Its been a busy 12 months of music-making for me. Here are the highlights from the year …
W A L T E R L E M O N F A C E
First up was the Walter Lemonface improvised cinema show, which we began performing again in February. Hull, Bradford, Luton, and Cambridge all had visits from our zesty show. The performances were off-the-wall and unpredictable fun, as ever!
T H E C H O R Õ E S
Also at the start of the year I played guitar and cavaquinho with The Chorões for a couple of really fun sets as part of a lunchtime series at the Royal Albert Hall.
D X N C E R
March saw the release of the debut E.P of my side project Dxncer. You can listen to the whole thing on Bandcamp Spotify, iTunes and other streaming services. Further releases are planned for next year.
R A B B I T G I R L
In April we embarked on a week of R&D for a new 154 Collective show – Rabbit Girl and the Search for Wonder. Through community workshops and open development sessions Dan Mallaghan and Fabric Lenny arrived at a visual script. During these sessions I wrote several songs and instrumental tunes which were inspired by, and fed back into this storyboard. You can watch a video of the animated script with one of these songs below.
C O M M I S I O N S . . .
Throughout the year I have been composing music for a new ukulele syllabus for Mosaic Music Education. Its been a lot of fun to write music for complete beginners! The syllabus should be being rolled out in a selection of London schools next year.
T H E S I N G I N G T R E E
As preparation for some workshops I was running this summer, I created a mini, interactive sound sculpture which I called the singing tree. I used conductive materials and electric paint to trigger vocal samples and ambient sounds within the structure.
G A R G O Y L E S OF S E L B Y
I spent an awesome two days with Hayley Youell creating music and songs with workshop participants as part of Selby Arts Festival. The songs were based on the participants’ gargoyle images and stories, created during previous workshops at the site. The fantastically surreal results can be heard on the gargoyle’s dedicated Soundcloud.
C A R D B O A R D J O E
In August we created brand new stories for our Cardboard Joe theatre show, which were premiered at Bradford Festival.
I M A G I N A R Y I N S T R U M E N T S F A C T O R Y
Later on that month I ran really fun sessions in which I guided participants in making their own instruments, using cardboard, conductive paint, and other conductive materials. The whole thing ended in performances and improvisations on the instruments designed in the session.
W R E S T L I N G T H E W A L R U S
The second show that the 154 Collective began work on this year started life as an exhibition in Leeds. I worked with Hayley Youell to create a soundtrack and songs to accompany the exhibition. And following this, inspired by the words, music, and art, I started work on a selection of songs for this show. The demos for these can be found on my Soundcloud:
B B C I N T R O D U C I N G
Songs that I wrote for Wrestling the Walrus had some radio play throughout the winter months thanks to BBC Introducing York, and also got an outing on BBC 6 Music. I will be performing a live session for Jericho Keys’ show in York in January which I’m very excited about! Check my twitter for updates on this.
— Tom Robinson (@freshnet) November 11, 2017
M I D I A U G M E N T E D I N S T R U M E N T S
Throughout the year I have spent time testing out ideas for future performances. In a series of these experiments I used Bare Conductive electric paint to add MIDI capabilities to acoustic instruments, which could potentially add a great deal of exciting possibilities to solo shows. This project was also featured on the Bare Conductive blog and you can have a look at the post here .
M A Z E O F C U R I O S I T Y
Also in November I created an interactive ‘Singing Wall’ and performed songs with Hayley Youell as part of the 154 Collectives fantastic ‘Maze of Curiosity’ event.
— Nicolas Lewis (@_NicolasLewis) November 24, 2017
Tickets on sale now for THE MAZE OF CURIOSITY at market hall #HeckmondLIGHT 2017 @heckmondlight Sat 25 Nov. Time slots available every half hour from 3pm. Book in advance to secure your place. Tickets £2.00 https://t.co/teLRVTxkvB … #storytelling #santa #outdoorarts #maze pic.twitter.com/PJTsSyWL5t
— 154collective (@154collective) November 19, 2017