Sunday, April 08, 2018

Art Swarm

Well, my new video show went live last week, ArtSwarm, which is the logical continuation of the ArtsLab radio show I've been doing at RedShift Radio for past few years (as regular blog readers would have noticed!)

Producing a radio show for the past two years has been a really interesting experience, and great fun. The key skill for working on the radio is probably multi-tasking. I never really assumed that anyone was listening. The figures were small, typically under 10. I remain amazed at how my radio peers acted as though they were broadcasting to the nation or the world, rather than to a small room of (mostly) people that they knew anyway, or often broadcasting to nobody at all. Most listeners listened later, streaming the show at their leisure, which is the current trend in media. There is something to be said for live broadcasting, it certainly is more edgy and exciting than pre-recording, where things can be edited. The training of presenting a live show is very good for confidence because of this; it stops you worrying about making mistakes, and gives you the freedom to just do it. This is why successful presenters of all sorts often start in radio; it's the paragon of media training.

As most people listen later, I thought it would be good to aim for that, and to boost inclusivity wanted to make something that would allow people to share things, so the format for the second year of ArtsLab was to simply broadcast things that people have made. It became a sort of tutorial on how to create things in a hurry. Lots of the results were bizarre, often rough and ready, but, wow, often inventive and inspiring and pushing boundaries. The things I've heard on ArtsLab have certainly crept into my music, and my last album Cycles & Shadows, which was largely piano with spoken word, is so different from my former music due to this. The album I'm working on now will continue this trend into avant-garde pop, and a further step away from the Jarre and computer-game sound that dominated my earlier years.

All good things come from contrast and opposites and my rejection of the automated for the human is a great source of creative energy for me; my painting itself was a rejection of computer graphics.

Anyway, ArtSwarm, conversely, embraces video. It seems a logical step up to create an inclusive video show; a show where people make things to a theme each fortnight, then we all see what everyone has done. When I started painting, this very format made me paint. It was great training, and I'm sure that many good and exciting videos will get made due to ArtSwarm, the combination of pressure due to time, the guidance of a theme, but also, freedom without censorship (well, no quality judgements, it merely has to be YouTube legal).

I had hoped that ArtSwarm would be less work than ArtsLab to produce, which was about 2 days per week. Being fortnightly, it should be (and I'll save the 4 mile walk there and back - but that was as much a health benefit as a chore).

Ramble over. Onward to great things! Show number two is coming soooon. Here is the ArtSwarm YouTube channel: