New Music – The Lounge Society | Maya Lakhani

New releases – The Lounge Society, Maya Lakhani

The Lounge Society – Burn the Heather (single)

Back with their second single and sounding like a band much further into its career, The Lounge Society have released Burn the Heather this week via the ever trustworthy Speedy Wunderground. The track feels its way through the dark dancefloors of The Fall and Fat Whites-esque influences and manages to stand high above similarly veined offerings from many other emerging artists. It bears the test of being played on repeat and still sounding fresh each time. There really does seem to be something quite special about the music these guys are making and, given that their combined age would only just qualify them for a senior bus pass, things bode extremely well for the future. Do have a listen to this one and check out tour dates for 2021; am advised some are selling out already so don’t hang about.

The Lounge Society

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Maya Lakhani – The Line (single)

Releasing her debut single The Line today, Maya Lakhani brings a serving of sophisticated rock to the table. An established musician (most recently as part of distortion guitar outfit Concrete Bones), she has stepped up to the solo podium in style, writing, recording and producing all the vocals and guitar on the record. With hints of PJ Harvey and The Creatures (a la Siouxsie and Budgie rather than the apparently endless other acts with the same name), this is a strong entrance that suggests Maya will be making waves on the ones to watch lists. If 2000 Trees are still booking for next year, there’s a great fit here. Take a listen to The Line here and keep an eye on what comes next.

Maya Lakhani

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Words by Siobhan

27th November 2020

 

Best of 2020 – Calling all Photographers!

Best Shots of 2020 – call for submissions 

Well, what a year it’s been; 2020 will no doubt stick in our memories for many reasons. Amidst everything that’s gone on, photography has played an important role, whether documenting the pandemic or used as a means of escape from it all. And, as in previous years, we’d love to put together a collection (or two) of your favourite shots of the year.

Although live performance has been severely hit, we’ll be going ahead with our annual Best Music Shots gallery, so it’s time to dig back either to the first few months of gigs and festivals or the brief stroll into socially distanced shows in the summer. We’ll also be repeating last year’s Best Shots of the Year feature for any other subject matter you care to include – portraits, landscapes, animals, street photography, whatever you like. You’re welcome to take part in either or both. Details below for how to submit, closing date midnight on Friday 11th December.

Category A : Live Music – your shot must be of an artist or band performing live – if you have music related shots that are portraits, crowd shots, etc, these can be sent in to the other category. More details below.

Photos: 16 Beasley St

Category B : General – any subject matter and style can be included; please ensure that your shots do not contain anything generally regarded as offensive or prohibited on social media and that you have parental permission for any shots featuring recognisable minors. More details below.

Both categories: You can send in a max of 2 shots per category but, depending on numbers, we may only be able to include 1 so let us know if you have a preference. Colour, black and white, portrait, landscape, square are all fine. You can choose to include a watermark or not; all we ask is that, if you do, please try to keep it fairly small and subtle. It doesn’t matter if you’re professional, amateur or just take photos here and there for the fun of it – as long as it’s a clear shot that will cope with being enlarged on screen – everyone is welcome to join in.

Photo: Andrew Barrell

All you need to do is email your chosen shot(s) with the subject as Best of 2020 to breakingglassmag@gmail.com by the closing date Friday 11th December 2020 with the following details:

– Name of artist (music) or title of shot (general)
– Venue / location for music shots
– Month taken (must be a photo you have taken in 2020)
– How you would like to be credited (first name / full name / professional or website name, etc)
– Links to your work (website / social media, etc)
– Max of 2 photos per category

By submitting you give us permission to include your shot(s) in an online feature and use to promote this and related posts on the website and social media. All images remain under your ownership and copyright and this will be stated in the feature with clear details of who the photographer is for each shot. Galleries will be published during December 2020.

You can find 2019’s Best Music Shots and 2019 Through the Lens here. The features this year will take a similar format. Any questions at all, please just ask. Look forward to hearing from you!


