Home is Where the Art is' is a project by the Isle of Man Arts Council which aims to inspire the Manx public whilst supporting and celebrating creative in isolation on and from the Isle of Man. Stay tuned everyday of May to see a number of fantastic videos from creatives as part of our Home is Where The Art Is project.
We will be adding videos each day in summary of Week Three! Kicking us off is week is Francesca May!
Francesca May performs original song 'Catacombs'.
Francesca May is a singer/songwriter who grew up in Ramsey.
"The video is an acoustic version of my original song 'Catacombs'. The Isle of Man Arts Council provided me funding 2 years ago in order to record an EP, and this was one of the songs I recorded. After release, it was added to an official Spotify playlist in Germany, and now has over 1 Million streams. I have been wanting to record an acoustic version of this song for a while, and I thought what better time than when we're all stuck inside with nothing to do? My boyfriend is a producer so he helped me with the recording and mixing, and then we spent a few hours recording different angles and takes to put together to create this video."
Francesca has always been involved with the manx music scene and has played in the the Guild and Yn Chruinnaght many times. This formed her love for music and performing.
At 17, Francesca moved to Liverpool to study Music Performance at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts Sixth Form College, and is now living in London pursuing a career in music.
James Kinley performs Queen tribute on the trombone.
James is a student at Castle Rushen High School and plans to return to school for A Levels. He plays trombone along with other instruments, and plays in a few bands, such as Rushen Silver Band, @Biskee Brisht and CRHS Big Band.
“This project began as an idea when I was listening to A Night at the Opera by Queen, and the track Love of My Life began playing. At that point I thought about how the song would work well adapted for a trombone choir, and then I decided to get to work arranging it. I chose a 5-part trombone choir, and I spent just over a week of hard work on completing my arrangement of the song.
The arrangement is faithful to the original song; however, it is still a unique take on the music. Following the completion of my arrangement, I printed it out and began learning the parts, before recording each of the 5 parts separately, which took a fair few takes.
Alongside this, I was recording myself playing each part on my iPhone which was mounted on a tripod in my room. Once I had completed the recordings, I loaded all the video footage and audio into my editing software, and I synced the videos with the audio. I then laid out all 5 of the videos into the frame, with the Solo part in the middle. Finally, I finished editing the video, and it was complete.”
In 2018, James performed in New York with the CRHS Big Band, and was set to do the same in Los Angeles this year. In addition to this, last year James played with the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland where he got 1st trombone. He also won in his solo class at the guild last year.
16 year old Poppy shares some of her performance skills with us.
”My video is about my creativity during lockdown and features my singing and piano skills.
I wanted to share my different covers to inspire others to do the same and help boost their confidence just as other videos like this have done for me.”
Poppy Bowman is 16 years old and loves singing, acting and dancing. Poppy has performed many times on the Gaiety Theatre stage in dancing shows, junior productions and pantomimes.
Ellie Quayle and her family create an original music video during lockdown.
Ellie is an undergraduate in her third year of studying Music and Philosophy.
"My project is a short music video (with my original music) inspired by the experience of my lockdown. In a comical way, the song describes the struggles of being kept in all the time with an ethos to keep going and carry on. This fun snippet was created to show we are all in this together and to make the best out of a bad time. The recording of the song was done on a Tascam in my front room with my dad and my sister helped with the video."
Through her year at Uni, Ellie's love of composing and performing has grown and she wishes to continue her love for composing through projects and competitions. Ellie is a multi-instrumentalist playing piano, flute and alto saxophone and has been in bands and orchestras growing up through the Music service.
"I have really enjoyed making “The Groove” as I feel it has been a team effort with my family all taking part in the video as well as being such fun for me to create."
Henna artist, Joy White creates special tribute to the Isle of Man.
Joy has been working with natural henna for over 10 years. In January 2019 launching Joyful Henna Isle of Man as an official business and says she has been overwhelmed by the support from the island community.
“Over the last few weeks I have seen the people of the Isle of Man pull together like never before, and it has been truly inspiring. I am currently at home from my full-time job, giving me a lot more time to play with henna and learn new skills, and after recently taking an online masterclass on putting together city skylines I knew I wanted to do a design for the Isle of Man.
On the left side we have the Tower of Refuge, Lady Isabella and Tynwald Hill accompanied by the peregrine from our coat of arms and the Latin Quocunque Jeceris Stabit. To the right we have the hills, the cities and the people of Mann along with the raven and the Manx Traa Dy Liooar, Fella. Crossing both wrists is the ring chain pattern featured on the Kirk Michael Cross, and both palms are decorated with cushag blossoms and buds.
Finally, at the top, a paraphrasing of the island's motto: Whichever way this throws us, we will stand together.
My design process starts with a rough sketch before moving on to a bride (or, in this case, my practice hands). First I sketch the boundaries of the design in very light henna, along with the placement of any major motifs. Then I begin to fill in the design in stages, checking for symmetry along the way. This design took just under 4 hours to place on the hands.”
Joy was born and raised on the Isle of Man and has always loved drawing. When she was younger Joy’s mum used to tell her off for drawing on herself with pens and markers, and she was absolutely delighted when Joy began my henna journey.
'My head goes to bed, my heart stays up late': A poetry film by Janet Lees.
Janet Lees is a poet, artist and writing for wellbeing facilitator based in Douglas.
“I created this film poem over the last few days. The images that form the visual basis for the work were taken in the Isle of Man, all but one of them during our time of social distancing. During this time, writing and making art has been vital to my mental and emotional wellbeing, especially during nearly three weeks of self-isolating with symptoms. Since being able to go out again, taking my camera and stalking the alleyways of Douglas for abstracted images that encapsulate something of what I’m feeling has also been integral to maintaining some kind of emotional equilibrium.
