the track with Pincus...
I first met Pincus when I was 8 in an empty courtyard. He was tall, with dreadlocks down to his ankles, and was wearing some kind of black robe. He carried two training swords, one black and one white. He said nothing to me but handed me the white sword, and walked away from me until he stood opposite me on the far end of the courtyard. I held the sword between my hands and waited to see what would happen next. And I waited. And I waited. Neither of us moved, it felt like an hour past with us just looking into each others eyes waiting. I had no idea what game I was playing. I flinched, maybe with frustration, and he flinched too. It was the first time he moved since he handed me the sword. He was imitating me! I tested, slowly bending the sword to the right and he mirrored my action. Slowly I began larger movements until we were both dancing around the courtyard, taking it in turns to imitate each others gestures.
Pincus was my first experience of a virtuoso musician - he was classically trained but gave it all up to pursue improvisation and sword fighting. He played the violin and we used to improvise together. He taught me how to interact and react, and he gave me space to explore.
Collaborating musicians in the OMOW project:
Abel Selacoe - cello (classical/trad)
DJ Yoda - turntables and production
Debasish Mukherjee – tabla
Debipriya Das – voice
Holly Harman - violin (folk)
Joel Culpepper - voice
Pincus - violin (classical)
Rachel Cohen - sax
Ro Greene - voice
Sam Watts - piano
...the track with Ro
We have known each other from birth. Roisin, my crazy best friend, full of life, energy, creativity and humour. We did everything together and learned everything together. - from recorder group to our first time on the big stage, rocking out 'these boots are made for walking'.
If ever there was a voice that told a story it would be hers
the track with Rachel Cohen and Sam Watts...
I don't even know if Sam and Rachel have ever played with each other, but I meet them in the same friendly city, Birmingham.
The jazz scene in Birmingham is electric, and it's all down to the bars that keep the music students out of trouble. In my time it was the Yardbird and The Spotted Dog, and the years I spent pulling pints at these joints were some of the happiest of my life.
I met Rachel at college and we bonded over boyfriends and early jazz. I met Sam, a native Brummie a few years later, and we bonded over my flatmate and tennis. Of all my amazing jazzer friends, these two were both foolish enough to give the the opportunity to let me play around on the periferal of their genre.
...the track with Holly Harman
Holly took a chance with me on her folk album, despite me having never played folk before. She is a gentle musician who can coax a
the track with Debasish and Debipriya...
...the track with Joel Culpepper
the track with Abel...
...the early bits
the DJ Yoda bits...
One Mic One World is a year-long collaborative project inspired by our way of life during the pandemic. As we discover new ways to nurture relationships over long distances, I hope to explore how music and technology can help maintain these essential human connections.
Overcoming distance through both space and time will be my main focus for the project - for the first stage, I will reconnect with musicians from my past, who specialise in a vast range of genres and have all had a significant impact on my journey as a musician.
A single microphone will travel between these talented musicians, who will each record a short source recording, before passing the mic on to the next person. Once the microphone has completed its journey between the collaborating musicians, I will then use the source material from each musician to compose around, build upon, and manipulate, in order to create a track dedicated to them, the combination of which will culminate in my debut album.
For the next stage of the One Mic One World project I will call upon YOU to actively participate in musical decision-making elements about the album, keeping the proverbial microphone in constant motion.
I hope that this will be a truly co-creative experience, bringing people together throughout the world to make music with each other.
Getting the right gear is crucial for the success of this project.
In order to get the source recordings, I am building a portable studio setup, (and when I say portable I mean public transport portable), which uses one microphone (or a stereo pair) to capture vocals, violin, cello, sax, piano, and tabla, in 9 different musician's untreated homes.
To stay true to the different instruments and singers, I wanted to find a mic that would give as natural a sound as possible, and
after talking to a lot of people who know a lot more about sound and microphones than me, I settled on Microtech Gefell's
M930, supplied by the fantastic John from Sound-Link Pro Audio.
And one more thing... this is a pandemic project, so if I can't go to the musician's homes because of travel restrictions, then I will have to courier the gear to them, and then teach them how to set up, sound check, and record their own source recordings, all remotely... 😅
Hello and welcome to the One Mic One World project!
Updated: Jan 28
I'm very excited to welcome you to my new blog! Here you will be able to keep up-to-date with all the goings on in the One Mic One World project, and most importantly, this is where you get to have your say!
One Mic One World, or OMOW (if you like), is a completely interactive project, and I will be calling on you to help me create this mish-mash of an album... that's right, the success of my future lies in your hands!
You may be a musician - amateur or professional, you might be a sound engineer or producer who wants to help me avoid falling into all the faux pas I will undoubtedly be making throughout this project, you might be a listener or audiophile who likes one of the genres that will feature on this album, or you might have no connection to music whatsoever, but just fancy the idea of making something with other people.
I can't wait for your input in this project - all interaction welcome!
So what's next?
Well I'm probably going to be quite quiet over the next month, while I plan a schedule for the fantastic contributing artists, and set up a travelling plan for the microphone, but then I'm gonna hit the blog, and I'm going to hit it hard!
Every two weeks I will make a video which will call upon you to help me with the project - it could be picking instrumentation for one of the tracks, it could be deciding what effects to put on an instrument, it could be making decisions about the structure of a track... it could literally be anything!
Any options can be discussed in the comment section of the video, or for you hardcore contributors, I will also set up a corresponding blog post for each aspect I need your help with, so we can get really stuck into stuff.
I will also have loads of special guest appearances throughout the videos, so keep your eyes peeled!