A window of uninterrupted music

Mason Le Long Reflects on his Hatching Residency with Talking Birds

To be honest, I thought it sounded too good to be true. Talking Birds promising to pay artists to come and work in their studios for ten days, and not even asking for any finished material at the end of it? I thought there must be more to it than meets the eye.

Sure enough, in September, when I started my residency, it became apparent that there was much more to it. The application process was very clear, but it did not prepare me for the endless coffee, the cakes and biscuits (even for vegans like me), the inspiring space within the old powerhouse, the vintage furniture and artistic decor, the socially and environmentally-conscious culture at the Nest. Above all, what I was least prepared for was the warmth and kindness from everyone at the Nest, the invaluable support from the staff and the fact that Talking Birds have virtually eliminated the barriers to creativity for their residents and cultivated an environment that’s as near to perfect for an artist to work in as is imaginable. This kind of support for artists is rare and, although there are other funding opportunities out there, in my experience they are hardly ever so accessible.

I was given ten days, and my only aim was to compose some new music with synthesisers, to possibly be later developed with my band, Batsch. I intentionally didn’t set any other goals, as I felt the natural deadline of the residency was pressure enough. I just wanted to make the most of this window of uninterrupted music composition time, and explore a means of making music that is less familiar to me. I wasn’t expecting to achieve anything tangible by the end of the residency, so the fact that I actually finished a song in my little temporary studio is very encouraging. I am most grateful to Talking Birds for affording me this opportunity and helping to revitalise my creative process.

The product of my residency, a song called Too Few, is ready for release by Batsch in early 2023.


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