An explanatory introduction
We live in a time when our entertainment is delivered at the click of a mouse. We are entering an era where our children see no reason to ‘pay’ for their music.
It is no co-incidence, then, that the Live-Music industry is at an all time high: Live Performance, that intimate event of the moment just cannot be downloaded and is worth every penny. Just as The Cinema did not kill The Theatre: so downloading will not kill live music, we are just learning to appreciate it in new forms – (and some old ones hitherto under-appreciated).
We no longer expect to see Mussorgsky himself walk out on stage to perform his art, we accept the fact that his piano-based music may be performed by a full highly-regarded orchestra conducted by a star conductor.
60 years on, we are having to accept the same from our fast-dieing Rock N Roll performers.
The impact great music has on the listener can often be shaped by someone else’s interpretation of it. The door to lifelong appreciation needs, sometimes, to be opened by someone already initiated: the Necessary Bridge. Indeed, artists such as Mr Mussorgsky, leave wide-open spaces for us to move around in, as do artists such as Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa and, (in this case), Nick Drake. But wide open spaces can be intimidating – and there is room – need – for the Necessary Bridge, the Guide, the Interpreter. This is a legacy that has only really just begun to be understood.
For many people music is an escape from the hurly-burly of life, but there are those for whom Nick Drake’s music offers something more specific; it offers a personal place to escape to.
“and what will happen in the morning when the world it gets so crowded that you can’t look out the window in the morning?”
(from Hazey Jane II)
Nick remains an enigma. Those who listen to his songs interpret them in an intensely private way, and enter into their own personal place to be…..
A Place To Be is a series of projects aimed at collecting the more interesting personal interpretations of Nick’s work.
These interpretations could be in the form of a film (such as River Man by Tim Pope, Black Eyed Dog by Heath Ledger, Horn by Jonas Mekas) a recording (Day Is Done by Norah Jones, Blossom by Beth Orton), a piece of writing, (John Martyn, Tom Baxter) or a painting, or any other such artistic expression.
We aim to create a harbour, (initially a website), where these interpretations can exist. Then later we would like to release them in a more concrete form appropriate to their particular medium; such as a CD, a live concert, a DVD or a book etc.
However, the website will also exist as a point-of-call in its own right.
We also plan to create a series of ‘Live’ events based around the various works. An evening could contain the exhibition of works, the screening of the films and, most importantly, the live performances of his songs, an event that (though possibly recorded and filmed) will exist just there, just then.
Nick was famously reluctant to play live concerts : but though shy, he was never afraid of busking whilst his songs remained adequately presented by just voice and guitar.
However, from an early stage it was apparent that the arrangements would become key to the songs. His first album used Strings and Brass to such an extent that it would have been dispiriting to have to perform them publicly with simply a guitar for accompaniment as was the norm. Nick was a perfectionist and was in no hurry to become a troubadour like his good friend John Martyn.
Over 30 years after his death we now see an opportunity to take his work for a walk. Not only to have it performed live, but to have it interpreted in film, writing, drawing and for it to grow and tour and be interpreted much as happens with Classical music .
We aim for each event to be curated and organised by an individual artist so that each event carries that artist’s own particular stamp It can then be handed on to a new organiser: And so the baton is passed , and the work lives on.
How It Works
It is important to realise that these will not be commissioned works. They should be the spontaneous creations of one artist responding to another And the commercial rights in these works will remain with the artist who created them, as does their potential income
All we ask is to control the initial musical release of the work, licensed by us on a format of our choice, (first-use). After this, the work can be used in any way the creator wishes.
(Of course if we discover a piece already on general release that we would like to include the above point would not apply).
ARTWORK: We would like to create a limited edition of the artworks to be sold via the website with the full co-operation of the artist/photographer.
FILM: We would like to release the filmed works on a DVD collection as well as supplying them as paid-for downloads from the website.
MUSIC: We would like to release the musical ‘homages’ as a CD as well as offering them as paid-for downloads from the website.
In early September 2007 we intend to quietly launch the series with an exhibition at ‘Bumbershoot’ a multi-media arts fair in Seattle (Washington, USA). We have been given one large room at this prestigious event where we plan to host the film ‘A Skin Too Few’ and have both filmed interpretations of Nick’s music and an exhibition of the pieces.
Tel: + 44 (0) 1986 784 664