You Can Stand Under Their Electric Umbrella, Ella

So first off, welcome to our new blog. For those who aren’t super young and modern like Andy and me, a “blog” is a place on the internet for those rare ideas and anecdotes that you want to share but can’t express in less 140 characters/emojis. I think I’m right in saying that the word is a contraction of “brown log” which is where old people used to meet to tell long, boring stories in the olden days before somebody invented the internet and ruined our attention spa… what was I saying?

Oh yeah! So we are currently in a service station on the way back from a day of talking shop with Electric Umbrella, a fantastic charity based in Watford, whose aim is to further social inclusion for disabled young people through music. For whatever reason, I kinda hate describing things as “inspiring” – it makes me think of Oscar bait biopics and X-Factor back stories. However, it genuinely WAS inspiring to see the fantastic organisation that Tom and Mel have built and the community that they have developed around it!

Here is what Andy has to say about the whole thing as he tries to work out how to get out of the service station car park. I’ve tried to keep it verbatim but he talks too fast and I type too slow.

“What I find interesting…well, do I find it interesting? Well yeah, I do find it interesting. It’s that all these organisation like us and Drake Music and Tom and Mel they all have the same goals but slightly different approaches and priorities. Like Drake focus on a lot on hacking instruments and technology and all that as a way of enabling disabled musicians and, well Tom and Mel do that too, but their (Electric Umbrella’s) ethos is more focused on the social aspect, although obviously Drake Music do that too. You get what I’m sezzin’?”

“Yes” I sez to Andy “I think I do. I think the nature of our work is that music practitioners working with disabled musicians for these kinds of social goals are few and geographically far between and thus develop largely in isolation with their own ethos, methods and idiosyncrasies. I think that has what has made today so interesting, Andy!”

“I think you’re right, Billy. You really are so smart. I think I would describe you as the brains of this operation…”

Anyway, I’m gonna cut Andy short here as he starts to go off on one. To sum up, it is genuinely so valuable to create opportunities to share ideas between like minded organisations and we are really, really looking forward to working closely with Electric Umbrella, hopefully in the near future!

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