Photo: Marge Bradshaw 

Header photos – left: Shane O’Neil, top: 16 Beasley St,
bottom: Dave Harford, right: Oriana Spadaro

25th November 2020

Gallery – Autumn & Winter

‘All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey…’

Whether you’re dreaming of California or crunching the leaves and snow in colder climes, Autumn and Winter bring colours and textures that beg to be photographed. So grab a mug of something hot and take a look through our latest gallery from around the world. As always, images are in no particular order except to be mixed by subject and style – enjoy…

Header photo by Gary Hough, details in article

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1. Peek a Boo with a deer in Richmond Park
2. Purple Muhrooms

By Petra Eujane Photography

Website | Instagram

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1. Autumn Beeches
2. Church Island

By Derek Rickman

Instagram

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1. Snowed In
2. Autumn at the Lake District

By Clare Ratcliffe

Instagram | Facebook

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1. Dundee Penguin
2. A Walk in the Park

By Siobhan at 16 Beasley St Photography

Website | Instagram | Twitter

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Autumn Sky

By Jake O’Brien

Instagram

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1. Undercover
2. Acer Leaves

By Kevin Harpin

Instagram

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1. Snow Trike
2. Smile

By Becky Jones

Twitter

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1. Autumn Rooftops
2. Autumn Leaves

By Gary Hough at allthecoolbandsphotography

Website | Instagram | Twitter

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Autumn in Milan, November 2020

By Oriana Spadaro

Website | Instagram

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Sedona, Arizona

By Jennifer Mullins Photography

Website | Instagram

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Christmas Cornflakes

By Charlie Smith

Twitter

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A big thank you to all the photographers who have braved the cold to take and contribute their shots. All images are copyright of the named photographer – check out more of their work on the links shown.

Best of 2020 galleries coming soon!

23rd November 2020

Playing through the Pandemic

An insight into how the global Coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of musicians

By Bethany Clayton

2020 has been the year that no one would have been able to predict. If someone had told me last year that there would be a deadly disease that would spread across the entire globe resulting in millions of deaths and in a raise of unemployment and potential poverty for thousands – I would have thought that they had just told me the outline to a new apocalypse movie conceived by Hollywood film writers. However, that is the unfortunate reality that many of us find ourselves in this year. Many people and industries have been affected by this pandemic in different ways. I talked to two musicians who are at the beginning of their journey within the music industry to see how the global Coronavirus pandemic has changed their lives this year. I spoke to Nottingham’s Connor Harrsion, a solo artist who goes by the pseudonym Stature. Connor produces innovative garage music available to listen to on Spotify. I also spoke to Wakefield’s Andrew Horn who is a multiple band member of two folk bands, Aelfen and Moss, and modern-rock band Possum whose music is available to listen to on Spotify and Bandcamp.

For many musicians there have been a number of challenges that they have had to face due to the current pandemic. The main and potentially disastrous challenge is the cancellation of concerts and tours for these artists. Live performances serve as a main source of income for many musicians and are a vital lifeline for smaller solo artists and bands that are trying to earn a living within the music industry. Solo artist Connor Harrsion revealed that many of the musicians that he knows personally, or would have worked alongside prior to the pandemic, have had to sadly find alternative jobs within the music service industry or elsewhere due to no longer having the means to support themselves as musicians because of the effects of the pandemic on people’s livelihoods. Andrew Horn told me that, “It was when a gig for my band Moss was cancelled in Todmordon that I realised things were going to be very different for me.” This was one of the first cancellations that Andrew and his band members had to face this year as well as his third tour with his band Possum cancelled and a venue for his folk band Aelfen to play at what would have been 2020’s Boomtown festival also cancelled, following the UK restrictions on large outdoor events and temporary nationwide lockdowns. There were many musicians facing the same issues as Andrew as events and tours were cancelled resulting in a loss of income for many. However, Connor Harrsion noted an inventive way that many musicians have been able to still secure some income and revenue. Many bands and solo artists have opted to host live performances over social media, utilising formats such as ‘live mode’ on social media platforms like Instagram, as a way to gain donations to allow them the funds to keep on making music for their fans and continue to work in a profession that they love. This mode of virtual performance displays a temporary solution to the challenges posed by this current pandemic displaying the creative ingenuity of our favourite artists and bands.

