Bad Weather, Brass Festival.

As July rumbles on, it’s becoming rapidly clear that chances are it’s not going to be a nice summer here, weather-wise. It’s a shame, because I’ve got a few things planned that I’m quite looking forward to.

To start with, I’m learning to drive again. I had lessons a few years ago, but didn’t follow it up. Living in an urban environment, obviously I had no desire whatsoever to learn to drive while in Preston, but back home it feels a little more important. I have a feeling that my mum thinks that once I pass my test/get a car, I’ll turn into a stereotypical boy racer. Can’t really see it myself…

But summer continues, as shown in this photograph, taken yesterday. Yes, that is mist. And it’s been raining most of today too. It’s getting a little annoying now.

But anyway, to the even nearer-future- on Saturday (7th July), I’m playing in part of what I can only describe as an ‘installation’ for the Durham BRASS festival, which runs from the 6th to the 22nd of July. It involves playing a piece of music on a boat, moving across the river. I’ve got no real idea of what’s actually happening, or even for the festival itself. So instead of speculating and being opinionated, this is from a pamphlet I got about it:

BRASS is one of the most imaginative festivals in the country, taking a cherished musical tradition and challenging artists and audiences to explore its past, present and future. We welcome a tremendous line up of street bands and musicians from around the globe to play in Streets of BRASS, schools and community venues as well as working alongside some of the county’s brass musicians.

This years, the brand new initiative BRASS:Pitch sees the launch of four newly commissioned, ground-breaking artworks which stretch the very definitions of brass music. The outdoor performing arts programme is more extensive than ever, taking place in Chester-Le-Street, Spennymoor, Stanley and Bishop Auckland as well as Durham City.

Our wide-reaching community and education work has been re-launched as BRASS:Crescendo, aiming to provide longer term opportunities for children, young people and communities to engage with BRASS in new and exciting ways. We are particularly pleased that the number of community venues taking part in the festival has almost doubled.

In recognition of their artistic quality, both BRASS and Durham Book Festival have secured Arts Council England National Portfolio funding through the Gala Durham arts festivals hub.

In short, it’s a mixture of Ken Loach and general arty-fartyness. A bit like when someone brings organic homemade preserves to a church hall bring-and-buy. I’m going to assume that the enjoyability of the month will depend solely on the weather. But I’m sure that I’ll report back with something afterward.

Also, I’ve written a piece for my friends over at the Crimson Mask. Hopefully it’ll be uploaded soon. I’d certainly recommend checking the blog out.

(Dial Tone)


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