Music Leaders' Blog

PMZ's sessional Music Leaders are a talented and varied bunch!  As well as producing wonderful music with the many groups that come to our building in Devonport, they're often to be found out and about in the community.  Some of them get even further afield!  Read their stories here and discover what makes their metronomes tick ...


MUSIC LEADER - Elise Webster

Hola from Mexico!

I've been here on the mid Pacific Coast for 2 weeks now and really starting to get into the Mexican way. Unlike the Spanish, they don't siesta in the afternoon, they siesta whenever they want throughout the day! Where I'm staying there is a surfboard repair shop under a big Palm tree. They always have the radio on and there's such a colourful mix of Mexican music. I wonder if you type 'Mexican music' into YouTube what would come up?

Since the trip started I've written 3 songs. One about this particular beach that we're currently at. All the surfers love it and I play it to them all in the afternoon when the wind blows the waves into a messy mush, and it gets warmly received.

Been thinking about you all and how spring is about to spring. I can't wait to see what wonderful music has been created when I return to PMZ.

Lots of love from the other side of the Atlantic (and a bit further)

Elise :)

P.S. I've also written some more verses to a well known song about a sun and his hat!!



Elise's Travels Update No.2...

Hello all of you at Plymouth Music Zone and those beyond the walls. Travel update from me, your nomadic music leader, Elise. For the last 3 and a half weeks, I have been traveling in Peru, South America from Lima the capital, to surf breaks along the coast via bus and finally up to the Andes where I hiked up a mountain and touched a glacier at 6000m+ above sea level. Pan pipes are the traditional Peruvian instrument of choice, usually accompanied by a Spanish guitar, shakers and percussion and sometimes all at the same time! They fashion neck straps for the panpipes or harmonica and play the guitar with thumb and finger or pieces of card. The panpipes and vocals hold the melody and it really sounds great with the punchy songs, which are often traditional and can be technical in style.

We were accompanied on the bus one day by a man with panpipes and a guitar who played all of his own songs. He stood in the isle whilst people came on and off the bus, pushing past him both ways, and still he played his guitar with a piece of card and sang and played. He was on the bus for 25 minutes and everyone was looking out of the windows. It was such a lovely way to spend the bus journey and I remember thinking how much more enjoyable it was to have live music throughout. Isn't that always the way?

Until next time, keep up the live music making to brighten up our days.




And then here's the Caribbean..

Hola! Another update for you lovely lot, this time from the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Here I arrived in a place where music and clear blue seas meet at the palm trees and have a little dance! It's a beautiful part of the world and there is music traveling through the air from all directions and there's not many genres I haven't heard. There's been salsa dancing and local Caribbean calypso bands, open mic nights catering for everyone, reggae on clear bass heavy sound systems, myself wailing across the rooftops with my ukulele and singing traditional Caribbean calypso ditties with Jamaican ladies in their 60s. There's been all sorts! It's been 2 weeks of audio tropicana and I thought those reading would be happy to know I've managed to release all my musical energies on this small town and have picked up so many techniques, ideas and fun filled musical activities for when I return. I really am looking forward to playing around with it all back at Plymouth Music Zone, especially the calypso rhythms and call and response.

Will be in Central America now until I return to the UK, expect another update at some point from the Pacific coast. Thinking of you all, happy music making and bye for now!