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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Change Creators: XLR Collective Gig Prep

In this week’s session, we reviewed our original pieces that we performed at Bristol Harbour Festival to see what we could make even better. We set up [a] stage in the main space [at KWMC] so every little detail was exposed.

Beth’s “Not About That” had slight adjustments to the second half of the chorus, making it more soulful with a variation with the vocals that the guitar follows. We kept the edgy verses which amplify the message of the song.

Our song “Lady” took a few steps down tuning-wise so Millie could really achieve her range without busting her voice. Down-tuning actually gives a more mysterious vibe as well as keeping the jazz influences in the melodies.

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Courtney smashed “Take Back the Night”. Only a few adjustments were made to make this punch more hard, mostly to do with adding more drums!

We also began working on a new song together around Milo’s hip hop idea. Milo started to demonstrate his rap and an improvised jam blossomed into a song. Beth got in with some backup vocals which help add depth to the song. We now need to confirm the structure to get this one rolling.

We also ran [through] the details of the upcoming At-Bristol gig on Sunday 6th August: we still had to source performers and practice our own sets as we decided to split into more individual performances. The band songs will come [in] useful later on, whether that’s for recording or performing at another gig together – tonight was all about getting us on the same page musically and we’re happy to say that we’re getting there!

Written by Molly Perryman

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@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
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Play Me, I’m Yours Knowle West

This summer a world-famous street pianos project will return to the streets of Bristol – and Knowle West will be one of the main locations!

Play Me, I’m Yours is a musical trail of 18 individually-decorated pianos which are installed in public spaces across a city for everyone to play and enjoy. The project, from Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram, first came to Bristol in 2009 and 2017 marks its 10th year. It has seen over 1700 pianos played in over 55 cities across the globe. Each piano bears the simple instruction Play Me, I’m Yours.

From Thursday 17th August – Thursday 7th September pianos will be at locations across Bristol including Broadmead, the Harbourside, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway – and Knowle West Media Centre.

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The Knowle West piano will be decorated by young people taking part in our summer holiday activities. They will be working with emerging artists Jasmine Thompson and Nick Ogri (pictured above) to create the designs and make them a reality. The piano will be unveiled ready for the first performance on Thursday 17th August at 3.30pm. Join us for a series of performances and free tea and cake!

The piano will then be available to play for the rest of the summer holiday during our opening hours. Drop in between 9am-7pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-5pm on Fridays.

We’re looking forward to hearing Knowle West make music and we’d love to see your photos and videos of the piano, whether you’re playing a classical concerto, writing own composition, freestyling on the keys or doing something else entirely!

If you’re sharing photos and video on social media please tag @knowlewestmedia and use the hashtag #bristolstreetpianos For more information about the project visit www.bristolstreetpianos.co.uk

We look forward to hearing your music – and maybe uncovering a piano superstar in the making…

Change Creators: XLR Collective Coaching Session

This week the group had a refreshing session about coaching. We had some guests sitting in with us whilst we did some activities that involved learning how to actively listen, filling out the wheel of life and learning how to respond in conversation to empower the other person.

It was really interesting and highlighted a lot how important it is to to allow space whilst conversing with someone and to focus less on your response and more on how your response can empower the person – rather than just telling them what to do and force opinions onto them. It’s about allowing the space for people to make their own decisions and you being a support.

Towards the end of the session the group went over our new structure for our campaign. The campaign is beginning to take a different shape and our roles will shift again so we spoke about what we want from the campaign in our last seven leadership sessions and how ​to take over the social media and decision making. [We] all agreed the focus for the next few weeks is the recording and producing tracks for our EP.

Written by Olivia Sully-Karlis

Follow us at:
www.hackaheckle.org.uk
www.facebook.com/xlrmusicuk/
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

Change Creators: Hack a Heckle Campaign Launch

On 22nd July the Hack A Heckle campaign officially launched at Bristol’s Harbour Festival! Catch up with Collective blogger Olivia to find out more:

We were very excited and anticipated this moment for months. Beforehand we were organising, practising and refining our music for our 1 hour set on the Bristol Plays Music stage and couldn’t wait to share it with our community!

On the day of the launch the group had a meeting and organised our plan of action for the day. We began by surveying people in our immediate environment around the stage. We were asking the passing public specific gender harassment questions and had an amazing time connecting to people who were sharing their stories.

