One Thursday evening back in March we visited the Society Café in Bath. We had gone with the intention to film and interview Samantha Lindo and Jacob Spencer who were performing together as part of their spring tour, before a small select audience. All went to plan, we filmed one song and stayed to enjoyed the rest of the show. After their performance we invited Samantha and Jacob to sit with us for a quick interview. Now, we have interviewed many artist, all have been welcoming and friendly, but this was the first time an interviewee invited us back to their home for dinner.
Samantha explained that she lives within a community of artists, in a beautiful Jacobean manor house called Wick Court. Samantha went on to say that in the short time she had lived there, Wick Court had proved to be a fruitful space for her creativity and that if we could visit Wick Court we would have a better understanding of her and her music. With the offer of a home cooked meal on the table - we jumped at the chance!
As we arrived at Wick Court in drizzly rain, optimistic Jacob could be seen building a campfire by a picturesque river which runs through the grounds. After a quick tour of the house we sat in the kitchen with Samantha and Jacob to enjoy a delicious warm chicken salad. Eventually the rain stopped and we all ventured outside to sit by the campfire to discuss music and Wick Court.
“Musicians, artists and anyone involved in a creative industry often feel that in order to succeed they have to be harshly individualistic, sometimes sacrificing relationships for sake of their art. We experience the complete opposite to be true. As a community, we are part of a team, we lift each other up and support each other and collaborate in our creative endeavors, this way we all do better”.
This overflows to other artists and creatives too. We hold various events including a ‘song circle’, where we invite musicians to come together and share their music. People are free to play along, harmonise or just listen and often I will walk away with new ideas and inspiration for their music”.
We also host ticketed events at Wick Court. Our next will be on the 14th of June, a collaboration of resident artists and their friends for Wick Court Studios’ first exhibition ‘Collective Expressions’, plus a range of pop-up live musical performances scattered around the house, gardens and studios, with a DJ set to end the night. Doing these events is a great way to invite people to experience our art in a special place and explore what we do here. It is open to the public, however tickets must be bought in advance via our website”.
These events Samantha speaks of, although regular are not always part of everyday life. I ask how music is incorporated into everyday life when living as part of a community.
“Wick Court it is a big place and there is lots of work involved in maintaining it. However, there is definitely an interplay between work and creativity. Often whilst working one of us may start to sing, others will join in, which result in many-a spontaneous songs and dance-offs, especially with three very expressive children around!”
By Samantha’s own admission living in a community of creative people, challenging as that can sometimes be, has had a hugely positive influence on her music. However many of us might never have that opportunity. I asked Samantha if she thought it possible to maintain a sense of community in a more conventional lifestyle.
“I don't think what we are trying to do is necessarily about where we live, but how we live and what our values are. Before living at Wick Court I hosted an event with my friend, London based singer-songwriter Eliza Shaddad, called 'Girls Girls Girls'. We invited other female musicians and artists to join us in creating an evening of entertainment, supporting a charity called Orchid Project who campaign to put a global end to female genital cutting. These events were really successful and were an amazing platform for our work, as we toured packing out venues in London and around the UK. This was achieved by artists working collaboratively together, not against each other. You can take that model anywhere. We have just decided to take it a step further and make it a way of life”.
Sitting in such a beautiful environment with such welcoming people it was all too easy to focus solely on the unique situation that Samantha and Jacob have been fortunate enough to find themselves in. Trying to focus on Samantha’s music I asked what her future plans are?
“We are just about to start recording our next EP ready for our autumn tour starting at the end of September. We will most probably be recording here at Wick Court Studios, working with a producer to capture the sound that we are gradually developing. It will be a different experience as my last EP I recorded acoustically in a church in Devon and the one before at Abbey Road studios, which was an amazing experience. The place has a great energy and the recording process was very smooth, but it will be interesting to see what it’s like doing it in a more relaxed way at home this time”.