(Stature on Spotify)

Additionally, Connor revealed to me that his solo work as Stature creates a current source of income through streaming services. “A lot of people have been listening to more music which means more streams and royalty income,” Connor then stated; “which is generally nothing in comparison to what a musician would earn playing live”. For example the streaming service Spotify provides a rate of £0.0028 in royalties for one stream so it would take one thousand streams for a musician to earn £2.80 in royalties. Therefore, it is important to note that the revenue made from streaming services and virtual performances does not compare to the income a musician would earn from in-person live performances. Andrew told me that he believes that live in-person performances could still happen during the pandemic in a safe and Covid-secure way by utilising social distancing measures. This would then allow for many musicians to earn a liveable wage once more, provide business to venues and event holders and keep fans happy. This revelation came to Andrew during his time performing at the Cloth Cat Open Mic Night at the Packhorse in Leeds during the summer, when the UK restrictions temporarily relaxed. The event implemented socially distanced measures such as audience members had to sit at tables in groups no larger than six and wear a mask whenever walking about the venue. Andrew told me that, “all our lives we have taken things for granted like live music and it’s only now that there are restrictions that we realise the importance of such things!”. From this experience Andrew believes socially distanced events could be a new and profitable future for the music industry and we could once again appreciate the pleasure and importance of experiencing live music. These types of performances would supply a means of overcoming some of the most damaging effects of the pandemic as these socially distanced events would allow for the music industry to regain business and for musicians to once again earn a liveable income.

(Possum on Spotify)

As I discussed the obstacles set by the pandemic with both Connor and Andrew they both noted some positives that have also arisen from this uncertain time. For Andrew, during the first UK nationwide lockdown he was unable to meet and rehearse music with his fellow bandmates. Andrew decided to utlise this time instead to work on his first solo album which will be released and available to download on Bandcamp. If it was not for the lockdown, therefore, we would not be gifted with this fabulous new album by Andrew Horn. Connor also stated that the free time that lockdown provided allowed him to work on new music. He also noted that because of the free time that many people have found themselves with during lockdown that “new labels are popping up and have been on the hunt to add to their roster so that in a sense it’s created a higher chance for smaller artists getting noticed”, a silver lining therefore for new musicians looking to be signed. It is evident then that along with the negative effects that the pandemic has created there has also been some positive impacts made on the music industry. Solo artists have had more time to create and release new music which will no doubt keep fans smiling. New businesses such as new record labels have been founded providing more opportunities and business for musicians.

Throughout this apocalyptic Hollywood movie that has somehow seemed to become the reality that our society is living in, there have been numerous effects evident that the pandemic has created upon the livelihoods of musicians and the music industry at large. Such as, some positive effects: brand new music being created and the introduction of virtual performances as a new means to experience music, and some negative effects: the loss of jobs and incomes. However both Andrew and Connor share a consensus that the future remains hopeful and, once some of the disastrous effects of the pandemic begin to de-escalate, then these talented musicians can continue with their livelihoods without disruption and fans can once more enjoy the thrilling venture of listening to new music and watching live performances.

You can listen to Stature and Possum on the links above; Andrew’s solo album is due for release soon.

Words by Bethany Clayton

19th November 2020

Interview – Sen Morimoto

Like a magpie collects shiny gems, Sen Morimoto has dipped into a treasure trove of genres and influences, fusing together jazz, hip-hop and soulful undertones on his new self-titled album. We asked him about his early experiences with music and how the record came together…

How are you doing, what’s life like in Chicago right now?

All in all I’m feeling grateful. Or at least always trying to feel grateful. Chicago’s Covid cases are spiking again, so we’re preparing for another lockdown. Today I’ll stock up on groceries and try not to leave home for a while. While as a country there’s been a brief sigh of relief after the election, Chicagoans are still protesting. The city government has made it clear that its loyalty lies with the police, and not the hundreds of thousands of protesters asking to defund the police and remove them from schools. It’s a big hill to look up at because these pleas are really only the bare minimum but the City hasn’t budged, and has instead consistently responded with violence. All that being said, everything is so uncertain these days that I remain grateful for what I have and the safety and wellbeing of my friends and family.

You’ve been playing music since you were a child, what are your early memories of hearing music at home or with family and friends?

