Dave videos a rehearsal
Dave Holland videos some Conservatoire students

I’m working on a project this week at the Conservatoire. Dave Holland, the jazz bass player, is doing a one week teaching residence there, and a bunch of students get to work with him and put on a performance of his compositions later in the week.

It’s a pretty big deal. If you know jazz, you’ll know Dave Holland. He plays the bass on a couple of my favourite Miles Davis records, and I have quite a few of his own releases as well.

My project is about capturing the week and putting it online. I’ve given everyone hand-held digital video cameras, and I’ll be gathering, uploading and making sense of the videos that I get given – as well as adding some photos I’ll take throughout the week.

A quiet first day
We’re a little light on video so far, as the students are too busy getting their heads around the material, but this will pick up substantially tomorrow. So, in the meantime, it was nice to see Dave get into the swing of things right from day one, and capture some of the playing.

For me, it’s a research project. I’m interested in the ways in which you can make narrative out of this kind of music project using these tools.

Hopefully, from an audience perspective, it’ll be an interesting insight into what these sort of musicians do, what they learn and how they get on with it.

But what’ll it be like?
Can’t be much more specific than that until they really get into the media production side. But they already seem to be making interesting stuff: some are filming little narrated micro-documentaries, others are interviewing their classmates, and some are capturing musical moments.

I’m expecting a whole bunch of footage tomorrow: after all, there are 15 cameras in play… Should be a challenge, but it’ll also be interesting to see how it all comes together.

The project’s called Holland for a Week. You should check it out.