Imogen Heap and Frink Frink: Five days from conception to worldwide release.
Brighter Sound’s latest Artistic Directors Series, led by musical and digital innovator Imogen Heap, has resulted in ten of the UK’s best up and coming young artists writing, recording, performing and releasing a track just five days after meeting for the first time.
The track ‘Marble’, under the artist name Frink Frink, was created during the residency to demonstrate the ‘life of a song’ as part of a project that included intensive writing sessions, collaboration, recording sessions, discussion, masterclasses, a live premiere of the song, filming of a music video, and the general release of the song live on stage during the residency showcase event at Band on the Wall on Thursday 6 October.
The track was released to a live audience using Amuse – a platform which facilitates the development of distributed social applications involving users that cooperate/compete to achieve common goals. The track is now available to purchase on iTunes and Google Play, and to stream on Spotify, a mark of the professional focus and output of the week.
The live event began with a sneak preview of the ‘Marble’ music video, filmed on the circular bus route aboard the Manchester Metroshuttle No. 1 and edited in less than 24 hours. With an emphasis on connectivity, the video tells the story of two strangers lost in thought, meeting and connecting for a brief moment where time is suspended.
The evening also featured an exhibition showcasing the ten artists and their work, discussion around the process and ambition of the project, plus a number of additional performances from the group. Ideas that had been taken in a different direction in the song-writing process for ‘Marble’, were developed as songs in their own right – demonstrating the many facets to ‘the life of a song’ and showcasing the abilities of the ten artists.
“There are so many facets to being a recording artist and technology is moving so incredibly fast. It’s vital artists are brought into the front and centre of these technologies as they shape our own futures” – Imogen Heap
Over the week, the group connected to Imogen’s pioneering ‘Mycelia’ initiative that uses blockchain technology to continuously record, trace and track ‘the life of a song’ – its journey from an initial spark of an idea right through to distribution online. By helping to create a networked database for music copyright information, Imogen hopes to challenge outdated music industry models, enliven the music ecosystem and create a fair and sustainable industry.
Brighter Sound’s Artistic Directors Series connect young and emerging musicians from across the UK with inspirational artists who want to push the boundaries of what can be achieved. This residency was unique because the process was the real focus as oppose to creating a set of pieces for performance. The song was available on Spotify, Google Play, and iTunes within 24 hours of the live performance with the music video published in the days following its release.
Tracy Chen, one of the participants on the project said “The residency has been really special for me, working with such multi-talented people and having access to so many resources, support and skill in one place. Listening to the song is pretty emotional – I guess it’s just a response to everything I’ve felt throughout the week and I also just really like the song. It’s just been really nourishing spending these 12-hour days doing something I love, with other people who love the same thing, learning to embrace differences/different skill levels while validating your own ability and way of doing things.”
Brighter Sound producer Kate Lowes said “We were really excited to work with an artist like Imogen who is always pushing the boundaries of what is possible. She takes risks, embraces new technologies, challenges conventions – and to our thinking she is integral to what the future of the music industry might look like. We thought that the Mycelia project was a really important theme to discuss with young and emerging artists during the residency and were thrilled that the PRS for Music Foundation and Musicians’ Union could join us in a thought-provoking discussion mid-way through the residency. We had a great week and can’t to see what happens to the first single ‘Marble’ which was released at the residency showcase on only the fifth day of collaboration!”
Frink Frink is a collaboration of ten of the UK’s most exciting emerging musicians, directed by Imogen Heap with support from Rachel Nelken. They were formed during a five day Brighter Sound artistic residency – writing, recording, performing and releasing ‘Marble’ just days after meeting for the first time. Find out more about each artist.
Imogen Heap – Vocals, Programming, Arrangement, Mixing Engineer
Robbie Cavanagh – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Clapper
Katt Strike – Vocals, Vocal Loops, Bass, Sampling, Whisper
Tess Tyler – Vocals, Piano, Piano, Whisper, Clapper
Tracy Chen – Vocals, Vocal Loops, Programming, Sampling, Whisper
Rachel Nelken – Cello, Whisper, Clapper
Molly Lawes – Whisper, Clapper
Rhys Sumner – Whisper, Clapper, Vocal Loops, Percussion, Synth
Mari Sainio – Whisper, Programming, Sampling
Guillaume Dujat des Allimes – Whisper, Percussions, Recording Engineer
Caroline Haines ‘Chaines’ – Clapper
Seth Scott – Sampling, programming