Our merchandise for the day was a great help: we had cupcakes thanks to Cakeshop, which were a great way to catch people’s eye and to thank them for stopping to chat with us! We also gave out leaflets which gave them a valuable point of access to follow us on our social media pages, visit our website and tell others to share their stories through our online survey!

It was amazing to speak to so many people and gain so much more insight into their experiences. The group was really inspired by the stories shared and were really thrilled to connect to so many people who care about gender harassment and want to see it stop.

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Around 3pm we began our 1 hour set on Bristol Plays Music stage. We had some amazing advice from Eva Lazarus beforehand about song arrangements for our set. This was incredibly helpful as she gave us ideas on how we want our set to flow from start to finish.

We wanted to begin our show with a powerful introduction to our music so we chose our song ‘Lady’ to be first followed by a cover. We then wanted our acoustic slower piece ‘Hide‘ to be mid-set: this is our debut single and is available to download. This was followed by U + Ur Hand and then our speech and electronic track ‘Emily’.

We had a guest spoken word artist Bex Dudley who spoke some powerful words, and this was followed by some more of our music, then ended with a powerful cover of ‘NO’ by Meghan Trainor. This left our audience with a memorable last message and it tied our set together with a high energy outro. The group learnt a lot that day and it was an amazing launch and experience for future events!

Overall we got more than 80 surveys completed which was an amazing number to reach and we would like to thank every single person for stopping and playing such an integral part of raising awareness of this issue! It was amazing to share our music with you and to get the ball rolling! We have so much more planned: our next performance will be At-Bristol on Sunday 6th August from 1-5 pm where we will be performing, speaking and having special guests perform during our 4-hour set.

So keep up to date with our movements on our social media and website and get your friends and family involved by filling in our survey or sharing your specific story.

Written by Olivia Sully-Karlis

www.hackaheckle.org.uk
Facebook: Hack A Heckle
Twitter: @hackaheckle
Instragam: @hackaheckle

Change Creators: XLR Collective meet Life Coach Sam Holman

This week the XLR Collective looked beyond the launch of their campaign to challenge gender harassment, Hack a Heckle, to consider their hopes and fears for the future.  Campaign Leader Will explains more…

17th July 2017, KWMC

This week’s session started early, with three of the collective meeting Daniel (Communication Coordinator for the Young People’s programme) for a chance to plan the social media strategy for Hack a Heckle. Our primary sites are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but we will also be utilising Soundcloud, Bandcamp and YouTube throughout the campaign. The four of us agreed on things like tone of voice, post frequency, and different types of content.

We were then joined by Euella from Rife Magazine and we explained about the Collective and what we had done so far during the course of the leadership programme. We spoke about the [Hack a Heckle] campaign in detail and what we wanted to achieve at the end of it. Ella was really interested in what we were saying so she decided to record an interview with us and we hope to partner with her and Rife more during the campaign.

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After the rest of the collective joined us at the Media Centre, we were greeted by Sam Holman, a life coach and careers advisor from Holsam Life Coaching. She spoke to us about letting go of internal fears and visualising success. Sam taught us an alternative to SMART Goals which allowed us to think deeply about what we want to see, hear and feel when the campaign is over. It also made us think about any negative effects, either personal or professional, that success can create and how we can limit these during the campaign itself.

Using a piece of string to represent our life, Sam then made us pinpoint different stages of life and think about what our fears are at present, where they may have originated from and what advice an older version of us would give. This definitely gave an alternative way of looking at our current situations and has given the group some fresh ideas of how to move forward with the campaign and where it might go afterwards.

Written by Will Sissons

Follow us at:
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@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

Check out Holsam life coaching here:
http://www.holsamlifecoaching.com/
https://www.facebook.com/holsamlife

Change Creators: XLR Collective meet Eva Lazarus

This week the XLR Collective had an inspiring session with Bristol-based singer and MC Eva Lazarus. KWMC Communications Coordinator Daniel explains what they got up to…

10th July 2017, KWMC

Bristol based sensation gets comfy with XLR’s newest collective. Last night was an exciting night of development for Hack a Heckle (HAH). The group sat down with Eva Lazarus, who is perhaps best known for being the lead singer of Bristol born bass-music band ‘Dub Mafia’. Having learned from their previous experience with Kaptin Barrett from Boomtown Festival, the collective organised themselves before their session. They delegated who was going to give the newly refined ‘elevator pitch’, what questions they were going to ask and what they were going to ask from Eva at the end of the night. From the very beginning, the attitude and energy of the group was shifted into a position of coming to get what they needed to make this project the best it possibly could be.

