When I was awarded the Fusion Fund from Help Musicians UK to bring music triggered epilepsy to life, my first reaction was delight. Then the panic set in. How on earth was I going to actually do it? Writing about such a deeply traumatic experience was much easier said than done. Long scribbling sessions on the backs of envelopes and napkins followed. In the tour bus, backstage, on the bus, on the loo….it really was a massive ideas dump.
Once the dragoncats made their appearance, though, the short story seemed to write itself. And once the short story was there, and the roborecorder was born, the music just happened. It’s been nearly three years since David, Adam, Dan, Cat and I gathered around a dusty old TV screen in a far flung corner of Acton and made INNERVATE! Now after more than a little procrastination it’s out in the world- just yesterday INNERVATE was featured in none other than Insider magazine!
So how did we make it? INNERVATE was improvised in one take. We had such a limited time window to get everyone in one room, and because of the complexity of the setup, with the music and visuals being improvised live together at the same time, we only had time to do three takes. This is the second. My epilepsy means that I can’t always control what I play, so it was really important to me that the music incorporated that vulnerability and loss of control. For that reason we didn’t make any edits to the recordings, they were mixed as is. I suppose that mirrors the way everything happened in real life- my story was constructed over many years, layered and reformed with each passing day, but music is always just a single moment in time, people coming together and making something magical.
It was such a proud moment when the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry decided to feature the roborecorder. I’m so grateful to them for giving me the push to put this music out into the world. Reading the review of the premiere on York Calling touched my heart- it felt like they really understood and connected with what we were doing that day back in 2020. For me that’s what a recording is all about. Turn it on and by the simple act of listening you can travel back in time to be in the room with us, hear the sounds we heard and feel the emotions we felt. And know that it’s possible to make something beautiful out of imperfections and disasters and plastic recorders.
Thank you so much to all of the people who gave a piece of their heart to INNERVATE- DRP, my creative soulmate, Adam for monster drumming and banter, Cat for transforming the story into bright colours and swooping shapes, Dan for the moving picture magic, Adie for recording it all so beautifully as it happened and David for the studio polish. It feels like there is a fragment of my soul now out in the world for everyone to see so I really hope that you enjoy it. Thanks so much for experiencing INNERVATE with me.