I’ve always loved to sing, although for most of my adolescence I was too shy to try it in front of anyone so I used the saxophone. I remember singing Jackson 5 CDs straight through in the car at the top my lungs when I was really little. My siblings hated it. I did the same with the theme from That Thing You Do!. As I got older my dad’s CD collection became a treasure map of interests for me, and a kind of bible of music to study. I had obsessive phases with a lot of records, mostly stuff from the 60s and 70s. Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Neil Young, Carpenters, Kate Bush, and on and on. I taught myself piano and bass learning as many Stevie Wonder songs as I could. Super grateful for those CDs, they definitely shaped not only what I play but what I enjoy hearing in new music too.

Your latest album was released at the end of October, how long has it been in the making and how does it feel now it’s finished?

After my last record touring, my own music and others’ projects kept me pretty busy for a couple years. I would write lyrics or record voice memo ideas on the road and glue everything together whenever I was home. A lot of times when I sit down to record I’m just exploring sounds to come back to and use for a song I write separately, so it ends up feeling like I’ve been working on each record for years but it doesn’t usually start really coming together until a bit before it comes out. Some of the tracks have elements that I’ve been tweaking for years before I released the previous record even. It feels amazing to finally have it out in the world. My favorite part about releasing a body of work is how free I feel to make something completely different right after.

It’s hard to categorise your music but it feels like the soul/ jazz/ rap fusion holds lots of crossover appeal for listeners who might be less attracted to one of those elements on its own – do you get good reactions from a wide audience?

I think because the music I’m inspired by is so varied there’s something for everyone in some of my songs. But I also feel like that’s becoming more and more common in new music. We have access to so much music and art to draw inspiration from, and are exposed to so much of the same stuff online that it feels more and more like all new music is a combination of a few different genres. It’s something that I am actually pretty excited about. It’s like if all the genres that exist now are elements that have been discovered, then the only way to create new elements is to combine the ones we have. The tricky part is doing it gracefully so your music chemistry set doesn’t explode in your face.

What’s the best or worst review you’ve ever had?

The other day I was with some friends and someone put on Man Of The Woods by Justin Timberlake and said, “You ever notice you kinda sound like him”. Don’t get me wrong I love so much of his music and he’s obviously a legend but to say it while that song is playing and not like… idk Cry Me a River or ‘Pushaaaaa looooovee I’m just a Juj-juh-juh-juh-Junkie for your love…’ I was still flattered though, I’d say that was the best and the worst in one.

Tell us about the collaborations on the album, do you start these with a clear idea of the outcome or just see which direction things take?

I definitely let the song lead the way. I leave a lot of room for error and experimentation because some of the best ideas come from mistakes. With collaboration I like to maintain a similar looseness. I never ask collaborators to use their voice or instrument in a certain way, I just ask them to listen to the song a few times and try something that feels natural to them. We go back and tweak things afterwards that we mutually agree on but I try not to let myself get in the way of their expression. I think the other way of doing it where musicians become kind of instruments of your own expression can make for great art too but for me it’s about our minds kind of turning the Rubik’s cube around together.

You’ve mentioned that you had vivid dreams whilst writing the album – did these make their way into the songs?

Definitely, there’s a lot of reference to my dreams in the lyrics. Some are descriptive of the things I’ve dreamt of, like in The Things I Thought About You Started To Rhyme where the lyrics are almost all supposed to feel like a dream, or You Come Around and Nothing Isn’t Very Cool where I talk a little bit about how these dreams affect my waking experience.

Take us on a tour of your neighbourhood, what should we know about that’s not in the guide books?

There’s a Puerto Rican sandwich joint around the corner called Cafe Colao that I’m at more mornings than not. They’re cafe con leche motivates me to rise in the morning.

You’re receiving an award for the album, who gets a mention in your acceptance speech?

I’m definitely hitting the Cuba Gooding Jr. Jerry McGuire Oscar win speech “EVERYONE INVOLVED I LOVE YOU”.

And what’s next, what does 2021 hold for you?

Honestly I have no idea. I’m excited for a couple projects I’m helping put together on the production end and with my label Sooper Records here in Chicago. I want to make as much music as I can and use this time off touring to think about how I can help people more and continue learning.

