2017 has been full of unexpected developments. Along the way this year, I've found that documenting life, as moments fly by, has helped me find space to pause and reflect.
Last years Music Tech Project filled most of my work time at the start of 2017, coming to an end in July. The project was a huge success, with over 2,000 young people (many of whom face challenging circumstance in their life) taking part in over 250 hours of music-making with iPads.
The end of the Music Tech Project overlapped with being made Interim Hub Manager at Southampton Music Hub in May, covering for my boss during her maternity leave this year. As part of my new role, I've helped oversee the formation of Southampton Music Trust — a new charity helping advance music education in the city— and helped write the business plan that secured a further two years of funding from Arts Council England.
Finally, in November I joined the team at Solent University as an Associate Lecturer in Popular Music Production. I've spent the past two months finding my feet and helping out with the end of a few modules for semester one. In semester two I will be taking on my own modules, something I'm really excited to do.
When I was studying at University, and my first Niece was young, I had time to spend with her most weeks. As the family has grown — including the beautiful Imogen Faith who arrived in March — work and school and other life circumstances have changed, and there is less regular time spent with my nieces and nephews. Instead of regular time, I've had to focus on trying to spend quality time with all three little ones instead. In June I got to take two of them to the Isle of Wight, and this Christmas was incredibly special, sharing time and gifts with them that I hope will show them know how much they are loved and valued.
I will confess, being busy with work, and life, has meant that I've not had enough time to spend with friends this year. Luckily, I have some amazing friends who are understanding and supportive, and are still willing to see me, even after months of radio silence. To see my friends Emma and Davyd raise their adorable daughter in to a kind, thoughtful and brave little girl has been incredible — I'm in awe of the beautiful family they are making together. Also, having friends who share and support my love of making music has been a a very special thing to share this year.
I've continued to work with Emma on new music for her Pyra project this year. The album is really taking shape, and whilst we someimes feel frustrated at how long it is taking to complete, the process, with all it's stops and starts, has meant that the ideas, and the creative minds that make them, have been nurtured with kindness — it is very special to work with someone who values both of those things.
I put up two new soundtracks in August, Style and Play, which I worked on with Matt Mead and David Fletcher, and have become the starting point for the six pieces of music I'm currently working on for release in 2018. Play was featured by BBC Introducing South, including getting to talk about how creating music for this blog has helped improve my mental health.
Trough the Stars was a multimedia art piece I worked on in October, made using astronomy photographic plates from University of Southampton. I was really delighted by the final images and the soundscape that emerged too.
My visual style has both developed, and changed this year. Trying to document more of the every day has meant that I've used my phone camera more, and my DSLR less. I've used Instagram stories a lot this year, and I really enjoy that format: I really want to do more with them in 2018.
2017 has been full of unexpected developments. Along the way this year, I've found that documenting life, as moments fly by, has helped me find space to pause and reflect. My hope is that in 2018, I can be more present, more reflective, and more balanced.
What did 2017 bring in your life, and how have you found space to reflect upon those changes? What are your goals for 2018?