After giving their pitch and showing Eva their passion for the cause they were championing, the session steered towards a sharing of experiences around musical street promotion and busking. After giving some practical advice Eva stated that “it discredits what you’re trying to do if one person can shake the rage out of you” – a valuable lesson in how to navigate through disrespect while promoting their cause in the city.

Having a short break to keep the energy in the room high, the session changed direction to music and the practicalities of their campaign launch on 22nd July. The collective shared their finished and in-progress songs and got feedback: having an accomplished singer, songwriter and record label owner praise them for their hard work and talent brought a real sense of unity and accomplishment to the room!

Next, the group moved from the music to the strategy for the set list: the group made the unanimous decision that it was best to start and end with upbeat music while having more low strung selections in the middle.

The end of the evening was perhaps the highlight of the session. Eva opened up about her personal experiences with harassment including a time where a man grabbed her while on stage then had no help from the venue security who witnessed the situation. It was evident that the collective had found someone who had a genuine heart for their cause. To finish off the night a member of the group who was quite shy about speaking to Eva regarding what the team wanted from her (at first), confidently articulated their requests and why they felt Eva was a perfect fit to partner with them. We’re all pleased to say that Eva proudly agreed – a successful meeting to say the least. Bring on 22nd July!

Follow us at:
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@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

Change Creators: XLR Collective visit Saffron Records

This week the XLR Collective visited the team at Saffron Records – an all female record label and music education platform based in Bristol. Collective blogger Olivia shares what the group learned and how they’re planning to put it into practice in their campaign to combat street harassment…

3rd July 2017, Saffron Records

This week we visited Saffron Records and spoke with Laura who is the Creative Director at the record label. She started the talk by getting to know more about our campaign by asking us key questions […] For example she asked us what our targets where and advised us to make small, achievable goals that we can set and achieve, rather than grand targets that overwhelm us as we are just starting off.

She gave us really useful ideas about how to collaborate with other campaigns such as ‘Cheer up love’ who fight gender harassment through photography. She also gave us great advice to just approach all like-minded artists and musicians we can think of and really use every possible link we have to contact them.

Laura had lots of amazing ideas that really got us thinking [about] how to move forward with this campaign and vital things to consider. She then got us thinking about crowdfunders and the group split off to research different aspects such as: possible funders, brands that match our target audience, targets and stretch targets. She also got us thinking what rewards we can offer people who donate to our campaign.

Towards the end of our visit she really helped our group set roles for each member. We [had] previously assigned roles for everyone in the group but over time we got into a bit of a grey area of who does what. Along the way we have had members leave [the Collective], which means we have a few roles to re-assign.

Laura was a fresh pair of eyes who really helped us in picking each person’s role, by going though each individual’s strengths and assigning a role that best fits their ability. This left the group feeling [we had] a lot more clarity about how to move forward. Overall the visit has given us a lot of ideas about what to do with the campaign and made us think deeper into ways to progress.

Written by Olivia Sully-Karlis

Follow us at:
www.facebook.com/xlrmusicuk/
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

Change Creators: XLR Collective get stuck into social media

This week the XLR Collective did some serious social media strategising, as they prepare to launch their campaign to challenge sexual harassment on the street. Collective blogger Olivia gives a behind-the-scenes insight into their marketing plans…

26th June 2017, KWMC

This week’s session began with each member of the group discussing what they’ve done over the past week towards the campaign. We discussed these ideas and outcomes. We then discussed that tasks need to be fairly spread within the group [and] we created a list of all the aspects that need work, them being: busking, merch, [Bristol] Harbour Fest, festival POA, social media/website. We then went round and each group member said what tasks they will do for the upcoming week and by what date.

We are waiting for the branding […] to be finalised and then we can move on with ordering merchandise. We need to order t-shirts for the group ASAP and have a group photoshoot [in order] to have content for our introductory posts on social media. Our previous [photos] are not suitable due to members leaving [the programme]. We are contacting a photographer who has worked with us before and decided to have a day with them, going around Bristol taking photos to create some content. That way we can have a group shoot all in the same day. Dates for this need to be agreed and confirmed.

But for this week, the team is focusing on the social media and website content, busking locations and song lists, a finalised ‘elevator pitch’ and a disclaimer (to be genuinely used and especially needed for contacting artists, poets, spoken word artist, festivals and people we want to work with). We need to tie together the hashtag, slogan and main imagery we will use on our posters, flyers and social media as we want a current theme that our audience can recognise us with. We also decided what we would want to get out of having a space at a festival, so we can be clear [when] approaching events what we want and how we will do it.

