By Charlotte Latimer
Most people complain about sound pollution, but when three musicians learnt they all lived in Coldharbour, they realised making some noise could help bring the neighbourhood together. Bryony Beynon, Will Connor and Zoe Konez, on discovering they were neighbours with a shared passion for music and community, decided to create something for young people in Brixton. That’s how Sound it Out was born, a week long project, 11th-16th August, for anyone aged 13-18, who loves music and wants to learn how to make it.“Music can bring all kinds of different people together,” said Bryony, 28, who plays drums and guitar. “The problem for most people is that it’s often difficult to find spaces to practice, even at community centres, because of the noise, and the the cost of renting a professional space is huge.”
Bryony used to practice in a garage on Lilford Road and one time heard a man knocking on the door, but instead of coming to complain he had come to join the jam. “He couldn’t speak much English,” said Bryony “but he had a guitar in his hand and wanted to show us what he could do.” Will, Zoe and I were talking about experiences like this and started thinking maybe we could work together on a project.” Although Sound it Out is for young people it will also give older people, who may not have an outlet for their musical skills, the opportunity to share their knowledge with young participants, guided by professional workshop facilitators Zoe and Will. By holding the workshops at Six Brixton, 6 Somerleyton Road, (where they can make as much noise as they like) and having the gig at the band stand in Myatt’s Field park, they hope to bring together different communities living in Brixton.
Sound it Out is for young people of all abilities and will not only teach them new skills but how to feel confident performing even though they are not professionals. “I came to music late,” said Bryony, “and I thought I would never be able to play in a band, and now I’ve toured internationally without being in the slightest bit ‘professional!’ It’s important that young people feel they are able to make and play music regardless of their technical ability.”
On the first two days workshops will focus on improvising and trying out different skills areas such as percussion, guitar or vocal techniques like rap and on the last three teenagers will work together and learn how to write and perform their own songs. “Music is a way for people who sometimes find it hard to communicate verbally to get their message across,” added Bryony, “so if we can get young people to come along and share their love of music, that would be amazing.” Sound it Out is free for all 13-18 year olds in Lambeth and experienced volunteers are needed to help promote and support the project. For more information and to reserve a place please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org