Connections between my personal work and my band ☆

I tend to think of my band as separate from my art practice and I'm not sure why that is. It certainly is an example of both personal and professional development in that it's an ongoing partnership - a collaboration and a business. We make artwork in the form of music, more obviously, but also as pictures and videos (often involving collaborations with other creatives outside the band as well). We build ourselves as a brand and as an entity online too, which is composed of so many little efforts. It's quite an all encompassing project when you consider all the different levels of work that go into it, the web design, copy, methods of release, and so on.

The relationship between me and my bandmate is pretty intense as we're a duo so it's just the two of us. In so many ways it's the perfect collaboration because we are so in tune to each other's ideas and I think for two people making music it's integral to have that really close connection and the ability to tell each other exactly what you like or don't like about something, and exactly what you want out of something. We also each have our strengths and weaknesses and it's a great challenge to slot those together. As individuals we each have something unique to contribute and it's great seeing that turn into some sprawling creature of our combined creation.

We've been a partnership since about March 2012 now, so it's been a good while and we've learnt so much in that time. We've had a few (very varied) music video shoots, heaps of remixes, and 3 album releases! We've found great ways to work alone, together, and with others to get the sound, look, and general style that we want. And it will keep evolving.

But why don't I talk about it in this context? Why do I consider it separate? This band has been ongoing for longer than my course has. It's the most important and successful example of my professional creative work, but for some reason it's been in a different place in my brain. Over the past few months I really feel like everything I've been doing for uni has moved more into the sphere of just "things I'm doing" or "work I'm creating" - generally moving over into my personal sphere and blurring that difference I had in my mind. So I think it's really important to discuss and document some of what I'm doing with my band (and my own music, in fact) in parallel to my other work.

What we are working on right now:
  1. We have just released a full length album: Binocular. This features 5 songs and 5 alternative mixes of those songs, some of which are remixes. This can be found here (along with 3 previous releases):
  2. We have been curating a Tumblr blog full of primarily striking visual inspiration from renaissance paintings to photos of beautiful, happy dogs, to photos of neon lights and flowers and incredible sunsets. This is our main webpage which links to our social media accounts elsewhere, etc, and I love having it be a big museum-like blog of inspiration and beauty. This is here:
  3. We are working on some new original material and a Rita Ora cover which I am particularly excited about!
  4. It's also worth noting that we earned like 20p from Spotify streaming. Extremely professional!
The band is extremely important to me as a project, a collaboration, and a business. It will be ongoing. Here's a vlog of a recording session and photo shoot:

And here's a video of a 3 song performance in 2014:

Interim Show Initial Thoughts

Today was the stage meeting for the start of this term and we get to really start thinking about our interim shows now, how they're going to be set up, and how we're going to work together. We have organised into three groups based on a common theme running through our work: Technological Utopia, Diaristic Narratives, and Social Responses. These are really useful because we can really situate our work in relation to each other inside these groups. I am part of the Diaristic Narratives group and am really happy with the make up of the group because it's full of people I feel really comfortable working with, people who I know I can ask for help and stuff like that.

Today post stage meeting we all made a floor plan for our show and where each of us will be situated in our week. We also decided to make a Facebook group for our group and talked through a few ideas about lighting, space, and potential poster and drinks options.

Lighting: we were thinking about using spotlights. These are quite dynamic and can have quite a smart look. Holly and Briony want specific lighting conditions, as I believe they are working partially with light and don't want it to be drowned by outside light, nor drowned by darkness.

Space: I'm pretty flexible with space and just need about a square metre of wall space for my work, with no particular requirements concerning what sort of space I need. Louise needs a dark space, and the way the three groups are arranged means that in each group there are only one or two people needing to use a dark space, so this is easily transferred to the next group instead of having to be rationed out/compromised/overcrowded.

Posters, drinks, etc: We were discussing coming up with a name for the show and someone came up with "bed", prompting Holly to draw a cute little symbol of a bed. I think this is a really nice idea in itself, and fitting for the work of some of us, but we'll see how things progress. We want to make posters and are going to share pictures on Facebook until we agree upon a good image to use. As far as drinks go, we would like to have some as they're a staple of openings. We quite fancied having a mystery punch, as this was something that went over really well in last term's Elbow Room.

We have two weeks to hone these ideas, and then we have to set it all up!

My plan for what I'm showing is a wall collage, assembled very messily with sticky tape from a folder of collected drawings, paintings, and other collected images. This will be a test of this mode and I'm hoping to (if it works well) show an extended version of the same principle in the final degree show.