Free Creative Cultural Leadership Development Programme

The Create Place programme is open for applications for its second cohort of participants (deadline 29th January). It’s a free North Staffordshire and Cheshire East based programme supported by Arts Council England. It focuses on developing leadership skills in creative & cultural co-creation, co-production and co-curation for the arts & heritage sector…. which includes getting communities involved in making, creating, & community arts.

Even though I’m based in Surrey (not Staffs or Cheshire), I’m part of the 1st wave of participants & it’s been a great experience for me. I have had so many useful conversations about developing creative projects; linking up with other creatives; and developing strategic & leadership skills. I’d totally recommend applying for a place if you’re based in England.

It involves 3 x 2 day residencies (currently virtual/online) & continuing support from 16 North Staff/Cheshire & UK cultural/arts organisations.

There’s a lot more detail on the Create Place site.

Please share this with anyone you think might be interested.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

More music

I’ve had a productive few weeks writing music for various projects.

This includes adding a few more tracks to my Pond5 profile – expanding on the styles that were previously there. You’ll find it now features 1970s rock, electronic ambient, and piano solo material, as well as the classical pieces.

I’ve also been working on songs for The Midnight Detective Club game project – so far I’ve drafted the lyrics for 7 tracks, and started working on music for some of them. It’s been fun limiting myself to the synths and drum machines that would have been available around 1982, and trying to capture that early synthpop style.

I also released my first Replay in Neon EP on Spotify and other streaming services at the beginning of October, and I’m really pleased that the tracks have had over 2,300 plays already. If you’re into Plaid, Autechre, Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk give it a listen. Hey, even if you’re not into those bands you can still check it out. 😀

I’ve also released another track on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and Tidal under the guise of Ice Line Drift. It’s similar to Replay in Neon material, in that it’s electronic, ambient and progressive, but it’s also very mellow and laid back and doesn’t feature any drums or percussion. I will also hold my hands up and say it is a Christmas themed track based on one of my favourite carols, The Holly and the Ivy. I wanted to give it at dreamy sleepy quality – the sort of track you could easily fall asleep or de-stress to. You can find The Holly and the Ivy (Ambient) here.

…and if you’re interested in getting me involved in any of your projects you can get in touch via my contact page.

The Midnight Detective Club

I’ve been mulling over the idea for this creative project for a few years now, but The Midnight Detective Club is one of those grand ideas that I’ve had to take time over to work out what I want to do with it, and how I piece it together. The concept is focused on a number of things:

  • A Nancy Drew / Scooby Doo type mystery
  • A nod to early 1980s pop groups and culture surrounding them
  • An art/fashion exhibition
  • Personal experiences

My biggest dilemma was trying to decide on which is the best way to frame it as a digital project, and the best tools to use. I’ve now decided that it will take the form of a chapter based digital narrative with varying elements of gameplay and puzzle solving, and I’ll be using a variety of digital tools to represent each chapter. At present these tools include:

  • Twine – text based interactive fiction
  • Artsteps – 3D virtual online exhibition
  • Pico-8 – a game engine with an early 1980s aesthetic
  • Canva – design software

I have the broad ideas mapped out and roughly know where it all joins up and how the chapters cross paths, and I’m now working on the basics of a few chapters. The most progress I’ve made so far is researching the 1980s pop group/fashion, band based game, and the teen mystery elements, and turning some of that into cover artwork, which you can see below.