We love to profile creative freelancers working in Northumberland. At the end of last year we caught up with musician, composer and creative producer Bridie Jackson. Here's some more about her and scroll down to find where you can follow her and her brilliant work online...
Can you tell us a bit about you and your practise?
Hi folks, my name is Bridie Jackson and I do lots of things, mostly under the loose umbrella term ‘musician’ and on any given day this could mean composing, leading song writing workshops, conducting choirs, performing or working collaboratively with communities to co create music projects. I also lead on the Unseen podcast for Queens Hall Arts Centre in Hexham, where we highlight some of the amazing projects and productions taking place at the venue, alongside in-depth conversations with artists about their work.
What are your goals as a freelancer for 2023?
I hope 2023 is jam packed with collaboration with artists from different backgrounds to my own, because I find this hugely inspiring and an amazing opportunity for creative development. Two particular highlights from last year were contributing a sound installation about bee keepers to Museums Northumberland’s exhibition series ‘A Northumberlanbd Menagerie’ by the incredible visual Bethan Maddocks and composing a sound track for the touring production Jumpers for Goalposts by the Northumberland based dance company, Meta4 Dance. I found both of these projects to be totally illuminating, humbling and creatively enriching and I hope for lots more collaboration opportunities in 2023.
Also, I say this every year, but the dream is less admin, more creativity. Easier said than done, but I think managing my time so that I can create a better balance between these things is a good start. Ask me again in 2024!
What are you most excited about working on this year?
There’s a few projects I’m working on this year that I’m ridiculously excited about! One of them is the development of a new musical called Humankind, created in collaboration with the amazing writer Becci Sharrock. It came about because we both enjoy and are inspired to make work that is entertaining but also socially relevant, work that has a heart.
Kindness is a key element of our practice within communities and working with other artists and something we talked a great deal about in the difficult 18 months of the pandemic. Because of this, we wanted to explore how kindness could be explored as a central theme in a story and how one person’s small act of kindness can be a catalyst for others. We’re also really interested in what happens when different art forms and genres come together – not just in terms of our individual practice, but in exploring the idea of a sci-fi, dystopian musical. Thanks to a grant from Help Musicians we are able to have our first R &D week with an amazing director and a group of performers early in 2023.
Also, I think it’s high time that I made another album, so I’ll be hibernating somewhere very remote in Northumberland at some point this year to record and produce that!
From a more regional perspective, I was really delighted to see lots of amazing North East organisations receiving NPO funding and I’m so excited to see what work is developed.
What piece of advice would you give someone starting out in a freelance career in the cultural and heritage sector?
There’s lots of practical advice out there (look no further than the Culture Northumberland blog for some amazing tips, tools and networks) so I think I’ll take a different approach with that question and talk about the cultural sector we are lucky enough to have here in the North East.
In my experience, this is a wildly supportive an encouraging community, so I would say one of the best things you can do is get involved, either through social media or by turning up to events, shows and exhibitions. Find out about people and organisations, support their work and be up for talking about yourself, your practise and ideas and you may very quickly find that you are developing networks, spotting opportunities and being inspired.
Follow Bridie online here and sign up to her mailing list to stay connected;