I’ve just returned from a magical weekend in arguably one of the most beautiful, friendly and inspiring city’s in Britain – Bristol. I was there to catch up with friends, celebrate my birthday 2 weeks early (on sista Breezy’s clever insistence) and also to attempt to begin to answer the question of why Bristol continues to be such an incredible city for musical and artistic output.
I’m not sure if the idea that a specific place can be heard in a tune is too abstract or not, but it’s an idea that I’ve been personally convinced by for a number of years and one which largely defines this blog. The inspiration to really explore this in Bristol was largely sparked by the sounds of Hyetal, in which the city and it’s particular air, energy and landscape seems to be embedded, just as it is in the sounds of Massive Attack, Roni Size, Tricky and Portishead before him.
Whether producers are conscious of this or not is another question – but when I mentioned it to Pinch, by far one of the most respected people in the Bristol’s contemporary music community he suggested that his own music is more inspired by people than by environment. After just 48 hours in the city, this makes complete sense too – it’s a small and sociable place; just placing the palms of your hands together and interlocking your fingers sort of represents just how connected people in the musical and artistic community of Bristol are.
Some of these lovely individuals form the beginnings of a new series of photograph’s which will hopefully illustrate some of these thoughts and ideas. It’s gonna take a few trips back before it’s anywhere near completion however, as the history of Bristol music runs far wider and deeper than I’d ever originally imagined. In the meantime, I leave you with a few things which hopefully represent kind of what I’m talking about.