The poem I wrote a few months ago, when I was visiting my mum in East Anglia. I usually travel by sail and rail, but on this occasion I took the car and it felt like a rare privilege to drive solo from the north to the south of England. The poem came to me while I was on the road; I wrote it in my head while driving. I was listening to music at the time which touched me deeply, and I experienced such a powerful sense of freedom and the feeling of being in love with the capacity to create that we have as humans. It was a sense of being infinite as opposed to limited, so to revisit this poem and relive those feelings during a time of restriction has also been very powerful. I wanted to capture all of this in the film poem and when I found the music by Myuu via YouTube Audio Library it felt exactly right.”
Janet is currently working mainly with text, photography and film, and loves collaborating with other artists. Since the virus hit Janet has begun three new collaborations with artists in the UK and Europe which she tells us are helping to keep her inspired and connected – and sane! Janet’s poetry has been widely published around the world, her art photography has featured in several international exhibitions, and film-based works selected for a wide range of screenings and festivals.
’HOME with Janet & Roger’.
Janet Corran is a lecturer in Health and Social Care at UCM and specialises in Early Years Care and Education and Child Psychology. Janet says that she is an Artist at heart.
“Art enables me to play without rules; there are no boundaries and quite often no end product; with freedom and creativity, I am a child. The experiences of childhood colour our lives and the artwork that I usually make can seem playful but usually holds a serious psychological slant that is dark and with hidden meaning.
The bright, colourful, joyous paintings produced during ‘lockdown’, were carried out both to make me feel better and to give others hope. Their positioning and access make these pictures part of the community and belong to the public… and they have been very much shared on social media!
Many walkers have taken pictures of the paintings and put them on social media. The rainbow painting in Peel Fisheries shop window was photographed by a passer-by, who put it on Instagram. This photograph of my painting has been selected to be used in a piece of art by The People’s Picture (based in London), that is being gifted to the NHS next week.
My husband Roger, has always supported and helped me with my art (esp. Big Installations). The video ‘Home’ is representative of our beautiful home and life and I would like to dedicate it to him.”
Learning a new tune with Award winning Harpist, Mera Royle.
Mera Royle is a musician from the Isle of Man and former winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Musician Award 2018. She plays both the Harp and Violin.
During lockdown Mera has decided to set herself the challenge of learning Clair de Lune. Mera's video shows the struggles and frustrations of the learning process. Despite being a highly accomplished musician, Mera shows us that even for her there are tunes that she finds challenging and difficult to learn.
O Land of Our Birth with Fraser Rowe.
Fraser is a musician from Castletown. He plays many instruments including, piano, bass and guitar, and has a particular interest in jazz and jazz fusion music.
“Throughout quarantine I had been experimenting with reharmonising different melodies and after hearing about the competition I thought it would be a fun idea to reharmonise a Manx tune. I planned out an idea of what I wanted to change the harmony to before recording the video and then added the melody.”
Throughout lockdown Fraser has been discovering more and more jazz techniques, one in particular is reharmonisation, which is what he is focusing on in this video.
"When lockdown first happened 2 months ago, we were in the run up to what is probably one of the busiest times of year in some schools, from a musical perspective. The Manx Folk Awards and the Manx Music Festival were both cancelled, along with many other performances around the island. Our school choir at Ballacottier were also due to go to perform once again at the Llangollen Eisteddfod. These opportunities to perform will definitely present themselves again at some point in the future, but that hasn’t necessarily made it any easier for the children to deal with.
In the first couple of weeks of lockdown, I saw lots of choral and instrumental videos that bands and choirs were sharing, the world over. I started to wonder if there was a way that we could do one with submissions from the island’s children, so I sat down at the piano one afternoon and recorded a backing track for Ellan Vannin. I can hand on heart say that I will never tire of hearing this song. It’s like magic to me. I shared the track and words, as well as an example video by Home is Where the Art Is award winner Zac Colligon (who you will see on the video) and then waited… 40 videos later, we had our submissions. The oldest is 17, the youngest is 5 (please watch to the end to see her!). We’ve had videos from Sheffield Plate finalists, school choir members and children who regularly grace the Gaiety stage. Most importantly though, as parents have told me during email contact, we have had videos from children who haven’t felt the confidence to sing for something like this before and that to me is one of the most special aspects of the project. Every single one of the videos have been fantastic to watch and I’m so incredibly grateful to the children for finding the time to send in their videos. A huge thank you as well to the parents for uploading and sending the songs through.
I asked Martyn from Isle of Man Arts Council for any contacts he might have for video editing and he put me onto Glenn Whorrall, who put the video together. Glenn has been absolutely brilliant throughout the whole process and has crafted what I hope people will think is a really special video. Dave Rowles also offered his help right at the beginning and mixed the all of the vocals together for the track. Both jobs have taken a considerable amount of time and I thank Glenn and Dave wholeheartedly for the amount of time and effort that they have put into the project. I also want to thank the Arts Council for generously supporting the project.
I miss the fun of conducting and running the choir at school. There are so many times where they’ve picked me up from a bad day, without them realising it. Singing, performing and any kind of creativity, be it with a group or by yourself, has this sort of invisible power to make everything feel just that little bit better. Watching everyone’s performance videos on social media tells me that this expression of creativity has been so important during the last couple of months or so. I hope that the world doesn’t forget this and I know that many people will share those sentiments. I really hope that you all find heart in this video performance of one of the island’s most treasured songs. To the children? A heartfelt thank you to you all, you’re all amazing." - Katie Lawrence