Momo brings coastal characters to musical life

New Dorset safety initiative Coastwise encourages younger explorers to enjoy the Jurassic beaches more safely, thanks to an invitation from Love Love Films to local songwriting character Timo Peach.

 

If there’s one thing that leaps to mind when visitors and locals alike think of Dorset, it is the coast line – the county’s portion of the famous ‘Jurassic Coast’. But such a dramatic stretch of beaches, cliffs, marine life and geological history can harbour its hazzards for careless visitors. So, as avid champions of local creative and social life, when the team at Bournemouth production company Love Love were approached by Dorset Coast Forum about creating a new film to help children remember the essentials of coastal play, they jumped at the chance to get involved.

 

Bridget Betts, Dorset Coast Forum Coordinator explained “The Dorset coast is a fantastic place to visit and explore but unfortunately there can be dangers at the beach and along our coastline. We see news headlines where parts of the Jurassic coast have come down, people have got stuck by avoiding signs or children have been taken out to sea on inflatables.  We therefore decided to produce an animated film that would deliver safety messages together in a fun and different way”

The team’s response was to design a cast of characters to lead youngsters around the points to remember.

Lead animator Sunny Clarke states: “It was really fun creating the different characters. They all have their own personalities and individuality. Creating different animations for them all was really interesting – so the lobster moves differently to the dog and the seagull is always getting into scrapes before finding a way out of trouble by following the advice of the song, we really hope the children enjoy the characters as much as we enjoyed creating them”

 

STRIKING THE RIGHT NOTE, FINDING A RIGHT SILLY SONGWRITER

To bring this to life musically, the team thought of Momo:tempo, and the voice characterisations of Mr Peach.

“As a Dorset boy, I felt I couldn’t turn down the chance to be involved,” says Timo. “Working with the Love Love gang is always super fun and they invited me in at an early stage to consider first the 20 key messages to get across in the songwriting and also the key characters who would be singing it, as it were. Probably not something all composers and producers would expect to be asked to do, but it didn’t seem an odd request between Love Love and Momo” he grins.

From a panama-sporting posh octopus to a starfish that sounds like one of the Mitchell brothers, the bloke from Momo created voices to help differenciate the colourful characters on screen that the creative team had come up with. And that was before getting to the music itself.

“Sitting around in the writers room working out scenarios from the team’s initial character designs and storyboard was immense fun. How we managed to keep in the starfish farting is still a marvel of creative conviction I feel” laughs Timo, “but then I had to go away and come up with an actual tune. And one that could somehow carry twenty different safety messages.”

Timo’s inspiration came from a week on a Dorset beach of his own.

“The lovely first lady of Momo and I were celebrating a rather special anniversary with a week in a beach hut at Christchurch last year, and the weather happened to be glorious. So I sat on the sand in the twinkling sunshine and tried to picture these marine characters communicating something of the life all around me there that summer. Once I’d come up with a basic hook I couldn’t stop humming, and an idea of something inclusive to the songwriting approach, I just had to craft in all the information as rhythmically and entertainingly as possible. Before going back to the studio and working out how the production and voices would really sound all together.”

“It was just the sort of three minute colourfully daft challenge I can’t resist” he adds.

 

The full results of his and the team’s work were unveiled to key partners and schoolchildren at a launch event in June 2017. The children were tested on the safety messages and the song seemed to help cement the key safety messages to remember when visiting the coat and seaside. The animation will be shown in coastal visitor centers around the UK, schools and numerous educational training platforms and programmes.

Rhiannon Jones from the Dorset Coast Forum said: “We LOVE it!!! It’s sooooo good – really brilliant work. It’s so catchy and the animation is really funny. I can’t wait to get it out there.”

The Dorset Coast Forum coordinated the project, working with organisations including National Trust, RNLI, Litter Free Coast & Sea, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, The Jurassic Coast Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust and SafeWise, with Visit Dorset, the official tourism site for Dorset, helping them all to promote safety on the coast.

 

Watch Love Love and Momo:tempo being Coastwise >

And if you’d like to learn the song, to be ready for a test on coastal safety at a moment’s notice, here are the lyrics:

COASTAL LIFE

VERSE 1
Let’s go! (let’s go)
And be (and be)
Where the squiggly line of the land
Meets the sea.
We’ll be your hosts
In this environment we like to call The Coast!

Wonderful life we can see
If we share it safely.

