Monday, August 10, 2009

Play on: Alice Yard's music conversations


"Boom Up History" (2009), by 3Canal. Music video directed by Walt Lovelace and shot in the Alice Yard band room

The very first part of the Alice Yard space to become operational, in September 2006, was the small soundproof band room in the north-east corner of the yard. The room was designed by architect Sean Leonard, with advice on acoustics from sound engineer Yoichi Watanabe of Trinitone Ltd. Intended to be the headquarters for 12 the band, and managed by 12's leader Sheldon Holder, the band room is used by a range of musicians and bands for rehearsal sessions. Over the past three years, Alice Yard has come to be a crucial centre for musical creativity in Port of Spain, with activity by the following bands and individuals, among others (in alphabetical order):

= 12 the Band
= 3Canal
= Alison Hinds
= Blue Culture
= Cabezon
= Canboulay
= Chromatics
= Fuego Latino
= The Generals
= Gyazette
= jointpop
= Ken "Professor" Philmore
= The Nylon Pool
= The Orange Sky
= Palladin Project
= Rubadiri Victor
= The Sean Thomas Trio
= The Sky is Falling
= Stephanie Kalloo
= Theron Shaw
= Witch of the Bell Tower

The constant musical presence in the yard--the band room is occupied most nights of the week--has led to various fruitful creative encounters between musicians, artists and others. In early 2009, director Walt Lovelace shot a music video for 3Canal's song "Boom Up History" in the Alice Yard band room (see above), using clever camerawork and editing to compensate for the tight space. Not long after, artist Wendell McShine collaborated with 12 on an animated video for the band's song "Prosper":

Alice Yard has also hosted numerous live music performances. The conversation is ongoing.

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