Both Sides Now with GwennoCarmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
Applications are open for emerging female musicians from Merseyside and the Wirral to collaborate with acclaimed vocalist and songwriter Gwenno. The residency is part of Brighter Sound’s Both Sides Now initiative. As a reaction to the consistently low levels of female participation across their artistic opportunities, the creative music charity has programmed three years of residencies, commissions and showcases to support and inspire women making music in the north of England. The most recent project in this series is an intensive five day residency with Welsh/Cornish songwriter Gwenno. From the 30th April – 4th May a group of selected musicians will have the chance to collaborate with Gwenno alongside the experimental sound artist and producer Rhys Edwards. As a group, they will be creating new work to be performed as part of Sound City Festival at the end of the residency.
As with a lot of Brighter Sound’s work, the artists are encouraged to leave their familiar methods of working to one side and challenge their approach towards writing and performing. The project’s focus is centred on how a sense of place can be the basis for new musical ideas. Successful applicants will be asked to take inspiration from Liverpool’s rich and varied communities, finding a way to reflect that sense of belonging in their own work, whilst pushing personal musical boundaries.
The application deadline is Sun 31 Mar, all female musicians who are writing music are encouraged to apply, regardless of genre or working method, diversity is encouraged among groups working creatively. Writing new music with individuals from different musical backgrounds who perhaps work in a different medium or have a different kind of musical training allows each member of the group to broaden their skill range and come up with more inventive work. It also exposes musicians to an alternative way of working outside of their regular practice.
For any creative artist, the opportunity to develop and grow within their practice is invaluable, and the work being done in Both Sides Now is helping women access these opportunities on a larger scale than ever before.