VERSE 2
Before (before)
We leave (we leave)
We always check to see just what
The weather will be.
Sunscreen and shoes (and food!)
And a hat, a mac, a rucksack…
What we choose will
Help us prepare for a great day, in every way.

There may be rockpools,
There may be sand,
Between the shoreline and the land.
So here’s what to make sure you understand
Before we rush out and explore:

CHORUS 1
If you have eyes, then look!
Look where you tread –
Don’t touch anything dead!
Look at the cliffs and rocks –
Don’t go having your nosh
Where you’ll likely get squashed.
Look at the waves and tide –
If it’s blowing a gale,
Jumping in is a fail!
Look at the whole world a while –
And in an emergency,
999’s what you dial.
It’s always what you dial.

VERSE 3
Stay sun safe (sun safe!)
Hydrate (hydrate!)
Enjoy the surf, but
Always swim with a mate
In sight of the lifegaurd.
And don’t fight a rip current,
That’s, like, way too hard.

A world of adventure there’ll be
If we explore it safely.

Wear a lifevest; watch for drift.
Don’t follow stray pets off a cliff.
In your wellies or on a skiff,
Don’t ignore what you need to explore:

CHORUS 2
If you have eyes, then look!
Fossils and history –
Not precariously!
Look for the landscape clues –
Don’t sink like lead
And don’t dig over your head.
Watch how the wildlife lives –
But don’t get a jellyfish caught
In your hair or your shorts…
Look for the safety signs!
And in an emergency,
999’s what you dial –
Always dial 999.

Written, performed and produced by
Timo Peach, the bloke from Momo:tempo

And if you’d like to download the track for free, to drive your family mad in the car on the way to the beach, you can find it right here:

The World Jazz Jamboree is a sweatbox success

Hosting Jazz By The Sea Festival’s celebration of global musical influences for his second year, the bloke from Momo got to meet five acts across one swealtering day in June, in Lighthouse Poole’s Sherling Studio. But, getting more involved with the festival this year, Mr Peach admits that at one point the finale show demanded a little extra creative thinking – producing a few additional sweats.

A week of music across Bournemouth and Poole in the heart of the south coast. That was the aim of the third year of the Bournemouth Jazz Festival – rebranding in 2017 to Jazz By The Sea. And what a week it was, with some forty venues hosting all manner of bands and music, exploring the broad spectrum of jazz. From headline names and spaces, such as James Taylor Quartet at Mr Kyps, Incognito at Canvas and Radio 2’s Clare Teal in Lighthouse Poole’s concert hall, to a wealth of talent from the area popping up in music venues, bars and cafés almost everywhere, it seemed. Swing, blues, beats and bebop and consumate improv chops on display at every turn. Tom Gwyther even spent five days driving a jazzmobile around town, stopping for regular lunchtime recitals at Bournemouth University and showcasing musical skills from the branded back of a truck.

And as a bit of a finale to the sunshine-filled week, Timo Peach was invited to host this year’s selection of names to bring musical flavours and heritage together from around the world, The World Jazz Jamboree. And it signalled a deeper involvement in the festival for him this year.

“I really enjoyed meeting new names to me at last year’s Jambo,” he says, “and I felt drawn to accept the team’s kind invitation to join them in putting together the 2017 festival. It just seemed like a natural thing for Momo to help encourage.”

 

JAZZ BIG BRAND, BABY

Although public duties would take Mr Peach to the stage as host, creative energies for this year he restricted to brand developmental, rather than musical, with Momo:typo shaping the new logo, messaging and outline campaign for Jazz By The Sea.

“I’d love to bring the Momo:tempo Electro Pops Orchestra’s new line-up to the festival, ” he grins, ” but this year didn’t seem like the right moment for this, for me. You can spread yourself too thin with excitement. Or I certainly can. With other work in development in the studio, I’ve yet to put the wheels back on the live shebang for Momo, and it felt more the thing to help shape a new visual chapter for the festival – a fun opportunity to help the team take the vibe of the week up a notch. A great invitation to make a new name for itself with, well, a new name! Building nicely on the success of the first two years. It was an invitation I couldn’t resist from Gerry.”

Founder Gerry Clarke spearheaded the formulation of the third year, drawing on a rich network of south coast based musical talent and unearthing some gems from out of town, Timo reflects.

“Gerry is the engine of the festival and brings a lifetime of entrepreneurial energy to it. And this year really tapped into the network of venues and musicians to bring a growing sense of shared party across town.”