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You can keep up with the latest news from Sen here. The album is available to buy digitally and in physical format on vinyl, CD and cassette on Bandcamp, through Sen’s own label Sooper Records. Watch the video for Woof below.

Interview by Siobhan
Photo via One Beat PR

17th November 2020

New Music – Fast Trains | Solidarity Tapes | Van Houten

New releases – Fast Trains, Solidarity Tapes, Van Houten

Fast Trains – The English Way (single)

If you’re wondering how to produce and release music on your own terms, take a closer look at Fast Trains. Eschewing the gargantuan claws of Spotify and aligning the importance of visuals with music, Fast Trains’ material is available exclusively on their website and YouTube. The project has so far seen a range of songs and videos meeting acclaim and an unsurprising rise in interest. New EP ourWorld Volume 1 is due for release next year with lead track The English Way out now confronting the subject of men’s mental health, a topic given much more credence than it once was but still in want of further open discussion. The hard hitting lyrical message is softened with melodic vocals and an understated musical arrangement reminiscent of Radiohead’s High and Dry. In trying times, the parallel society of ourWorld feels like a fine and tranquil place to be, do pay a visit.

The English Way has been released this morning; listen below

(Just going to slip in a reminder here that if things are feeling tough you can talk to CALM and The Samaritans in confidence)

Fast Trains

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Solidarity Tapes Volume 1 – End the Hostile Environment (album)

Solidarity Tapes is a new DIY cultural project set up to raise money and awareness for migrant, racial, social and climate justice. Their inaugural release End the Hostile Environment is available now in the shape of a cassette and illustrated zine and it’s packed with an eclectic mix of music from new and established artists of varying genres. Kaputt bring art pop à la Bis with Parsonage Square, Big Joanie offer up discordant punk track Eyes and Italia 90’s Against the Wall is a well fitting addition with the opening line ‘I don’t wanna hear about the power of love when it’s a substitute for real ideology and thought’. Also on the tracklist Goat Girl, PVA and Garden Centre all make an appearance along with many others well worth checking out. Citing their aim as ‘in the spirit of solidarity not charity’, the project offers a platform for artists to present a united front with oppressed groups in a practical way and some great tunes as an added bonus.

Have a listen and make a purchase or donation if you’re able here

Solidarity Tapes

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Van Houten – Home Alone (EP)

Out today, Van Houten’s EP Home Alone is brimming with their self-proclaimed ‘slacker pop with a cherry on top’. The Leeds 5 piece have a knack for producing effortlessly breezy dream-pop tunes that belie the complexity of the musical layers involved. Recent singles You and Me and What I Need have a definite vibe of Bill Ryder-Jones and early Childhood and those are heady comparisons not made lightly. The soft focus and melancholy are beautifully executed; listen as you go to sleep and sweet dreams are sure to follow. A couple of planned socially distanced gigs have had to be postponed but, when live shows are a thing again, get yourself along to catch Van Houten if you can, this is definitely a band to keep on your radar. The release comes with a limited run of 50 hand numbered cassettes, available here.

Home Alone is out today via Clue Records, video for What I Need below

Van Houten

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Words by Siobhan

13th November 2020

Album Review – Chilly Gonzales: A very chilly christmas

Chilly Gonzales – A very chilly christmas

Christmas songs are often the very antithesis of festive reality and also pretty bizarre in their concept. Santa Claus is coming to town after having spied on you all year, it’s the most wonderful time of the year – to feel under pressure, get into debt and keep a smile on your face whilst you’re rocking around the tree… Merry Christmas everyone!

As we all wait to discover which song has been given the ‘singing from a ditch’ treatment on this year’s John Lewis advert, take the time to seek out something altogether more palatable – the holiday album you didn’t know you needed in your life but which proves to be an unexpectedly cordial companion.

Resplendent in smoking jacket, Grammy award winning Chilly Gonzales has produced an album full of elegance and emotions on this collection of seasonal songs, think Nick Cave at the piano and a smattering of smooth strings mixed with the tinkling expectancy of a silent movie soundtrack. From Silent Night to Jingle Bells, everything gets a sleek update and if you must do a cover of Last Christmas, this is how it should be done, the grandiose addition of cellist Stella Le Page paying the appropriate amount of respect to a songwriter talented above his commercial success.

