Take Five Europe 1

Just got back from this unique event, which developed out of Take Five UK, a week-long coming together for young musicians with workshops and lectures on all aspects of the music business. Take Five Europe takes this idea into a wider perspective with invitations to 10 musicians, 2 each from 5 different countries. You can for sure find more details on the TAKE FIVE EUROPE website, but as I have been a guest speaker there on Tuesday evening, I would like to share my impressions:

Arriving in the morning of Tuesday, I got right into the warm up for the workshop, which is lead by John Surman. The young musicians, who only met for the first time on Monday evening, got some tips on breathing to relax and warm up before going to play. The group consisted of:

Celine Bonacina                    baritone sax     Fr

Benjamin Flament                vibraphone      Fr

Bram Stadhouders                guitar               Nl

Oene Van Geel                      violin                 Nl

Gard Nilssen                          drums              No

Ole Morten Vagan                bass                  No

Maciej Garbowski                 bass                  Pol

Maciej Obara                        alto sax            Pol

Tom Arthurs                         trumpet           UK

Fraser Fifield                        soprano sax      UK

Each of the musicians had to bring a composition the band would then rehearse and perform together under the guidance of John Surman, who as well would join in the playing. It was great to see and experience the respect all musicians had for each other and how fast they understood and played together on a pretty amazing level of musicality. After the first three ours of the workshop two compositions had been performed and recorded to the satisfaction of the composers.

The afternoon then was divided into two lectures about Funding and Budgeting, as well as Contracts and Copyrights and for each session experts came to Bore Place, outside of London, to give their speech and answer all questions. Both of them really interesting even for an outsider like me.

After dinner it was my turn, together with ACT owner Siggi Loch, to speak about the state of the music industry – possibilities, challenges and problems. And to answer some very good questions by the group of young musicians – then a few drinks at the bar and some music talk …

Day 2 started with the second session in the work shop and new music – a challenging piece by Ole and a beautiful one by Fraser, in which he played bag pipe and flute and the group grew even more together and one could see how much fun John had working with this bunch of people.

Tonbridge and Malling-20120222-00193

Unfortunately I had to leave Take Five then, but the musicians will over the next few days have had a few more lectures and music sessions. The speeches were on Digital Distribution, Agency and Management, Radio and Broadcasting, Programming (Getting the gig), Marketing and Communications and in the end 5 groups of 2 musicians (not from the same country) had to do a presentation of a project to a panel of professionals – all in all a week to remember for these artists, as beside the music, they could learn a lot and many doors were opened for them.

A great concept and a great chance for the musicians to pick up things outside of making music and get some better understanding about the music industry – but as well form bonds with the other acts and get a chance to play with them in the future. All organised and done very relaxed, but very professional.

One can only wish that this initiative will get more chances to do other events and expand this to other markets as well. Next time: TAKE TEN!

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