CHAINES (aka Cee Haines) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist. They’ve taken part in various projects and residencies over the years led by artists such as Imogen Heap and Anna Meredith.
It all began in 2016 with a free weekly course called Modular Music School led by Dan Valentine.
I’d had a very conventional musical education and I’d found myself at a point where I was tired and creatively drained. I had actually kind of gone, “Nope, nope. That's it. On the music front, I'm not doing this, I'm going to do something else. I'm going to go into teaching.”
But then I saw a really fantastic opportunity for learning more about electronics, which was where my interests really lay musically.
That was the very beginning. All the things I then did with Brighter Sound built on this and this skill set allowed me to be a professional composer and musician. Without Brighter Sound and the education I received through them, I don't see myself being in the place I am now.
A year or so after Modular Music School I was on a Brighter Sound residency at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, led by Anna Meredith. As an AFAB (assigned female at birth) person, it was really nice to be with other AFAB folks and women making electronic music. Generally the environments I'd been in had been so male-dominated, so that was just electric. I made a lot of friendships there with some stunning composers and musicians.
Having come from a conservative path of musical education, where competition is very much baked into the fabric of that experience, the sense of community was particularly positive. It was more about everybody contributing and building something. It was about sharing skills, teaching each other, combining ideas and practice, and the outcome was wonderful and crazy. It wasn’t competitive, it was about working and making something together.
There are various barriers to getting into music, both culturally and educationally. The way in which Brighter Sound works with artists - very friendly, not hyper competitive, community based - encourages people to think more critically about the issues faced by various groups in society, particularly when it comes to the music industry. Gender is a glaring example, and while this is now improving, there is more to be done.
Brighter Sound has been particularly good at recognising what skills musicians need in order to operate in the professional world. That sounds basic, but depending on your educational background, you don't always get that. From how the sound desk works, to what the working culture’s like, what you might expect from a stage manager, how early to arrive at the venue on the day of a gig. It’s really, really important stuff.
It's about people feeling confident when they know this, when they go out into the professional world. People then feel less like they're imposters - like they belong.
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"Without Brighter Sound and the education I received through them, I don't see myself being in the place I am now."