Wed 25 Nov 2020

Early in the summer of this year Sarah, artistic director at the Sub Rooms and myself started planning for a music project which aimed to reconnect Stroud with its rich artistic and cultural background.

The lockdown caused most of us to go stir crazy and it was so obvious that people really missed live music. The project had to be as engaging and inclusive as possible but also strictly covid safe.

Jack Wimperis was happily building this astonishing world of light and art and he very helpfully put a stage right in the middle, surrounded by six separate areas for the audience. The perfect venue for the project.

Plan was to use this space to perform a series of ‘workshop’ concerts with the audience groups encouraged to join in on various instruments/ write words etc. in their areas to help create a new composition. The creative contributions would be recorded and filmed and all combined to make a large scale piece of music by and for the people of Stroud, shown on a big screen and played along to live by the Carducci Quartet and my trio.

We wanted to take our inspiration from Strouds industrial past so with Anthony Burton, writer, historian and presenter we researched the mills, looms, waterwheels and machinery of the old cloth industry. I made recordings of some of the few working machines to capture the mechanical rhythms, which were to be used as structures for the audience compositions. Additionally we were planning workshops with children from many local schools to add their valuable imaginations and creativity to the piece.

A project for all people, ages, abilities and backgrounds. A truly wide reaching and inclusive way to create something epic and beautiful, valued and owned by all of us.

Stricter lockdown restrictions meant that couldn’t happen so this concert is an introduction to what could have been and hopefully, in the future, we will be able to revive the project in all it’s creative glory!


Music is for everyone

Keep music live

Stay safe

Dave Ayre


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