Thursday, 8 April 2021

A Life in Music: Tom Hyland, currently band- and festival-free, is keeping busy



Tom just doesn't stop. Ever.


Some years ago – the thick end of a decade - I first came across Tom Hyland, who was then strutting his guitar stuff with an early version of a now long gone but much-loved band, the Alternative Dubstep Orchestra.

This podcast was recorded as Tom was setting up not one but several projects, from collaborations to solo work, with the help of a very well-subscribed Kickstarter appeal. With the help of tech, people have been working with Tom both in person - socially distanced, or course - and remotely. There are links to some of Tom's co-conspirators a little further down. 

I've followed Tom since, first talking with him on the Radio To Go blog about the risky steps of going fully pro with Electric Swing Circus, as he dove head-first into ElectroSwing. From the band came his Birmingham-based festival, Swingamajig, and a host of collaborations. 

And then lockdown hit us, There's a twist to this series of Lives in Music. We're all stuck in lockdown, and so I am asking each guest about how it affects them. Tom has been hugely pro-active and has taken steps forward, from setting up that  Crowdfunder to cover costs, to collaborations recorded in a fabled Moseley Birmingham venue which currently can't host music events. Some very interesting approaches seem to be emerging, as you'll hear.

A chat with Tom always throws up lots of references. To follow these. best to double-check the companion Radio To go blogpost, which you can find here



Links

What's Electro Swing when it's at home? Exhaustive answers here
Punch The Sky website
Electric Swing Circus website with the latest plans
Swingamajig website (to be updated for when the festival can resume, but worth a look to get the flavour)
Tom's successful and now finished Kickstarter page

The Podcast

 

 A footnote: the intro and outro flourishes I'm using in this series of Lives in Music podcast come from Vo Fletcher who is featured in this series, along with Loz Kingsley, here. I asked him for a bit of live impro, and this was the result.  

The Lives in Music Podcast series has been running for about two years now. These are interviews with local musicians, looking at how music has shaped them throughout their lives. Series 3 also looks hard at how lockdown has had an impact. There are some lovely stories. To see all the artists, here's a link to every episode.

The Radio To Go blog

This blog has been going since 2007. I started it to focus mainly on radio stories, as the industry went through convulsive changes. Those changes aren't over yet, not by a long chalk. I then expanded the range of topics to cover local music, another subject close to my heart. I think it was a Destroyers gig that pulled me in that direction. I've banged out several hundred posts since then, and of course deleted quite a few. But if you're interested in thoughts on the local scene and/or radio futures, by all means visit the full topic index on the Radio To Go blog.
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Thursday, 1 April 2021

A Life In Music: Kris Halpin. Massive obstacles, irrepressible creativity

A flat-out refusal to give up and stop, no matter what the obstacles.


Welcome to another edition of Lives in Music. I've been talking on the associated Lives in Music podcast with Kris Halpin, who also trades as Dyskinetic. And the Winter of 82. You can jump to the podcast here, or scroll down to the embedded player lower down in this post. 

You might be wondering what those things are on his hands? Well, they're MiMu Gloves: gyroscopically-controlled midi control units that allow users to make music by gesture alone. 

Kris is known for his work with the MiMu gloves, which were created by Imogen Heap. They are extraordinary things. The initial concept was to allow performers to dispense with musical instruments on stage and to then create a new way of performing. Dramatic? Yes? Impactful? Certainly. 

Creativity. Disability.

But there's another factor that informs Kris and his work, and that is disability. It led Kris to his involvement with the gloves, as he sensibly pointed out how useful they could be to Drake Music, who work with Imogen Heap on enabling musicians with disabilities. 

They promptly took him on as an artistic associate to help with their research, specifically with the gloves. 

In this podcast, Kris deals with his disability – a very serious disability, which absolutely won't go away - with jaw-dropping openness, and I am hugely grateful. 

But there's an awful lot more. Kris has a very clear eye on his situation, and it turned out to be a jaw-dropping conversation. Here's Kris at Abbey Road.


Links

Kris Halpin's website and Bandcamp page
MiMu Gloves  
Drake Music    
Imogen Heap  

The latest single - March 2021


The podcast



The Lives in Music Podcast  
These are interviews with local musicians, looking at how music has shaped 
them throughout their lives. Series 3 also looks hard at how lockdown has had 
an impact. There are some lovely stories. 

To see who's in the list of artists, here's a link to see every episode.

One further footnote: the intro and outro guitar flourishes I'm using in this series of Lives in Music podcast come from Vo Fletcher, who is also featured, with Loz Lozwold (aka Kingsley), in a podcast in this series. I asked Vo for a bit of live impro, and this was the result.  

The Radio To Go blog

This blog has been going since 2007. I started it to focus mainly on radio stories, as the industry went through convulsive changes. Those changes aren't over yet, not by a long chalk. I then expanded the range of topics to cover local music, another subject close to my heart. I think it was a Destroyers gig that pulled me in that direction. I've banged out several hundred posts since then, and of course deleted quite a few. But if you're interested in thoughts on the local scene and/or radio futures, by all means visit the full topic index on the Radio To Go blog.
________________________________________________________________________


Subscribe to the mailing list!


* required field


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