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Matthew Herbert announces Brexit Big Band project

The two-year recording process will travel across borders and collaborate with upwards of 1,000 people

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 10 March 2017

Matthew Herbert has revealed his next big band album will be a response to Brexit.

The next LP from the group is planned as a two-year undertaking, starting in England at the moment when Article 50 is triggered and culminating with the release of an album to coincide with the moment when the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

During that time the band will travel across Europe, performing concerts and taking part in recording sessions and workshops in celebration of international musical collaboration across borders.

The album will grow from one sound then build layer by layer until over 1,000 people have collaborated to combine musicianship and vocal talents, with lyrics being sung in multiple languages.

A sound exchange scheme called the Brexit Sound Swap is serving as the starting point of the project, with contributions being taken now on this website. Anyone is able to upload a second clip, which will then unlock all the sounds others have uploaded, creating a resource of varied noises.

Speaking about the project, Matthew Herbert said: “I simply wouldn’t be the musician or person I am were it not for the countless collaborators and interactions with people from very different backgrounds, and nationalities to my own. I have learned so much, from so many disparate and often overlooked voices.

"The message from parts of the Brexit campaign were that as a nation we are better off alone. I refute that idea entirely and wanted to create a project that embodies the idea of collaboration from start to finish.”

The record will be released through Matthew Herbert’s Accidental imprint. The Matthew Herbert Big Band has previously put two albums via Accidental and Studio !K7.

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter

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