We finished our CARP Residency at The Civic, Barnsley last week, exploring the music and some visuals for the production Under the Bed. It's been a brilliant and invaluable time. The residency had been structured with a combination of 'meet up' days, hosted by the Civic and 'remote collaboration' in which the artists involved develop ideas independently (based upon the meet up sessions) and share them online for others to contribute to or be inspired by, before developing them further still on the next meet up day.
This process, we feel, gives everybody involved much more freedom in developing and exploring their work as it removes the pressure to 'produce' something by the end of the day and allows the artists to both reflect on what has been created and to work at varying paces to suit themselves without hindering others.
As we're at the beginning of this production, much of the meet up days are filled with conversations about ideas and themes etc. both about the role of specific artforms and how they might cross with others. As artist Lou Sumray said "it's fantastic hearing the different conversations people are having about the show. You're working from a different place, so what at first seems to be an irrelevant conversation to what you're doing, can suddenly become hugely influential, just through hearing someone else describe it. Just hearing other people's thoughts on a moment, like James and Nick talking about the music, is great and has an instant impact on the artwork I'm making".
For the last day we were also extremely lucky to be joined by singer and musician Hayley Youell. Hayley has been developing her own show at the Civic as part of the CARP scheme and theatre programmer, Ian Morley, hooked us up with her after a discussion about us wanting to find a third musician - one of those happy and brilliant things that can happen during these residencies.
Throughout our stay at The Civic, we've developed a ton of music, particularly focussing on character themes and a specific animated section of the production, as well as developed a strong design concept for some artwork that will also feature. The residency has also blossomed some new ideas for the show, particularly with regards to the role of the music and visual arts in the production - something that could only have happened, given the luxury of time for the artists to play. And it looks like we found our third musician too!