Follow us at:
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@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

Change Creators: XLR Collective meet Kaptin Barrett, Boomtown programmer

This week the XLR Collective met Kaptin Barrett, festival programmer for Boomtown Fair, for a behind-the-scenes insight into working on a huge summer event. Catch up with Change Creator Will to find out what else the Collective have been up to as they get ready for the launch of their campaign to challenge sexual harassment on the street…

19th June 2017, KWMC

Just like last time, we started this week’s session by updating the group on what tasks we’d all completed so far. We’ve all been researching things like merchandise, social media strategies and media promotion. Questionnaires have been drawn up and the basic layout of the website is now finished. The group has also made a good start on songwriting, with more rehearsals booked in the future.

After the updates, the group was visited by local legend and music programmer at Boomtown Fair, Kaptin Barrett. We told him all about our campaign and answered any questions he had about it. Kaptin then gave us loads of advice, ideas and constructive criticism on our campaign, which left us with a lot of food for thought (although it was more like a buffet for thought).

The group then asked him some questions, some about the campaign, some about his job and some about wider topics. This gave the group a lot of insight about the day-to-day jobs of people working in the music industry. […] We discussed the possibility of our campaign doing something at Boomtown Festival, but since it’s quite last minute this may be hard to organise.

Afterwards, the group got back to planning the next steps. We listed everything that was still left to do from the previous week and added the list of tasks from the coming week. We also swapped round some team roles and delegated some tasks differently to before. This is simply due to some people being away or being more confident with different elements of the campaign. We also spoke about the budget and we now have a clearer idea of how to divide it and what some things will cost. There’s still a lot to do, but we’re getting closer!

Follow us at:

Follow us at:
www.facebook.com/xlrmusicuk/
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

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Author: Will Sissons

Will is a member of the XLR Collective, and is leading on branding and web development for the Hack-A-Heckle campaign:

“I like to gig a lot, playing bass in several bands and at regular jam nights, while teaching on the side. I’m also a serial live music fan and sometimes put on my own events. I have a part time job at a small business selling edible cake toppers and I’m addicted to travelling and watching films”

Find out more about Will here.

Will Sissons – image by Jay Carter-Coles

 

Change Creators: The XLR Collective – Campaign Update

Over the last few weeks the XLR Collective have been going from strength to strength as they develop plans for their social action campaign to challenge sexual harassment on the street.  Change Creator Will has been writing a blog about his experience and what the group have been up to. 

You can read his entries for May and June below:

2nd May 2017, KWMC 

This week’s session started with the group pitching ideas for overall campaign names and hashtags for the social media campaign. We discussed the pros and cons of each before voting on our favourites. ‘Hack A Heckle’ was the winner for the campaign name, but the hashtag is yet to be decided.

More of a discussion will be needed in the coming weeks to finalise the hashtag in order to get started with the social media campaign. The thought process behind Hack A Heckle comes from the ‘problem’ and ‘solutions’ we defined on the previous week: we’ll be offering tips and advice for bystanders and victims [of harassment] in how to respond and who to contact after verbal or sexual harassment has occurred. And we’re hacking the misogynistic culture amongst young men by trying to de-normalise it.

Next we started planning our online media strategy, making sure we know exactly who our audience will be, how we communicate with them, the over-arching goals for the campaign and the tools needed to execute it successfully. The individual elements of the campaign include a launch event, busking/campaigning around the city, researching advice, obtaining anonymous stories of verbal and sexual harassment, creating the branding for the campaign and a website that the social media platforms all point to. We also pitched ideas for original content to promote the campaign online. 

Finally, the group decided on team roles and sub team leaders to make sure the workload is evenly distributed. 

15th May 2017 – Arnolfini

The Change Creators met in the Arnolfini this week for inspiration on venues and using different spaces creatively. We had a guided tour round the contemporary arts centre [and saw] the rooms available for hire and the current exhibition: Basim Magdy – ‘The Stars Were Aligned For A Century Of New Beginnings.’ Magdy’s work is ‘rooted in dreams, scientific theory and failed utopian ambitions. Full of humour and quiet melancholy, his works on paper and in film, photography and slide projection reflect on the present social and political climate and our collective failure as, in the desire for progress, we repeat the same mistakes over and over again in a recurring cycle of aspiration, action and defeat.’ It was definitely thought provoking and was good to see an example of how an artist uses different mediums in different spaces.

