Creative business focus: David Brewis

Over the past year, 45 creative practitioners and organisations from across Sunderland have received £1000 funding via the CLLD Creative Industries Grant to help support the growth of their business.

We’ve taken the opportunity to highlight some of the recipients of the funding here in our blog to shine a light on their work, their creative business and plans for the future.

Today we’re speaking to Dave Brewis from the band Field Music about his recent work and projects, including the creation of Daylight Saving Records.

Tell us about you and your creative business?

My brother, Peter, and I have been producing and releasing records as Field Music since 2005, as well as working on many other musical projects and collaborations in various capacities. To date, we’ve been involved as performers or engineers on around 30 albums, most of which were recorded at our studio space in Sunderland. Last year we also set up our own record label, Daylight Saving Records, in order to take more control of our recording output.

What are you working on at the moment?

We are readying one archive project for release, Peter is putting the finishing touches to his next solo record and we’re preparing arrangements for some live shows with a ten-piece band in May and June.

What inspires you?

Unsurprisingly, we listen to a lot of music, and anyone who knows our work won’t be surprised that we take a lot of inspiration from artists who are quite prolific and who weren’t afraid to experiment or evolve. But inspiration can come from anywhere – books, radio documentaries, films, conversations, paintings… we’re not fussy.

What did you do with the CLLD grant?

We used the grant to buy a new laptop computer. Our studio computer and the laptops we both use to work on music and visual content are all over 11 years old and are creaking in their old age! Artwork for print, and videos both involve manipulation of very large files and the requirement on us for this type of visual content has been growing for some years, partly due to the changing nature of the music industry and partly due to us taking on more of that responsibility ourselves.

How has it helped you grow or support your business to do new things?

With the new laptop, the speed with which we can create artwork and video has increased dramatically. I put together the artwork for the first release on our label on my old laptop over several weeks. It was a tortuous and frustrating process, taking away time from other work. The artwork for the next release was created using the new computer and took just a few hours.

Similarly, the arrangements I’m working on currently, which involve scoring parts for piano and string quartet, could not have been done on my old computer – the strain on the processor and memory would have been far too much for it to cope with. I’m sure we would have found some workaround but this would have taken time. Time which could be better spent on dozens of other tasks.

The new laptop has undoubtedly improved our productivity but it’s also given us confidence that we can do this kind of work to a very good standard when we’re not being held back by old equipment. Now we can consider undertaking more design work or making ourselves available for more arranging work.

What are your plans for the coming year? (with CLLD help)

This year should see the release of the next two releases on Daylight Saving Records, the artwork for which was entirely designed using the new laptop, along with video content also created on it. The arrangements for our shows in May and June will have also been created using the new computer. We’ll hopefully also have time to start work on the next record!

Where can we find out more about you?

You can find Field Music and Daylight Saving Records on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.

The Sunderland Community Led Local Development Programme (CLLD) is a five year programme to deliver local jobs and economic growth, supported with funding from the European Structural Investment Fund.


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