The collaborative tracks add extra layers, with sugar-coated vocals from singer-songwriter Feist on The Banister Bough and regular associate Jarvis Cocker breathing an almost sinister spoken vocal into In the Bleak Midwinter. Both artists return for one of the optimum moments of the album on Snow is Falling in Manhattan, a track that fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen would surely have approved of, a Hallelujah for the pandemic if you will.

Speaking about the record, Chilly Gonzales says, “Christmas is a time of very mixed intense emotion for me, and the existing canon often sounds like a forced smile. Christmas is a typical time for superficial happiness, but also a time for reflection and mourning the sad events throughout the year. The songs of A very chilly christmas make room for a more authentic interpretation of this very peculiar 2020 holiday season.”

The overall experience draws a hypnotic familiarity that conjures up images of the fireplace draped in holly, whilst a slightly dysfunctional family play charades as grandma falls asleep in her armchair, an empty sherry glass in her hand and a smile on her face. Not your average Christmas album but then it’s not been your average year. All in all, A very chilly christmas is a veritable box of gift-wrapped treats best opened early.

A very chilly christmas is released tomorrow, 13th November 2020 – pre-order and pre-save links here 

Review by Siobhan
Photo via Sonic PR

12th November 2020

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2021 – Shortlist

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is awarded annually to a living artist of any nationality who is deemed to have made the most significant contribution to photography in Europe in the preceding year; this may either be through an exhibition or publication of their work.

Each year, a new set of judges made up of international photography experts is put together to select a shortlist of 4 before picking the winner.

The award ceremony will be held at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, lockdown permitting (recent events have had to be moved online in keeping with safety restrictions) and an exhibition of the shortlisted projects is due to be on display there from 19th March 2021.

This year’s shortlisted photographers have been announced as Poulomi Basu; Alejandro Cartagena; Cao Fei and Zineb Sedira.

Poulomi Basu has been nominated for her book Centralia published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2020. Photo: Poulomi Basu, From Centralia, 2020 © Poulomi Basu, courtesy of the artist.

Alejandro Cartagena has been nominated for his book A Small Guide to Homeownership published by The Velvet Cell in 2020. Photo: Alejandro Cartagena, Escobedo from A Small Guide to Homeownership, 2020 © Alejandro Cartagena, courtesy of the artist.

Cao Fei has been nominated for her exhibition Blueprints at Serpentine Gallery, London (4 March—17 May 2020 and reopened after lockdown 4 August—13 September 2020). Photo: Cao Fei, Nova, 2019 © Cao Fei, courtesy of artist, Vitamin Creative Space and Sprüth Magers.

Zineb Sedira has been nominated for her exhibition A Brief Moment at Jeu de Paume, Paris. (15 October 2019 –19 January 2020). Photo: Exhibition view Zineb Sedira, A Brief Moment/L’espace d’un instant, 2019 © Zineb Sedira. Photo: Archive kamel mennour.

You can read more about the prize, the shortlisted photographers and their projects here.

The Photographers Gallery is temporarily closed in line with lockdown rules; please check their website for updates if you’re hoping to visit when things improve.

11th November 2020

 

Interview – Ostrich

Having recently discovered the sultry sounds of Ostrich with the two sharp singles they’ve already released, we’re very much looking forward to hearing what comes next. In the interim, we spoke to the band about their music, living through lockdown and their local haunts in Liverpool. There may also have been mention of brandy and ostrich racing…

Hello, introduce us to Ostrich – who’s involved and what’s the story behind your name?

Will McTaggart: Hello Breaking Glass! So we’re Ostrich, a five piece from Liverpool. We have Stuart Wilson on drums, Lydia Thomas on sax and keys, Will Bowman on bass, Leo Watkins on guitar and myself doing the crooning. Sadly, there’s not really an interesting story in regards to the name ‘Ostrich’, apart from that I look like one with my long legs. 

You started performing together last year, how did it feel when things came to an abrupt halt in 2020?

Will McT: It was a real shame to be honest. We played our last show in March and I’m sure it was our best to date. We were getting really tight as a band and had quite a few dates in the pipeline. Not to worry though! We’ll keep ourselves fresh, ready to go again!

