Viva Musica Will Be Bigger and Better in 2018!
That the gigs at The Fuse went so well on Saturday is not just down to the commitment and sense of collaboration of the performers. When it takes 7 months or more to put an event like that together, a lot of people become involved. Miguel F.A. and I may have been the two coordinators, having our early morning sausage sandwich meetings at my house every month or so, but there was a large team of people who contributed their time and creative energy to make things look good, and to make things work. So this is my big thank you to all of them.
Miguel and I split the day between his afternoon responsibilities and my evening role as a kind of compere. We wanted the atrium to look inviting for when guests arrived, and so left its decoration entirely in his sister-in-law’s hands. All we asked was for a ‘natural theme’. So Lydia supplemented her team by bringing in local artist friend Helen to adorn the place with some of her fabulous paintings, and a local landscape gardener contributed a number of logs that were used as seats during the demonstrations of an interesting collection of musical instruments. I still don’t know where the hay bales came from, just that they would be collected if Simon’s truck didn’t break down! The result was quirky, comfortable, and extremely well received.
Further behind the scenes Miguel had set up three other rooms. Helen’s art theme continued into the dance studio where visitors had the chance to draw and paint, either using a still life as their subject or by just being creative in some other way. It felt like a haven of quiet away from the bustle of the day, but that might just have been me needing a few quiet moments to myself away from the intensity of the day.
Across the way Sharon coordinated the Gym-Jam, where a number of instruments had been laid out in the middle of a circle of chairs complemented by instruments that people brought along. I led the first jam then had to get back to organising stuff. It was really good fun to see a mix of reasonably accomplished musicians and novices creating sounds with acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitars, percussion, keyboards, a cello, violin, a mandolin and others I may have forgotten – including Miguel’s harmonica.
Meanwhile Connor was in the quiet of the green room demonstrating the fundamentals of music technology. Every time I looked in there it was full and the later showing of his work with the Club Fusion guys showed he is a talent in the making. The sounds Connor created from working with people of all ages to create an untitled four minute piece of music were inventive and inspiring and you just know he will develop to create something even more astounding for next year.
And we had Rich organising the door and sales of CDs, Lucy and others in the kitchen making sure a continuous supply of chilled water was on hand throughout a very hot and humid day, Simon controlling the auditorium lighting and generally making sure the other technicians knew where all the equipment was, Phil managing the evening schedule of intro tunes and backdrops for each performer and making up 50% of the video crew while the other 50% Rob sat for the whole evening pointing his camera from the middle of the front row. And there are certainly others I have missed out – my apologies to them – who stayed with us throughout the day to make Viva Musica an event well worth repeating in 2018!
Of course we amateurs could not have put on such a great show without the support of a number of professionals. I would certainly not have found myself performing on a stage, with or without a band had it not been for the moral support of Ali, who produces both mine and Duncan’s music while at the same time getting other artists to Number One on pre-order! Ali also introduced our sound man for the night, Alex Miller, whose skills gave us a perfect blend for our range of acoustic and electric instruments. And last but not least, Frank Roper produced some incredible photographs throughout the day, as he did on the evening of 25th in Todmorden.
We wanted visitors on the day to walk in, feel relaxed, to feel they wanted to participate as well as spectate, and to feel they were experiencing something special. They did, and it was thanks to our amazing support crew. So for those who thought this was just another local event and not one that justified its modest entrance fee, think again. Viva Musica will be back next year, even bigger and even better – and it was all achieved by friends and family. “So come along and join us…”