creative conversations with James Kimber

20 Jan

Welcome to episode ten of creative conversations. This week I’m visiting James Kimber, Director of Weapons of Sound, a group of junk percussionists.

[audio http://www.archive.org/download/CreativeConversationsWithJamesKimber/CreativeConversationsJamesKimber.mp3 |width=380]

Right click (or Ctrl click on a Mac) on this link (Creative Conversations #10) to download (Save Link As). Or subscribe to our podcast, or subscribe via iTunes to have it automatically appear in your inbox.

James was born here in Weymouth and has lived here the greater part of his life. He moved to Plymouth to do a degree and it is here that he helped setup in Weapons of Sound in 1993. Ever since establishing this group it has proven to be very successful, within six months of starting he had appeared at the Royal Albert Hall and been on TV shows like Blue Peter.

Since those early days he has helped establish Weapons of Sound as a hard working team of professional workshop leaders and successful entertainment act. Last year, 2011, has proven to be a particular good year with James doing some interesting work and travelling around the world.

It was interesting how he has struggled about calling himself an musician, this has deep groundings in his educational experience at a secondary modern school (he left with no qualifications) and very much chimes with my experience. He had years on the dole in the 80s after leaving college, before ending up doing a recreational community degree. He cannot imagine being where he was then (educational and in his perception of himself), paying £9,000 to do this degree now.

One thing that changed his life quite a lot was in his second year did an exchange of the degree he did one year in the mid-west of USA. All done through the grant system. Entered him into a totally different world to the one in Plymouth.

The band stated when he had to do a placement at a youth club and they were doing up the halls of residencies and from this combination James got a junk band started. All inspired with the can do attitude of punk rock.

It slowly turned more professional when James got upset when he saw people making money out of their time and energy. Promoters would put them on, but not pay them as they saw it as just a group of young people banging rubbish. This motivated James to get serious with the business side of things, finally making Weapons of Sound a limited company.

Weapons of Sound run educational workshops all around the country. They do corporate for a number of clients. Along with playing festivals around the world. And I promote The Brackenbury Centre, a large, heated old School Hall in Fortuneswell, Portland, has now been spruced up as is available for hire for a variety of cultural events, workshops, classes, exhibitions, markets, promotions etc. It is now seeking artists to get in touch and they will then promote and advertise your workshop across the South West. See their website for more info; www.swartworkshops.co.uk

James advise to artists practice is get an agent. Two aspects, one is doing it the other is advertising, diary up-to-date, getting paid, all the admin, answering queries and so on.

His offer advice talking as a practicing performer is turn up on time!

We end up talking about his knowledge of cultural Olympiad and the Olympic legacy. He couldn’t say much about the cultural Olympiad and what is going on and is worried about what will happen here in Weymouth after the Olympics has left town. He had an interesting experience last year when he visited Tallinn, which had been the site for the sailing for the 1980 Moscow Olympics. And he was given a tour of Soviet architecture built for the occasion that was all derelict.

James told me how the Olympics are awarded to a city, which I had never thought of. That technically it had been awarded to London.

To find out more about James Kimber you can check out; www.weaponsofsound.com

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One Response to “creative conversations with James Kimber”

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  1. creative conversations episodes « creative conversations - May 9, 2012

    […] I visit James Kimber, Director of Weapons of Sound, a group of junk percussionists. He has helped establish Weapons of Sound as a hard working team of professional workshop leaders and successful entertainment act. Last year, 2011, has proven to be a particular good year with James doing some interesting work and travelling around the world. https://creativedialog.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/creative-conversations-with-james-kimber/ […]

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