Last Saturday, Charlie and Jake, two wonderful musicians, celebrated 6 months of their monthly open collab night Echoes & Edges. A well-deserved congratulations to them!
Their concept is so simple, yet so moving. Charlie and Jake improvise music with spoken word pieces playing overhead, and although I’ve seen this happen before at spoken word nights, it’s usually just with one guitarist or one pianist. The level of depth that these musicians create alongside such beautiful pieces, is truly astounding and something I am LIVING for!
The live-stream on Saturday was absolutely breath-taking; the attention-grabbing, all-absorbing atmosphere they created made it feel like you were watching these performances live, probably because of its spontaneous nature. Instruments ranged from a synth keyboard (I think, lol, I’m not a music expert so do correct me if I’m wrong), to a bass acoustic guitar, a piano, an electric guitar, a tambourine, to their own voices and finger-clicks.
What I loved about this event was it truly felt collaborative.
Often, when I’ve seen musicians attempt to improv and collaborate with poets on stage, it’s felt sort of like a back and forth exchange. A musician is often scared of over-powering the poet, and so is quite timid in their melodies. The poet, who has probably practiced and/or performed their poem a million times over, has established specific rhythm and set of movements and is unable to change them to adapt to the musician. As a result, it’s a lose-lose situation.
Charlie & Jake were completely different!
I noticed this straight away with the first poem, ‘Summer in Springtime’ by Steve Head. When Charlie and Jake started harmonising ‘it’s summer in springtime’ at the pause in the piece, it felt like they were listening to and appreciating Head’s work by adding their own flare, melding into this beautiful concoction of melody and metre.
I absolutely LOVED this event and will definitely be tuning in for more!
Charlie + Jake are a Bristol-based vocals and multi-instrumental duo, combining powerful, soulful vocals with rich piano to weave stories of love, friendship and sense of place. Often cute and cheerful, sometimes wandering into the misty and mellow then swiftly dropping into the groovy and sassy to get everyone clapping along again. Every instrument under the sun will be used in loopy chaotic explosions of fun.