Lydia: It feels like we jinxed it with that gig! I really miss rehearsing as a band. Luckily, Will McT’s been churning out tunes and sending us demos. I can’t wait to work on them and add some saxy bits. 

You’ve taken the opportunity to release two singles this year, that can’t be so easy in current conditions, how did you make that happen?

Will B: Way back in the distant past – 2019 I think it was – we flew to Prague and recorded 4 tracks in 4 days. It was wild. We drank more Old Fashions than any humans should, became regulars at the local jazz club, and razzed around on scooters ‘til our hearts were content. Those were the days, and listening to these tracks really brings it back. We really want to go back to record some more, but given that we’ve not been able to do that, we decided to release some of them instead. Releasing was a lot less fun than recording, but hey ho, it kept us occupied through lockdown!

The tracks both have quite a different feel, I love the 80s electro leaning on Inside Out (Got No Doubt) and the change up to One Man Band – do you set out to make a particular sound on a song or just see where it takes you?

Will B: I’d definitely agree – Inside Out is all mellow and warm, whereas One Man Band is bitter and angsty. I wouldn’t say that we ever start out with a fixed idea. For us, it’s definitely a case of getting the bare bones of the song, feeling it out a little bit, and then building the sound around that feeling. 

Despite restrictions, you’ve picked up a solid amount of interest and airplay – how does it feel hearing your songs on the radio?

Stuart: Hearing Inside Out on 6 Music was a surreal moment for us; we all listen to 6 constantly and weren’t expecting it at all. It’s a shame any interest we have can’t be translated to gigs yet, but we’ll wait as long as it takes…

How are things with you currently, what’s been the reaction to Liverpool being back in local lockdown?

Will B: At the time of writing, fleets of army vehicles are rolling up the M6, coming to swab each and every one of us. A total, mass test of the Merseyside region. A UK first! News outlets herald a new technological breakthrough, but we fear something more sinister this way comes. We’re the last Labour stronghold and BoJo hates us for it. And we can only wonder – why us? What does he want from us? Is it our DNA? And then what next? Will he build huge steel walls around us, cut us off from the mainland, and strip us of our freedoms and our citizenships? We hope so, because quite frankly, this country’s gone to shit anyway.

Lydia: … my Animal Crossing island is thriving.

Tell us about your home city in better times, there always seems to be loads going on creatively, where are your favourite places to go?

Leo: In ‘normal times’ Liverpool is just the best place. It’s small, but there’s a lot happening, so it’s super concentrated. 24 Kitchen Street remains probably the best venue still going in the city, despite becoming surrounded by faceless student accommodation, it champions diversity and supports local causes. The Grapes on Roscoe Street is probably my favourite pub in the world, it has live salsa infused jazz on Sunday nights. Petit Café du Coin is just round the corner if you’re feeling fancy (their boozy Irish coffee is liquid crack). We’re also blessed with some incredible art galleries: The Walker and The Tate to name but two. Other than that, get yourself out of the city centre. Sefton Park is completely unique, and huge, and always inspirational to me.

Whilst none of us are likely to be popping off to a desert island any time soon, what would your picks be to keep you happy if you did – favourite albums or anything else you couldn’t live without?

Will McT: I’m a bit obsessed with Joni Mitchell at the moment, especially her album Hissing of Summer Lawns. I’m just in awe of her songwriting. I’d take a few of her records and a massive bottle of brandy. 

Lydia: I feel the same about PJ Harvey’s album, Let England Shake. 

Will B: I’ve recently taken to obsessively refreshing the BBC News app, drinking lots of brandy, and crying. It really does get me through the day and is not something I would recommend under any circumstances.

Can you plan ahead right now, have you anything in the pipeline for more new music or playing live again?

Will McT: We’re sitting on a couple of singles that are ready to hatch once the time is right. Just seeing how things go with the Covid situation. We should have a video coming out for One Man Band in the next couple of weeks too. At the time of writing I’ve been filming something that involves an overhead projector, jars of beetroot, and shower gel – so I’ll leave that to your imagination. 

