The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray! Hope and Social have their hats on aaaand This Must Be The Place.
Ok so it doesn’t scan quite so well, but the sun has definitely been out. Gary is even more sun-kissed than his usual complexion suggests, and we’ve been busy completing our newest project (and debut installation!), “This Must Be The Place”.
Well, us of course, silly. Your good and faithful Hope and Social… and the good people of Grassington. More about that here.
‘This Must Be The Place’ is a project inspired by the places people can confidently refer to as the ‘roots’ of their home. We spent three days in May exploring Grassington and it’s many beautiful and wonderful places (not ‘just’ the public houses *coughs*) and spoke to a wealth of Grassington dwellers about their connection with the town.
After narrowly escaping being forever lost in Grass Wood (courtesy of ‘navigator’ T James Hamilton), we holed ourselves up in the lovely Bunk Barn and set about writing a bunch of songs that reflect the places and people of Grassington. (You’ll be pleased and relieved to hear Dear Reader, that the three-hour real-ale-inspired ‘Space Jam’ did not make the cut!)
Last week we came back to Grassington to spend three more days knocking these half-dozen songs into shape and recording them on location, using Binaurual recording techniques. Ed and Fletch could go into the VERY technical ins-and-outs of binaural recording, basically it’s recording in 360° as opposed to the usual stereo way of recording, which deals with just left and right. Binaural gives the listener a sense of hearing things from every angle. In short-it’s really cool.
It wouldn’t be a true H & S project without involving people and we have had the pleasure of having fine voice and stomp and handclap from fans and Grassington dwellers alike on two of the songs. Local music group Highly Strung also feature on one of the tunes (augmented by some over-gratuitous banjo playing from Hux)! The songs we recorded are available to listen to at six different locations via a pair of tin cans, attached by lengths of twine, to a plinth with a lovely wooden plaque painted by the boss, Mr.Wainwright. Actual cans. Bean cans to be exact. Yep it’s old school. Cutting edge recording technology with primal hardware. Cool huh?
We settled on six different locations in Grassington to place our installations. The six locations where you can hear the songs are (drum roll please Gaz….)
1) The Pig Pen, Grassington Village Square
2) The Bridge at Linton Falls
3) St.Michael & the Angels Church, Linton
4) The Devonshire Institute, AKA “Grassington Town Hall”
5) The Bench at Yarmbury (opposite aforementioned lovely Bunk Barn)
6) The Black Horse, Garrs Lane, Grassington
This Must Be The Place wouldn’t be happening without the input, help and backing of Grassington Festival and Great Places. Our interests coalesced around Grassington Festival’s interests in expanding the geography of the festival, Great Place‘s action research into social diversity in The Lakes and Dales area, Hope and Social’s desire to make location specific musical experiences and our shared interests in making a thing which makes life more interesting… to make art, and have fun. But why Grassington? Well, we feel we have a strong long-standing relationship with Grassington; from playing the Festival a bunch of times, our first ‘A Band Anyone Can Join‘ project had it’s roots in Grassington, we came back on our Tour Of Infinite Possibility, we’ve written there, we’ve worked in schools. And. Well. It’s just a really lovely place to be, and spend time in :)
You can bask (basque?!) in the binaural beauty of the ‘This Must Be The Place’ installations throughout Grassington Festival, from the 15th until the 30th June.
So that’s about it. It really is lovely thing this project and a privilege to be able to have the opportunity to be involved in Grassington Festival once again. We’ve had a blast. Do come and have a listen :)
The sun is still out, the daily dog-walk is imminent. Middle-aged priorities are calling. Ta ta for now!
Gary and all of H & S x
PS – here’s the route…