Beginning as a ’21st century album’ of open source songs from Burton band Star From Ivy, Circularity is beginning to grow into its potential as a group of likeminds discussing and working toward collective action.
It’s a big concept, one which hasn’t been easy to explain or to engage on masse with, covering ideas around topics from mental health and mindfulness to grief and galaxies. Described as: “a thematic and conceptual rock album project by Star From Ivy encompassing 21st Century learning and humanitarian ideas” each track is accompanied by a set of learning resources themed around the subjects covered in the songs and it’s these resources which are beginning to bloom now.
As well as the album is a regular podcast and a Facebook group where sharing of articles linked to the theme of each song are shared. Rob Gillespie co-hosts the podcast and explains his own reasons for getting involved, “I was drawn in by knowing the band but stayed and contributed because of what Circularity meant, what it could achieve, what it could change. I wanted to be the change I wanted to see in others and the project seemed to be a way of doing that, with great people doing great things.”
Richard Gittus, a member of the growing group backed this sentiment up, saying, “I’m intrigued by the ability to have access to articles and information that I may not necessarily happen upon in my normal walk of life.”
Alongside the original music is all available as open source meaning anyone can take elements of it and use it to make something of their own, rights free – an innovative concept in a music industry more fixated on ownership than connection and creative longevity for artists or their works.
Chris Baldwin, guitarist in Star From Ivy, said of the concept, “Star From Ivy really connect when we play; it’s something that’s bigger than we are alone as individuals. It’s quite powerful really. When we were coming back from seeing Nick Brine in the studio, I ranted (as I often do) about this thing we were onto being a bigger thing than just a record.
“It was a feeling I wanted to explore and tie into what I feel young people should be learning about at school. I’m lucky that I’ve been encouraged to explore and develop this from the leadership at the school where I work. People who watch us play often comment on that there’s a feeling that they get about the band. A very gut emotional thing that you want to tune into.
“The wider project came from connecting the dots between the themes of the lyrics and the feelings of the songs to these important wider issues. I’d been playing with online and web-based learning resources so the online bit took shape.
“Circularity is only ever going to work when other people get it and become a part of it, and it feels that – even a couple of years after launching the project – that people really want to be a part of whatever it is or becomes. To be connected with others and into something bigger than themselves.”
The Circularity Festival will take place at the National Brewery Centre in Burton on Trent on Friday 22 June 2018 and feature live performances from Star From Ivy, Emma Buckley, and Andy Crowe as well as a number of other special guests alongside the recording of a podcast episode. Profits from the evening will be doubled and donated to Mind, the mental health charity. More information and links for tickets can be found on Facebook here.