ACM students smash it on the main stage at Seventh Wave

09 Apr 2018

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Recently we had the pleasure of running the main stage at leading Birmingham electronic music festival, Seventh Wave.

Sponsored by our good friends Sound on Sound, three show-stopping ACM acts were chosen to take to the stage at Seventh Wave in the thriving music scene of Birmingham. We caught up with Vocal Diploma student BRUCH and Electronic Music Production Degree student Joshua Heitzler AKA Hadron Sounds to find out how it went…


How did the opportunity to perform at Seventh Wave Festival come about and how did your performance go?

BRUCH: “I’ve been working closely with Kieron Pepper, in the ADCO team on how to advance my onstage set, as well as receiving advice on adding more technical elements to my music. Kieron said he really wanted to put me forward for Seventh Wave, as my music has an eclectic electronic sound – he felt it would be well suited to the festival. I was thrilled, and am always excited to be chosen to represent ACM at public events. I’d never been to Birmingham before, so it was a great opportunity!

My performance was in the Littleton Theatre at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, which seats 250. It went really well and the space was wonderful to perform in – Hadron Sounds was on the sound desk to get everything just right. My drummer, Lloyd Griffiths, performed superbly on an electronic Roland kit for the day (we usually have an acoustic kit for live gigs – I love the juxtaposition of acoustic and electronic sounds – but this worked really well at the BMI, considering the theme of the event).”

Hadron Sounds: “The opportunity came from Kieron Pepper who sent me an email about this in early February. The performance went amazing: It was the first time I actually performed with a live singer (one of my songwriter- partners in crime ) on my DJ set and not only the trumpet, which gave the whole set a new energy. Adding more live elements to my performances is definitely a thing I will look into for the future!”

What did you think of the other performers on the day, any highlights?

BRUCH: “The afternoon started with Darkroom (synthesizer player Andrew “Os” Ostler, and guitarist Michael Bearpark) creating extensive looping of their synthesizers, electric guitar, and abstract vocals, as well as bass clarinet. Hadron Sounds did an amazing DJ set in between the other artists, and also had Jade-Maria joining him to add vocals, which was amazing. He also adds his trumpet into his live performance, which is just such a good mix, and an unexpected addition to a live DJ set. Recent ACM masterclass guest Bob Earland closed the afternoon with a laid back experimental synthesizer set.”

Hadron Sounds: “It was all very modular synthesis based with more of soundscapes than actual songs being performed but two performers really stood out for me: John Biddulph whose performance took the audience to another sphere with his 45 mins performance morphing through soundscapes, beats and modular melodies. I was honestly impressed what kind of variation he got out of his modular rig. 

The other really good act was BRUCH with her earthy electronica and strong messages. She and her drummer Lloyd rocked the Lyttleton Theatre, especially her song Empty Land!”

What would be your advice to other students on preparing for a festival performance like this?

BRUCH: “Be prepared! Check out the festival and understand why visitors are going to attend, what they want to see, and try and work your set accordingly. Make sure you know how much space is available, so you can ensure your performance will be logistically possible. Be professional, and look your best – you never know who you’ll meet. It’s a great opportunity to share your music with a new audience, so make sure you’re well-rehearsed so it’s heard at its best. And most of all, have fun! Enjoy the experience, and learn from it.”

Hadron Sounds: “Rehearse so much you could do it backwards in your sleep. And also be prepared and knowledgeable enough to fix any issues if they arise on the day. Make sure you have enough people to take videos and pictures of the act so you have plenty of material for social media.”

Photos shot by Rob Blackham

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