Artist Residency at Hawkwood: Saffron Music
"Our time at Hawkwood was a beautiful escape from the usual hustle of the city, giving us time to move slowly and rest, taking the time to connect with each other, listen and create."
Our time at Hawkwood was a beautiful escape from the usual hustle of the city, giving us time to move slowly and rest, taking the time to connect with each other, listen and create. Our intention for the week was to create a space for said activities, to begin the process of inspiration and direction for three black & black heritage artists, and to complete their commission for Saffron Record’s 2023 Artist Development Project.
The brief for our commission this year was to create a musical work in response to the topic of human relationships with technology.
Throughout the week we engaged in exercises of Deep Listening, late night collective beat making, reflections and intensive audio production workshops from some wonderful facilitators we brought in such as Grove and Tayylor Made.
The food was incredible, and we felt very looked after, enjoyed many a session on the Grand Piano, and wonders through the woods. Meal times were a lovely opportunity to make connections with the other retreat cohorts, from environmental charities to a film production crew.
Theophina Gabriel, one of our cohort, wrote a lovely poem about our time.
saffron sun – theophina gabriel
clips the wave of hills
this morning is the perfect sound
low-end evenings fade
into the rolling spice of dinner
laughs, the pops of a curl &
mint + green baby pink
the hawks are in the woods
and piano keys trill from
the throats of birds, warm
oak arms extend through
ceilings to strum mya’s muffled
monnie marks magic on
their face in swirls of cloud
some are dark; thunderstorm eye
some are white, the froth
of a wave bridging a
& lizzie throws her head
back when she laughs
& hari is rolling again;
the smoke of music is never
far from my
i am grateful for these woods
the lush of green that
scatters into the glitter
of the sun i am grateful for
the sounds that come
with a saffron sun
Founded in Bristol, UK in 2015 by Laura Lewis-Paul, Saffron operates as a non-profit organisation that primarily offers training in music production, sound engineering and DJing, as well as running an artist development programme and record label.
Saffron’s aim is to advance gender equality in the music tech sector by creating a safe space for women, non-binary people and other minority genders to learn and build confidence. We want to inhabit traditionally male-dominated music tech spaces and become visible role models for others.