After the tour, we all met back in the library to go over our personality types according to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. Some people weren’t convinced by their personality description, but it was still interesting to get some feedback from the group and gave us a different perspective on how we work individually. Getting to know people’s strengths and weaknesses also gave us a starting point for our group’s approach to the campaign planning.

Towards the end of the session, we discussed in more detail our aims and objectives for the campaign, which eventually helped us to describe the overall ‘problem’ that the campaign will address and the ‘solutions’ we will strive for. The problem is that women are objectified every day. The solution to this problem is to de-normalise misogynistic attitudes. More specifically, we will aim to make young men more conscious of how they are making young women feel and raise awareness of objectification. Our objectives will be to campaign around the city and offer advice/responses to verbal and sexual harassment, 

5th June 2017 – KWMC 

After the half-term break, the group returned and started by talking through all the elements of the campaign. This was to make sure everyone was up to speed and to get us thinking about a basic timeline and order of events. With the help of the Media Centre’s Rachel Clarke, we agreed on key campaign dates, dates for performances, deadlines and what work needs doing leading up to them. We wrote a timeline on a large piece of paper and added post-it notes to it, so that we can move things around easily and update it as the campaign progresses.

We then split up into two informal groups to plan the next steps: one on branding and the other songwriting/busking. The two groups were based on our group roles that were decided in the previous session. The group focusing on branding used a colour emotion guide as a starting point for discussion. We spoke about colour schemes, design styles, inspiration for a logo and what the graphics might look like on various merchandise and social media platforms.

We then answered questions such as:

Who is the audience and what actions do you want them to take?
How do you want them to feel?
What connotations does hack A Heckle conjure up and how might they be different for men/women and younger/older people?
What imagery and connotations do we definitely want to avoid?

Finally, we thought it would be a good idea to create a mood board to help visualise the branding, merchandise and social media posts. We set up a board on Pinterest, which you can view here.

The other group discussed songwriting and busking logistics: First, they agreed on specific locations, dates and times for busking around the city. A shortlist of local festivals was created [so] we can target by setting up on popular routes to and from the events in order to catch the large influx of people.

[…] Event banners will be used to promote the campaign while we perform and video equipment will be needed to document and promote us on social media. The group finished up by discussing the need to hire rehearsal space for songwriting and practising the songs. These songs will be recorded, potentially for some sort of EP release as part of the overall campaign.

The two groups then shared all this information with each other and updated the timeline together. At the end of the session, we made a few adjustments to the different roles of group members and agreed on things we need to do before the next session. 

We also had our project keyrings arrive this week [made at KWMC: The Factory] with the Change Creators’ logo and core values engraved onto them. The core values were chosen at the very start of the project and will be influencing our decisions throughout the project. 

They are: 

Maverick
Authentic
Equality
Respect
Open-Minded
Perseverance 

12th June 2017 – KWMC

This week’s session started early with the branding and website team (Maya, Liv, Will & Jerome) coming in for a meeting with the media centre’s Bart Blazejewski, Rachel Clarke and Daniel Edmund. Together we navigated our way through branding concepts, logo ideas, fonts and colours, graphic styles and photography. Olivia had created a mood board with several interesting concepts and the group had prepared a pinterest board with tons of images, photos, logos and graphics as inspiration for the branding. Bart will be trying out some basic branding elements over the next week, but many of the decisions are now made, which allowed us to move swiftly on to the website.

Rachel had brought in a website brief, consisting of several questions that need answering in order to create a successful website. These questions include:

Who are the key audiences for the website?
What do you want people to do after visiting the website?
What information do you want people to find out from the website?

Will brought in a couple of website drafts to see how things might look, so we could answer the above questions with specific examples. This allowed us to make some decisions based around pages and content. We also discussed the different groups of people who might come to the website and how each group might interact with it differently to others.

After a successful few hours, we linked back up with the rest of the group for the main Change Creators session. To begin with, we updated them on the meetings we’d just had, and other people then spoke about what they had been up to for the last week regarding the campaign. Last week’s timeline was scrapped and we started afresh by splitting into two groups, one focusing on branding/digital tasks and the other focusing on music creation/street campaigning tasks. A new timeline has now been completed with a lot more detail on exactly when things need to happen. Over the next week, we’ll be using the timeline to inform our costings and how best to use our budget.

Follow us at:
www.facebook.com/xlrmusicuk/
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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