Belle and Sebastian’s response to the lockdown is a joint project with their fans, called Protecting the Hive, and Getintothis, Si Jones looks at the results so far.
Belle & Sebastian have always had a special bond with their fans.
From organising tailored weekend festivals in bleak holiday camps and decadent cruise ships, to using emerging technology to achieve the most unlikely Brit Award win in memory, the love always seems to be reciprocated.
Stuart Murdoch recently reached out on Twitter for fans to collaborate on a two part project entitled Protecting The Hive.
The idea was to invite followers to share their thoughts and feelings during isolation and merge them into a multimedia collaborative work.
Explaining the project, Murdoch said, “OK, I’ve got an idea. I come up with lots of tunes but the band aren’t around just now, and I rely on them to turn them into pop. How about we make a tune together using remote technology?
Send me a few sentences or a paragraph, I’ll try to funnel those words into a song, then I’ll record an acoustic version of it and bounce it back to you. Then it’s up to you to do what you want to do with it.”
The first part is an audio-visual piece narrated by Murdoch and Alessandra Lupo, alongside a genuinely striking aerial view of the eerie sun kissed streets of Glasgow during this period, courtesy of filmmaker Kenny MacLeod, accompanied by an ethereal downtempo soundtrack.
The result below is a haunting and fitting document of these somewhat weird times.
The disparate thoughts of real people run parallel with swooping shots of silent tower blocks and sandstone streets sitting empty.
The second part of the project followed on Friday, April 24.
Here the band will make audio files of demo tracks available, inviting fans to get creative and form their own recordings however they see fit.
The band’s website states “You may want to download the stems from this Soundcloud playlist and import to Garageband if you have it but if you’re feeling lo-fi why not just download the full instrumental version and film yourself playing your instrument or singing over the top?”
At a time when lots of people maybe feeling stifled and isolated, this much needed creative outlet should hopefully yield some amazing results.
Well done to the band.
You can find updates from Stuart Murdoch on his Twitter feed.