The Matthew Herbert (Brexit) Big Band
March 2017 - 2019
Following two acclaimed big band albums, Matthew Herbert announces a third in response to Brexit. This time though, it’s being put together differently. It is a two year collaborative project right across Europe celebrating artistic and musical collaboration and communities across national borders.
The project will begin in England at the point at which the UK government triggles Article 50 and then run in parallel across Europe with concerts, recording sessions and workshops, culminating in an album release date at the same moment that Britain leaves the EU in 2019.
The project launches with the Brexit Sound Swap, a sound exchange scheme that anyone anywhere can contribute to by recording and uploading a sound of 3 seconds in length. Once you have contributed a sound then you automatically receive all and any of the sounds uploaded by other people. The idea is to create a common resource of new and varied noises, free to everyone to use, hear or download. The website can be found here:
Please note that this is the beta version. The finished website will be launched publicly the day the UK government triggers article 50.
Matthew says: “I simply wouldn’t be the musician or person I am were it not for the countless collaborators and interactions with people from very different backgrounds, and nationalities to my own. I have learned so much, from so many disparate and often overlooked voices. The message from parts of the Brexit campaign were that as a nation we are better off alone. I refute that idea entirely and wanted to create a project that embodies the idea of collaboration from start to finish.”
The album itself will begin with just one sound and then add layer upon layer, adding musicians, singers, choirs, soloists and big bands from across Europe until it reaches upwards of 1,000 people performing at once. Lyrics will be sung in different languages and the lyrical and thematic content developed with established writers.
The record will be released on Matthew’s own label accidental in collaboration with other record companies and institutions across the world.
In conclusion, Matthew says: “ In an increasingly fractured and divided political climate where tolerance and creativity are under threat, it feels like an important time to assert the desire for our bit of the musical community in Britain to reach out in solidarity with some of our closest, but soon to be less accessible, friends and neighbours.’