Interview with Glassworks


We caught up with Emilie Brown and Dan Boyd of Glassworks about their micro-commission for Lancaster Jazz Festival.

Comprised of six ambient soundscapes with beautiful visuals, this piece is devised especially to encourage people to come together, collaborate and experiment.

Check out this innovative audio visiaul composition over on our Instagram page. Get together with friends select a video to loop and play with on multiple devices and see what you can come up with.

Tell us a bit about Glassworks – what’s happening and what’s next for you

We met playing music on the Glasgow jazz scene. We started working together more and more, and eventually started writing together, especially over the pandemic, and that’s when we started writing under the name Glassworks. We self-released a couple of folk and jazz-inspired EPs, but now we find our sound is evolving to use more electronically-generated sounds, and our writing is changing, which is exciting.

We’ve both got a busy summer ahead, playing together and in different projects over various summer jazz festivals, but once that’s out of the way, we hope to get back to writing some new things and exploring new sounds.

Can you tell us this commission? What do you think people will get out of it?

The brief was about bringing people together, and using technology to connect rather than isolate. We really liked this idea. Dan had a brainwave to use the new reel function on Instagram to create different loops that when played together, would make a piece that is phasing in and out of sync, taking inspiration from minimalist composers such as Steve Reich. In order to hear it all, you need multiple devices and it necessarily brings people together.

We wanted something with an ambient sound, that also made people feel calm and uplifted, in that spirit of togetherness, so musically that’s what we endeavoured to create. It’s a piece to relax with friends, and hopefully playing it together is fun to do.

We really enjoyed making this piece. We used Dan’s modular synth for some of it, and lots of found sounds and videos which we gathered ourselves, for example, by the water or shells on a beach. We learned more about using the modular synth, about making generative visuals using Processing, and it’s just enjoyable to try to write something in order to make people feel uplifted.

Finally, what are you listening to right now? Any recommendations for us to check out?

Dan: Jon Hopkins, Forms, and Jogging House

Emilie: Tiny Habits, Karima Walker, yes/and

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