Being back in a classroom again after such a long time was a very odd feeling. Elements of imposter syndrome (can I do this?), niggling worry (should I do this?), and the exhaustion of actually having to get 'dressed' for work! Despite these doubts, a lovely Summer Scheme week in Openshaw, and lots completed Arts Awards to go with it - well done to all!
One of my most rewarding jobs is working with children who benefit from the Little Amber trust.
Little Amber is Amber’s innovative music service that aims to enable blind or partially sighted babies and young children to engage with music by providing families and professionals with resources and ideas for music-making.
I'm constantly blown away by the tenacity of the parents, the musicality of the children and the joy that music brings to so many young people and their families. It's been a real treat in Lockdown having regular sessions with my families, and you can hear the laughter all through the house!
After a very worrying few months, the Arts look like (fingers crossed), we might not be entirely doomed! This month I was lucky enough to be booked to do some recordings in an actual concert hall, with actual real live human musicians in the same space!
It wasn't always easy and having to distance (up to 6m apart when we're singing) certainly means that you have to listen very carefully! Despite this, it was so special to be making music again. I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing the results of the session, and so excited for the day when we can make music again without social distancing.
What a treat! I really hadn’t realised quite how much I had missed making live music with other people and playing with ideas, arrangements, creativity and simply having fun!
I’ve been lucky enough to work with the ever wonderful Joe Harrison-Greaves over a number of years on a variety of projects, He’s great to work with and such an amazing and inspirational musician.
Our current project is for Clonter Opera Theatre. I’ve written the script for ‘Papageno’s Quest’; a site-specific musical story in the woods, where we meet lots of different characters from different fairy stories (think 'Into the Woods'!). Joe and I have the task of arranging and editing all the music for the show and the singers.
As ever - working with Joe means that the entirety of my music room ends up spread across the floor and doing it in a socially distanced fashion means even more chaos! That said, we had an absolutely wonderful afternoon and are so excited to hear the results and start work on the videos. We particularly enjoyed the Kazoos! Watch this space…
As someone who loves a good challenge, lockdown has given me a ready (and rather never-ending) supply. Last week’s major challenge was to work out how to record music directly into my computer for a lovely project with DIY Theatre Company. Although it’s something I have done previously, I appeared to have promptly forgotten all of the skills and knowledge I gained. Challenge 1 was to go through every single cable and musical wire I owned and try and connect everything up. I eventually managed…as well as making rather a mess and tangle in the meantime!
This week, I’ve been really enjoying sitting in the garden and writing scripts for shows and projects. Check back for more information soon!
With the lockdown still in place, and all concerts cancelled, the likelihood of a gig was pretty slim, except for our weekly socially distanced street orchestra on a Thursday night! But here we have it, thanks to SoundUp Arts CIC - an participatory music organisation which specialises in developing programmes that engage people living with dementia - we are all dressed up and ready for a VE day concert at a residential dementia home in Manchester. We're so delighted to be doing this and hope that it brings a little cheer and singing in the sun! Happy Bank Holiday! Link here!
Another busy week in the virtual world, but lovely to connect with some friends - sometimes through music and sometimes through words. Highlights this week have included our wonderful lockdown street orchestra (!) and reading bedtime stories with songs and music for Tameside Libraries.
This week I've also ventured onto Sound Cloud and Instagram, where I will be starting to upload songs and pictures from some of the amazing groups I have worked with over the years. I've also persuaded myself to Tweet a bit more! Please do follow me on any of these social media (handles below). In the meantime, stay safe and sane!
Twitter : @mad_atter
Instagram : sarah_atter
Sound Cloud : sarah_atter
As a musician, I spend my life working with other people - in the same room! This has been a challenge to change into the new working pattern of 'online only.'
Today's online only options have included 2 Tongue Twister teasers for Chethams Outreach, 7 videos for DIY theatre company and their Silver Arts Award challenges, a live stream workshop for Streetwise Opera using music from Hansel and Gretel, and a series of music and rhyme time videos for EYFS at Tameside Libraries.
These last videos are designed for little ones, so energy is HIGH and insanity abounds. There's something about doing them on your own which adds to the levels of craziness somehow and I feel like I've probably terrified/amused everyone walking down the street today who has heard me!
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Due to the Co-Vid 19 virus, I'm finally getting a chance to update my website! Every cloud and all that....
Recent projects include developing an educational strand for Hexham Abbey Festival, working with DIY Theatre Company on a long-term Youth Music project about the Circus, co-writing and presenting family concerts for Chethams Outreach (cue dinosaur!), delivering music projects for 2020 vision at the Turnpike Art Gallery and much much more! Keep checking back for more news!