In a nutshelll...
We want to develop the summerhouse at the bottom of my garden into a portable recording studio.
To bring people together, to have fun, to encourage, challenge and inspire people to create and be part of something bigger than themselves; to open people's imaginations to believe more about themselves and what they can do. I've worked in teaching and care most of my life and one of the things that enthuses me is helping people to see how amazing they are and what we can achieve together, no matter what the world might say about them.
I want to encourage a really diverse mix of people from my local community to get involved: primary and secondary kids, adults with learning disabilities, Mums, Dads - all adding their own touch to create something unique.
Although we'll be using the studio for recording and mixing, the great thing about music technology these days is that, using just a laptop and a minimum of equipment, we can bring the studio to people's homes and record anyone who normally might find it difficult approaching a professional sound studio due to a variety of reasons: being housebound, having babies/kids at home, disabilities, a lack of finance (studios can be expensive), time or just confidence (studios can also be scary!)
Last year, with winter approaching, I put up a summerhouse (I know, wrong season!) at the bottom of our garden to use as an art studio.
Also last year, with the music group of the local church - St Luke's, West Norwood - we started recording a worship album at a local sound studio. However, after one session I realised it was going to cost a lot of money to continue down that road!
Gradually an idea dawned on me, after my son suggested using the summerhouse as a music space: rather than spending all that money on hiring studio space (and an engineer) each time, why not convert our own space into a music studio? I could do the DIY and, once I'd familiarised myself with the technical side of things, open it up to create that community worship album and who knows what in the future? That way we could involve a real mix of people from the local community - kids from the local primary and secondary schools, mums, dads, adults with disabilities from the l'Arche community - the idea being to bring folk together, who might not normally get the chance, to create something unique and, in doing so, encourage people to realise more about themselves and what they are capable of - of what we are all capable of, when we come together.
However, I did have my doubts about the professionalism of home recording. So I asked music professionals about it: they convinced me that the technology these days is so advanced that not only is it possible, for someone like us, it's actually preferable - many professional musicians are now doing this. Also, what I love about the portable laptop/microphone set up is that, for those who find getting to a professional sound studio difficult - e.g. mums with little ones, those in care, anyone lacking money or confidence - I can bring the recording facilities to people - so those everyone can be involved no matter what their situation.
So that is the vision.
Regarding the practicalities, to convert the current space - laying some decent flooring (for non-static, heat and sound insulation), blinds, electricity supply, recording-friendly PC with portable home recording bundle, plus fees - will cost around £2112. That's where Crowdfunder comes in!
Initially, I started working with another Crowdfunding company but soon switched to Crowdfunder for two reasons: it was homegrown; UK based, and I liked the unpretentious, person-next-door approach, which I felt was more suited to our Music4All project.
How To Get Involved
If you want to be part of this project and help it to become a reality for the people you've seen here and many others, you can make a pledge - a contribution. Simply click on the link on the Crowdfunder project page on the right-hand side and give anything you feel you can. If you don't feel you can contribute then a great way to help is to share the link on your social media platform, so that others can watch as well. At Music4All, we believe that everybody has something to give, regardless of their social background, disability, sex, age or race. We also think that when we give, the world becomes a richer place. That's why we really believe in this project and want to get the word out there to make it into a reality. Thank you very much for reading and listening to our story and thank you for your time. Take care and God bless you all.