Songwriter’s blend of music, art and poetry
A songwriter has proven that artistic endeavour is alive and well in Crawley with the release of an ambitious experimental folk record.
The Branches Arc EP, created by Chichester music graduate Chris Witherall, is a concept born out of a frustration with traditional songwriting.
The result, recorded in his Tilgate bedroom and at Crawley Baptist Church, is a creative marriage of music, art and poetry.
Chris said the idea formed several years ago at music college.
He explained: “My songs had become quite samey and I wanted to experiment with different types of songwriting and explore different art-forms and relationships to music.
“I wanted this to be about friends making art and music together, creating something with no pressure, doing it for the love of music, not trying to make the Top 40.”
Chris enlisted friends to complete the labour of love on a shoestring budget.
This included pulling together a 15-strong choir and enlisting illustrator Sophie Harding and poet Fiona McIntyre to collaborate.
Branches Arc, representing a gateway of sorts, is full of references to passing seasons, crystal streams and primrose parks.
Each strand of the EP – the music, art and poetry – reflects in different ways the album’s central theme, a journey of rehabilitation and hope.
Chris said: “With a simple story of overcoming a struggle we wanted to involve listeners in the desperation and depression. We actually wanted people to feel those emotions with an unpleasant listening experience. But then we also wanted to take them through the process of healing and growth as well.”
He knows this could have been a potential turn-off for listeners.
He said: “There’s a lot about the EP that’s been risky, it can sound pretentious. But sometimes musicians can patronize listeners by playing something that’s really hooky and maybe it’s OK to challenge people into a different way of listening.”
Chris is currently translating the EP’s studio production record into a live show.
For more information go to http://branchesarc.com.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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