Respek Vanley: Music Workshops 2 and 3 plus updates

Today’s workshop was great! 4 sessions to go before the big day!
There is no shortage of energy with this group, loads of personalities and ideas. I’d definitely describe this group as like an over-excited puppy, wanting to greet every passer-by with a nuzzle.

Today was the last session we’ll have with Jamo, as he has tour work in Spain (north and south), so I’ve had to adjust the project somewhat. Year 5 participants were gutted to see him go, but he promises to come back and give us performance direction advice.

4 sessions to go. We managed to get the main skeleton down for our first song, based around the groove of “Handsworth Revolution”, we learnt some nifty tips about writing choruses and the effectiveness of repetition. Paul from Punch Records came along and helped us write lyrics, although his timing meant he missed the bungalow dancing; think he did it on purpose….

We have verse 1 and chorus down, homework for the year 5s is to use the same format for verse 2.
The bungalow vocal warmer went down a treat:

Our moves were loads better! Trust!


In reverse order session 2: just me on my tod, but I had some great support staff helping further develop kids words/mind maps into sentences and stories. We had another Skype chat with Vanley – to hear in depth what is was like to live in Handsworth as a young man in the 60s. He also gave us a slideshow of more images leading up to the picture of the conga, so we could gain further perspective of his documentary photography journey, and that of the protestors.

I’ve had some project challenges regarding the second musical facet of the project: initially the idea was to use a reggae band backing Jamo’s vox (inspired by Vanley’s photo), but due to changes in Jamo’s availability (which I would struggle to get out of) and band hiccups, I had to restart the project. I now have a lovely female vocalist replacing Prince J; I heard her perform not too long ago and she knocked me for six, won’t tell you who it is yet. Even more excitingly, the accompanying music will be played by not just a string quartet, but flutist, saxophonist and percussionist. So loads of late nights spent transcribing parts on Sibelius. The changes are really exciting, and I’m glad to be putting my notation skills to use.

Just want to say a big thanks to my big bro from another ma, Jamo! Love you bubs! Gutted you can’t be in it, but more things on the card fi real! 🙂



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