And lastly, because it feels important to end with a serious question, in some countries people race each other on the backs of ostriches – if you were the ostriches who would win the race and why?

I think about this all the time. I’d say Will McT, he’s already got the hang of those lanky legs. Then again, Stuart has a real competitive edge… it could get messy.

Catch up with Ostrich here and have a listen to the singles below


Interview by Siobhan

Band photo © Daniel de la Bastide

5th November 2020

Photography Book – The People Who Made OMM

The building of a new museum in Eskişehir, Turkey has not only provided a new contemporary landmark and exhibition space, but also a unique insight into the people involved in its construction. The beautifully crafted Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM) was designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates and opened in September 2019.

An overheard conversation between a passing couple and the site construction manager, Mehmet Akif, showed that he and his team saw the museum as more than just another job, as his knowledge and enthusiasm were both clearly evident. That was the start of The People Who Made OMM project, now completed in the form of a new photography book featuring black and white portraits alongside interviews with the workers who took part in the build.

Photographer Emilio Hope, better known for their work in the art and fashion field said, “The aim of our project was fairly simple – to give a face and a voice to the workers behind the museum. It wasn’t just important to create something beautiful aesthetically, we wanted to create something of social significance. OMM is a museum that was built by the community, for the community. Featuring workers who literally built the museum aligns with the ethos of OMM.”

Hearing the workers talk about the museum in the book gives a refreshing perspective on the creation of a building that will become a focal point in Eskişehir‘s culture and community.

Aydemir, Master Welder and Plasterer, speaking about his favourite exhibit:

“The artist used light and shadow beautifully. He paid a lot of attention to the minutiae. The pupils, the curls of the beard are all drawn with an attention to detail. I do charcoal drawings myself. I would like to meet the person who created this piece.”

Eşref, Finishing Foreman, on the museum build:

“It’s a wonderful project. I’ve been working in construction for 45 years and this is the first time that I’ve encountered such a lovely project. We began working on it with affection, and we’re completing it with devotion.”

The People Who Made OMM was published on 21st October 2020 and is available to purchase in English (limited edition run of 50) and Turkish (limited edition run of 1000) from the OMM Shop in Eskişehir and Minoa (Akaretler) in Istanbul.

More details about OMM, including news, exhibition and event details can be found on the museum’s website and Instagram

Portrait shots © Emilio Hope | Shots of OMM © Batuhan Keskiner

Words by Siobhan

4th November 2020

Breaking Glass Magazine – November 2020

Breaking Glass Magazine – November 2020

Cover image Moj Taylor performing Make-Up at Brighton Fringe
© 16 Beasley St Photography

After what has felt like the longest absence, it’s been a blessing to have live performance back, albeit it briefly and in a socially distanced fashion. Just as events across the UK have begun to creep back, the brakes are about to be applied again nationally after numerous local lockdowns. Brighton Fringe, renowned for its eclectic mix of theatre, comedy and spoken word, made a later in the year than usual appearance throughout October, having had to postpone its regular May spot. With artists and venues taking huge measures to keep things safe, there has at least been an opportunity for some performers and writers to debut new work to audiences.

The diversity of its programme is what makes The Fringe such an exciting prospect for all ages. The photos below show poetry and comedy from Kieran Hearty and Victoria Melody (top row) for Lava Elastic who run a regular neurodiverse night at Sweet Werks in Brighton. London troupe Let’s All Dance brought ballet to Alice in Wonderland and there was shadow puppetry in Anytime the Wind can Change from The New Shadow Cabinet (second row), both at Brighton Open Air Theatre. Any suitable venue can be transformed and a topical protest performance of Savage Beauty from Actors of Dionysus took place in a garden (third row). The header and final images are from Make-Up by No Logo Productions back at Sweet Werks, the story of a drag artist reflecting on their life and family relationships. The variety of shows on offer has been excellent and a very welcome escape, despite all the restrictions in place; fingers crossed that they will be able to deliver their full complement in 2021.

A huge shout out goes to everyone involved in supporting the arts whether through live shows, online streams, fundraising, promotion, performing or all the behind the scenes stuff that pulls everything together. For now, stay safe and look after everyone around you so we can get this back soon.

Words and photos © Siobhan

1st November 2020