During the summer, we took 15 young musicians on a two-night, three-day music retreat full of masterclasses and workshops to support them to realise their potential as artists. The retreat ended with a live gig in a venue in the centre of Bristol!
From 7th– 9th July we took 15 very talented young musicians, from producers to singer/song writers, on a music retreat on the outskirts of Bristol at a fantastic venue. From previously doing From Her Tracks and The Male Room, which were both single-gender creative retreats, moving to a mixed group was a great experience. We had a mix of workshops and masterclasses on topics from wellbeing to song writing and had creative free time too. We also had a panel of music industry professionals giving their knowledge and insight into what it’s like to be a musician in Bristol. Each young musician also had 1-2-1 coaching sessions from our trained life coaches while they were on the retreat.
We started Sound Wave: Retreat with a wellbeing workshop. We felt this was an important aspect of the retreat and wanted to create a safe space where everyone felt they could share how they were feeling in a non-judgemental environment. Then we were straight into sharing participants’ music. With such an eclectic range of talent in the room, it was great for everyone to hear and know what the others had been producing. It might have been daunting or scary to begin with, but everyone was very supportive of each other and very positive, which was great to see. We then had a panel discussion with music industry professionals to pick their brains on what it was like to be a musician in Bristol. Our panel members were Ngaio Anyia (Singer/DJ/Lyricist), DJ Bunjy (DJ/Producer and International Music Ambassador for Bristol), Samantha Lindo (Singer/Song writer), and Lekan Latinwo (Music Manager).
With our participants being diverse in their talents, we needed a panel that reflected that. Discussion amongst the panelists was very engaging and enlightening; they talked about what it’s like being a musician, and the different hurdles they'd faced during their career to get to where they are now. We also had time for some questions from our participants.
We started day two with yoga and a silent morning walk. Why silent I hear you ask? We wanted to create an environment where our participants practised mindfulness: being aware of where they are and being in the moment. It was a great exercise to experience: hearing nothing but footsteps and the sounds of nature and the woods around us. It would not have been the same if it wasn' silent.
After breakfast we were ready to get stuck in! We started off with workshops on song writing and Logic Pro X before having sessions on mixing and mastering, and live performance and stage presence. It was great to be able to connect with such a diverse group of Bristol-based facilitators, luckily based in such a musical city!
The afternoon was all about exploring and sharing creative practice. Participants divided themselves up into groups as we set them the challenge for the day. The challenge was to create a song (in any style, shape, or form) in three hours around a theme, and perform for everybody at the end. The theme of the challenge was “Balance” - a recurring word that came up throughout the two days, whether that’s balancing work and life or balancing different sounds in your song. It was so great to see all these musicians working together, being creative. The different styles and interpretations of the theme were also great to witness. Participants also had a coaching session from our certified coaching staff.
We ended the day by getting together around the fire and sharing. We shared more music and songs, and toasted some marshmallows. There was a lot of dancing and great times being had. What a way to end the day!
As with day two, we started day three with yoga and a silent walk – but a different route this time! After our morning mindfulness and breakfast, we were straight in to the day's proceedings.
Our first workshop for the day was around branding. We explored how different artists communicate their work through different mediums, and talked about having a social media presence. It was very interesting to discover how different social media platforms work, and great to get some inside knowledge on how to make them work for you as an artist.
Our last workshop of the retreat was called “Fill Your Cup”, which was all about compliments and giving and receiving them. It’s important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so it’s vital to make sure that you keep your cup filled.
Sound Wave: Live
We rounded off the retreat with the inaugural Sound Wave: Live! Participants performed at Zed Alley in the centre of Bristol. We had originals, covers, and even a freestyle! It was great to see the breadth and depth of talent coming from Bristol’s up and coming musicians. We also had the wonderful team from EIGHT film for us and will be releasing the videos from Sound Wave: Live and videos from Sound Wave: Retreat soon!