Matthew Shaw

A full week to create without the usual distractions of the outside world is such a rarity. So rare in fact I cannot remember the last time this happened, or if indeed it ever has for me before.

Arriving early on Monday was a very good idea, as it meant that by lunchtime of day one I had already started to record pieces on the piano having walked the site and settled in.

My week was spent across a variety of projects. A new album of piano interludes, recorded with the doors and windows wide open. This meant I captured the occasional sounds of people passing by, birds singing, and other ambient sounds around studio 2. All of these added to the atmosphere and directed the way the compositions came together. The recordings have now been released across all digital platforms and can be streamed or downloaded here

The font for the cover font and design was inspired by hours of looking through and reading in the fascinating Hawkwood library.

Another piece that I completed on site is a new sound installation for Hawkwood. A site-specific piece capturing many of the recent voices, as well as old friends of Hawkwood.

It is made up of field recordings and piano compositions made over the week’s residency from October 4th to the 8th 2021.

Featuring the voices of Graham Duff, Alicia Carey, Pamela Tawse, Sam Lee, Emma Warren, Ben Edge, Arian Leljak, Bernard Jarman, Matthew Barley & Angela Samata (in order of appearance).

The Installation will be available to hear for visitors to Hawkwood in the near future.

The third piece is an oral history of Hawkwood by Pamela Tawse, telling the story of Hawkwood from its very origin all the way through to today. It contains personal reflections, memories and stories from the 27 years Pamela spent as a trustee of Hawkwood. As well as how Pamela first came to be at Hawkwood as well as how the site and charity have evolved and progressed since.

In addition to these three personal projects I also collaborated and supported the artist Lally MacBeth with her continuing Folk Archive work. More of which will see the light of day at Hawkwood in 2022.

The week was incredibly productive but also offered a great opportunity for reflection and calm. I’m not sure how it was possible to fit so much into one week but it didn’t feel rushed or overly busy at the time. Just an absolute please and privilege to be at Hawkwood creating.

Full credit to Matthew Shaw and with thanks to the DCMS & Arts Council England for their funding.


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