Formed in Bristol in 2015, Electric Storm Ensemble are a group of disabled and non-disabled musicians who come together regularly to rehearse, create new material and experiment with sounds and music technology.
Regular members include Bridie, Ian, Pauline, and Phil. We spoke to Bridie when she first got involved and she shared some of her experiences.
Bridie used to play music regularly when she was younger, specialising in unusual percussive instruments, but as she got older she found it difficult to transport her equipment around and was glad of the opportunity to work with Drake Music and the other musicians, learning new tech and experimenting with new musical techniques.
“When I came down here I realised that we weren’t actually playing music from music scores, which we always did in my other group. We always had a music score and always contemporary music, which is different… we still followed somebody else’s music score. But here, we’re actually making music. And I’ve seen it in the faces of the people here… they can communicate a lot more in the past 6 weeks than when we first arrived. You can tell by their faces, their attitude. They are actually involved in making sounds, making noise.”
When asked how she had benefitted personally Bridie added:
“Well I feel a lot happier. Yes, a lot happier, I have to admit. I go home feeling quite happy . Even tired, I feel happy. And I’ve got something to think about… How can I make that sound? What can I do about that? Is there anything else I can do to make that louder, shorter, longer, whatever it is. You’re always thinking of ways to alter something.”
Electric Storm Ensemble play live at locations across Bristol when they get the opportunity.