30 Mar 2021

Artist Blog: Callum Jones on the DaDaFest Ensemble


Image: Callum Jones in the recording studio, 2020

With applications currently open to join the DaDaFest Ensemble, we had a chat with current member, Callum Jones, about what the last year has been like for our music programme as it has had to shift and adapt to the circumstances 
*Interview conducted when studio recording sessions were briefly able to resume in December 2020. 


How did you find coming into the recording studio?

I've absolutely loved it! I came in expecting, not the worst, but I came in expecting that I was going to leave here dissatisfied because I don't have much self-confidence when it comes to stuff I do.  I very much believe 100% in everything I do, but the fact that I could come in here, do something which I'm semi-proud of and I'm liking the end goal towards it and I've done every bit; from the singing to pianos to guitar. The only bit I've not done was the editing and mixing but luckily thanks to my session musician, Alec, he's absolutely amazing. He's good at what he does and I've actually really enjoyed it.


How have you found the Zoom sessions compared to being in person?

On Zoom it's very easy for me to be like 'oh yeah' and just kind of agree with everything that's said and have a game on in the background or something on a different screen and at the same time you'd never know. Or with the level of technology nowadays I could easily deep-fake myself into a video. Just click a button and make it seem like i'm responding to you. Obviously that would take me too long and it's also quite rude and I think you'd catch on...

So I prefer face to face, but Zoom is a good alternative to if Covid gets too bad or lockdowns are in place. It's good for the time being but it's not something which I enjoy quite so much because I can easily get distracted or it's easy to be like 'I don't want to do it today, I'm too tired'.


So would you say you prefer the face-to-face stuff?

Yeah I prefer face-to-face as I can actually talk to you and I can show you straight away, I'll be like 'that's what I have an issue with' or 'I prefer that over that' instead of 'okay we can summarize what we're gonna do'. But I can actually show you what you need to do and all that needs help with.


What do you feel you've learnt from the process?

Nothing in particular, I mean on Zoom we're not always wearing masks. I can cough obviously and that would go through here [the microphone]. It's the case of with Zoom... I do [Microsoft] Teams as well as I'm in college and I have to do Teams with my college and I hated that but we have to do it because it was the measures, but no one really learned much, just overall.

When I speak to you on Zoom it's always stuff to do with music and it's something which I always take away, like 'I've got to make sure I've got this down' or 'I've got to do this'. Before coming in today it was 'you're doing a piece on Saturday, make sure you've got your instrument and you've got everything which you need'. And then that's what I need for Saturday, today. So that's the thing I'll take away really.

Find out more about the Ensemble's lockdown journey in a blog by Engagement Coordinator, David, and don't forget to apply by 2 April if you're a D/deaf or disabled musician aged 12-25 in the Liverpool City Region: https://www.dadafest.co.uk/article/dadafest-ensemble-musician-call-out

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