Absorbed by Sound at the Bath Festival

Absorbed by Sound, a group of young musicians from Bristol supported by Drake Music, took to the Bath Festival outdoor stage on Saturday 27th May for a performance of two of their original tracks.

A blue marquee houses a small stage where the performers are gathered with their instruments

This was a new festival for Bath, a merging of the Bath Literature Festival and Bath International Music Festival and the outdoor stages where a new venture for the organisation.

Absorbed by Sound were invited to perform as part of a programme aimed at engaging new audiences and bringing music and words to the streets of Bath.

Absorbed by Sound are keen performers and regularly share their work at Colston Hall, where they meet on a weekly basis to create and rehearse, so they were eager to take up the opportunity to perform again outside of Colston Hall (they also performed at Sanctum in 2015) and showcase their music and creativity.

It was an early start for the group (and their parents and friends!) and Jenni Parkinson and Sean Lee, our Associate Musicians who work with Absorbed by Sound.

We took some time to go through our usual preparation together and set up our instruments and music technology. I think we hold the record for the earliest arrival at the stage but the longest set up – we don’t travel light!

Three young men sit with their instruments including drums and electronic devices
Absorbed by Sound at a recent Colston Hall performance

The stage was situated in Southgate shopping area, and when we arrived the deck chairs and astroturf in front of the stage where starting to dry out and the weather was looking brighter after overnight rain. As we set up our equipment, a small crowd started to gather in anticipation of our performance which was exciting to see.

The group performed two pieces they had created collaboratively over the course of a few months.

Ian, Josh W, Josh R, Gabe and Laura took to the stage at 11am with Ian introducing the first piece, Nice Cool Dancer, a rock track with a strong beat that was inspired by Josh R’s love of dancing which he showcased during this piece. Gabe played the conga, Laura and Josh W played Thumb Jam on iPad’s and Ian played Clarion, controlled with his eyegaze technology.

The second piece was the atmospheric Water, introduced by Gabe who was on the Ableton Push, Laura played Thumb Jam and Ian used Clarion but had changed the sounds they were using. Josh R was on Sound Prism on the iPad and Josh W sang lyrics he had written in response to the music the group created.

The performance was wrapped up by Laura introducing the band and Josh R thanking the crowd for listening.

The group were buzzing after their performance; overcoming their nerves, the warm reception from the crowd and their sense of achievement.

Ian and Laura are working towards their Bronze Arts Award so reflected on their performance and how they felt afterwards with Jenni, Ian said ‘My favourite part in the performance was the last song and Josh dance floor’.

You can listen to music by Absorbed by Sound on their Soundcloud, or check out some pictures from one of their very first rehearsals on our Showcase page.

Absorbed by Sound will be performing again later in the year, keep an eye out for details in the Drake Music newsletter or if you would like further information please contact us.

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