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A Song for a Circus

2007 - 2008
Project:

Developed over 6 months working around the historic Arnold Circus on the Boundary Estate in East London - LCC's first ever council housing estate, with a distinctive bandstand at its heart. The finished song will be launched as part of the AGRIFASHIONISTA.TV website, but you can also hear how the song developed on the band's MySpace page.

Over several months our Boundary Estate band met every Monday night and attempting to create a song (or as it turned out songs) that said something about Arnold Circus and the Estate where everyone in the band lives or works.

It was quite an erratic process with a shifting set of players. Our musical range included a fantastic cross section of instruments from a sitar to a pair of spoons, and we had an array of talents from the highly musical to the enthusiastic amateur.

Each week those of us at the rehearsal tried out different experiments with the instruments and voices to hand, and Tim (the project composer) recorded off anything we want to save. During the following week he worked up the various samples and the next week we'd try to layer new material over his framework.

We used all sorts of source material from lists to novels and free association about the Estate. In one of the pieces on the MySpace page you can hear us all reading from a fantastic list of jobs we found that everyone who lived in the Jago (the slum that the Boundary Estate replaced) did before all their houses were knocked down and pushed into the mound under the bandstand.

It was a fascinating process to hear how lots of different people feel about the area and discover its hidden secrets from the lost animal markets of Club Row to 'A Child of the Jago'.

Our last rehearsal and recording session took place on Saturday the 15th of March 2008 at the Bandstand. You can hear the final version of the song on our MySpace page - soon to also be launched on the AGRIFASHIONISTA.TV website (links to the right).

The project is funded by Grizedale Arts
A Foundation
Arts Council England

... with help from The Friends of Arnold Circus and No:id gallery.