A sonic love letter to Birmingham
9th August 2022
A unique musical project for a unique music city is what On Record and Jez Collins have created as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.
The On Record album is part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival and was produced thanks to National Lottery Heritage Fund support for acclaimed Birmingham artists - including UB40 - contributing eleven original songs to represent Birmingham musically.
Jez Collins, who founded and leads the Birmingham Music Archive, wanted to produce a record that reflects Birmingham’s many diverse communities and is believed to be the first multi-genre, multi-artist original album about a city.
“On Record is a sonic love letter to Birmingham,” Collins said. “It consists of 11 new and original songs recorded for the album and the artists were asked to respond to the word Birmingham, musically and creatively.
“The artists on the album reflect the different communities of the city and they cross most, if not all, music genres.
“I think Birmingham is unique amongst all cities in the UK and the role of particularly the Commonwealth communities post-war in terms of how they rebuilt the city, how they live, work and play within the city. That's influenced and inspired and can be seen in our music culture.”
Birmingham 2022 Festival is a six-month long celebration of culture and creativity, funded by The National Lottery to the tune of £3million from Arts Council England and £3million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and includes On Record: In Conversation podcasts.
The National Lottery Community Fund have also invested in the events programme.
The National Lottery has invested over £40million to support the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and its legacy in a variety of ways.
This includes investing in everything from infrastructure, the home nation teams and grassroots sport programmes to employment, training, and volunteering opportunities, as well as the vibrant Birmingham 2022 Festival.
The On the Record album was released on June 17 with 1,000 free copies given out at the festival, and it is also available to stream online.
The podcasts are recorded at Symphony Hall and features interviews with guests who have contributed to the Birmingham music scene in many different ways, with recordings free to attend.
Collins, whose album celebrates the far-reaching culture that makes Birmingham what it is, from its nature all the way to the famous Bedders Chip Shop, added: “There's three impacts which would be great. Firstly, selfishly, that it raises the profile of the Music Archive.
“I hope it raises the profile of the individual acts on the album and shines a light on them and I think it will do because the BBC have licensed one of the tracks, and it's going to be across all their programming during the games.
“The third one is for the city, it'd be really good if this becomes the first step to Birmingham thinking about becoming a UNESCO city of music, based on the incredible past and contemporary music and that we become known as a music city.”
National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into the arts, culture and heritage sectors. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk Find out more about the National Lottery supported Birmingham 2022 Festival by using the hashtag #B2022Festival.