Musicians of Maker
Maker and in particular the barrack building, as it has for years, plays host to many varied musicians, bands and ensembles, both as performers at the various festivals and live sessions but also as teachers, practitioners, clinicians and composers.
Of the bands whose careers grew from Maker and undoubtably continue to grow, many have toured internationally, and been played on radio across the UK and the Europe. Music has always been a cornerstone of the Maker experience and without Maker the country and indeed the world would be without some very exciting musicians and performers.
The musicians who choose to locate themselves at Maker span a staggering width of musical experience and genre. Just within the confines of the various musicians studios around the main complex we have signed, managed and professionally produced internationally touring bands.
Antimatador, whose members have played with Madness, Martha Reeves, Joss Stone, Beverly Knight, Tim Burgess, Otis Redding III, Cosmos Jarvis and Craig Charles have been playing festivals up and down the country for the last two years and have been featured on BBC Radio 1.
The majority of the bands members are endorsed and teach instrumental lessons at Maker and the Badcore horns have recorded many of their 30-40 album sessions in the Barrack building. Land of the Giants are perhaps the most popular and successful band to come from the SW in recent years. Touring relentlessly and playing famous festivals and gigs across Europe and as far as India. They have been featured on BBC Radio 1, been given international radio play and are known for their holistic approach to nurturing younger musicians by offering them support slots at gigs that often pull in crowds of thousands. Members of ‘the giants’ have also toured separately as session players.
Haunt the Woods are a young band making their mark across the UK who identify with Maker as their inspiration, they have toured with many big names bands, including Dry The River and KT Tunstall to name a few. Recently the band of local musicians played on TFI friday to critical acclaim. But, it isn’t just bands who use Maker as their work place. There are recording studios, singer songwriters and producers who all call Maker home. Jon Tye, of internationally popular “Yacht Rock” band Seahawks, records all his music there and also runs sessions for Lo Records, who have worked with Aphex Twin, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Blur, Four Tet, Squarepusher, Grasscut, Black Devil, Nancy Sinatra, David Bowie, Gavin Turk, Mike Flowers, Fischerspooner, Red Snapper and Susumu Yokota.
Composer Simon Dobson, a Millbrook resident, also calls Maker his home, composing and rehearsing there for many varied projects. Simon won two British Composer of the Year awards (awarded by BASCA) in 2012 and 2014 and his classical and contemporary music is published by Faber Music in London. Simon has worked internationally as a conductor and composer for the last ten years and as well as playing trumpet at the famous Maker Open Mic nights, he is also an orchestral conductor.
Having recently conducted the Parallax Orchestra in a one off orchestral show with huge international band Bring Me The Horizon at the Royal Albert Hall, Simon will be next working with the Heritage Orchestra, performing the whole of ‘Timeless’ with UK DnB legend, Goldie. Simon studied on a scholarship at the Royal College of Music and continues to work around the world, always returning to Maker.
Geoff Lea, another talented local musician, teaches drums and records sessions in the studios in the Barrack building. Geoffs drumming can be heard on recordings by Harry Styles, Rudimental and Sam Smith. Having completed an O2 Arena Tour with Snow Patrol Geoffs band Animal Kingdom is signed to Cobalt publishing and tours worldwide. Geoff is managed by Q Prime and features on the new Ed Sheehan single, Bloodstream.
Will Rodgers, a singer songwriter under the moniker Fernflower, has been dedicated to Youth Music Development for over 15 years in the Rame area. Initially based at Maker Energy Rooms with CYMAZ (Cornwall Youth Music Action Zone), he then became a freelance Youth Music Tutor with Mount Edgecombe Youth Centre, Community Youth Music Tutor currently working for Livewire Youth Music Project.
As the Co Founder and Director of Maker Music & Arts CIC music venue, community music and practice rooms he has worked as a sound technician for literally hundreds of bands at various local festivals, especially the Maker festival.
Richard James, another Maker singer-songwriter has been signed for many years and is the owner of in-house Maker record label, Maker records, whilst Josh Elleschild has recently set up Patchwork Studios at Maker, in his own words, “I have recently set up a recording studio with personal investment for community recording projects run on a donation basis. I want to say that my studio has been set up to provide accessible recording for local and youth talent, it would be a pay what you can kind of thing - wether thats a few quid for electric or a few more to help fund gear. just want to get these folk heard!!”.
Community projects such as the Maker Choir and Jam night/Open mic night are a constant draw for the area with each one essentially being equally full of seasoned professional musicians and grassroots performers. But what has always set maker apart is the Maker Live Sessions and festivals, and these have features many of the UKs most respected and well known touring bands, from Natty, RYX and Dreadzone, to King Porter Stomp, Electric Swing Circus and ChainSka Brassika.
In reality without the hub of creativity and musically artistic output that Maker enables the local villages would be quieter and people would need to leave the peninsula to hear good live music, but further than that the SW would suffer greatly, as some of its most popular acts will lose their homes. If I were to list every affiliated act connected to the Maker Musicians there wouldn’t be many names left unmentioned!