of intimacy in our work. Music is emotionally powerful at times and relationships are built through participation.I also briefly talk about my journey through drugs and rehab and discovering community music and my subsequent interest in wellbeing.I will be dropping some bonus episodes on wellbeing and I hope that you will benefit from these.Thanks as always for being with me and please do get in touch and share your stories.Michael My links
8. Ep 08 Dr Nick Sorensen31:49This week my guest is Dr Nick Sorensen, Jazz musician, writer, educator and academic. We talk about Education and Nick's belief that the best teachers Improvise - rather than learning to improvise, improvise to learn. Sound advice.Nick's business is The Improvising School, so you can see how passionate Nick is about improvisation. Indeed, Nick is a close friend and colleague of Rod Paton, who featured in Ep 04 and has also built a career around improvisation. Nick is currently working on research and a scoping paper on 'silence' - There currently seems to be very little actual data on silence and Nick and his team are keen to change this. Nick is presenting a series of interviews with various musicians around their perception of using silence in their own work.Nick is also following up on the Quote attributed to Miles Davis, "what you don't play is more important than what you do play" by looking at many performances of 'Round Midnight' to see how Davis has approached the intro and developed silences within.Nick SorensenEternal GuitarsMy Links
7. Ep 07 Clare Cook24:15This week my guest is Clare Cook, outgoing CEO of Soundabout, a wonderful charity dedicated to inclusive music making with PMLD groups.Clare is an incredibly enthusiastic administrator who doesn't consider herself a musician, however just listening to Clare speak you quickly see that her creative vision is second to none and why she was drawn to work more directly with music.Clare gives a historical perspective on Soundabout before taking us through her work with Soundabout and the introduction of using choirs as a framework for delivery in inclusive settings.Clare acknowledges the growth that the pandemic has brought about by having to embrace a digital, online approach and being able to reach many more participants and remove more barriers to participation.Before Soundabout, Clare co-founded the Missing People Choir who went on to be Britain's Got Talent finalists and Clare takes us through her work with the charity, Missing People and how she integrated her personal love of community choirs into her work with the charity. This is a moving account of the power of music and how it really brings people together.Finally Clare tells us about her new adventure and how exciting an opportunity this is but I'll let Clare tell you all about it .......SoundaboutThe Missing People ChoirLondon Gay Man's ChorusEternal GuitarsMy Links