The visual vibe drew deliberately on the most obvious references – Blue Note-style LP covers. And for the press launch in March, the team produced 12″ folders and content.

“Well, press launches should be fun. And I had a hunch everyone would love the big record format,” says Timo. “And this is a still fairly new jazz festival. I felt the thing to nail clearly was that tone – a classy but graphic sense of jazz. It helps to place people unambiguously and build a basic sense of qualification to build on and play with in coming years. Not unlike writing a score – help people feel just what’s going on before you begin to subvert the story. And what’s going on, is jazz, baby.”

 

WORLD ARTISTS, MAN

“And then there is the World Jazz Jamboree – and once again, I got to be a kid in a sweet shop. ..And also, for a little while there, a grown-up in a sweat box.”

Moving to Lighthouse Poole for 2017, the Jamboree took place in a setting that all musicians subsequently loved playing. Although one of the artists in particular did earn a bit of a story out of the experience, as Timo explains.

“In the heatwave of this week’s weather, we not only tested the comfort of the wonderful but un-airconned Sherling Studio, we had traffic challenges before folk even arrived” he grimmaces,” which for a host could be a worrying development. The M3 motorway was allegedly closed for some of the morning and then… well, then our early evening name had his band half marooned by buckled train tracks.”

Cuban Violinist and composer Omar Puente was due to bring songs from his ecclectic and deeply personal new LP, Best Foot Forward. Due to open the two evening sessions, following the infectious township grooves of incredibly local band Thokazile Collective, the lyrically summery Brazillian perfection of Mônica Vasconcelos and the almost Morriconesque interpretations of Gianni Berengo Gardin’s beautiful photography from Tommaso Starace, who opened the Jamboree at lunchtime, the 7.00pm artist arrived with two of his bandmates, but missing three others.

“‘They are stuck in a tunnel’ Omar said to me,” recalls Timo.

“‘Where?’ I asked. ‘Southampton’ he replied. ‘This is an hour away at least from Poole’ I rejoined blithely ‘and you’re on in an hour.’ He looked at me just as calmly and said: ‘We’ll make something work.'”

Making something work meant opening the session a little late and then creatively filling while Mssrs Peach and Clarke fielded telephoned assurances that the rest of the lineup were on their way.

“We had keen audiences for the five shows of the Jambo,” says Timo, “and they were queuing in the hallway ready for the doors to open. So I had to jovially inform them of progress periodically before we committed to admission and Omar went on with just lead singer Caroline and very well furnished percussionist Flava. But I introduced them as a live example of ‘building a band’ and made a sort of thing out of it. They then made showmanship pluckily until I could swan in and theatrically introduce the bassist, drummer and guitarist, fresh from the taxi. By the end of their set, the crowd were on their feet and stomping along.”

“I never broke a sweat about it” Mr Peach concludes.

 

With the much loved global dub of Soothsayers finishing the day with tight brass and vocals highlighting thoughtful global worldview over their big summer grooves, the World Jazz Jamboree was a fitting send off to the Jazz By The Sea Festival 2017. And responses across social media and the press resound it as a success to build on again next year.

“I loved being part of the set up of the festival and getting to meet who I did was wonderful. Idris and the Sooths were as impressive to finally hear live as I’d heard they’d be – they arrange such a strong but interesting sound with sax, horn and three-part vocals over the big backline talents, but it’s their commitment to challenging perceptions of the world that really elevates their skills beyond the party. And Monica’s sound was a creative delight for a summer afternoon. We ran out of her CDs – best pal Julian nobly gave his up for an audience member having travelled internationally to join me for the music. While Omar was a true showman across his creative versitility and meeting Caroline and Flava from his group was, like everyone in the Sherling that sweaty summer day, an inspiration of professionalism.”

“Dropping into some of my favourite venues during the week where I could was great also, like Sixty Million Postcards for a little homecoming set from the mighty talent Mutant Vinyl and the joyfull cabaret fun of Bomo Swing at Chaplins Cellar Bar. To say nothing of bobbing about on the jazz boat in a dazzling summer afternoon in Poole Harbour on the final Sunday afternoon, so my sincere thanks must go to Gerry and to all of my team mates at the fest for making such super musical memories for me and many.”

“And I deliberately took Tommaso’s Italian Short Stories and a couple of Soothsayers LPs with me with me to embed into my holiday memories around Europe the week after. In a summer full of grim stories in the UK, I am reminded of the power of inclusive creative events and music to lift the soul. A pleasure to be a part of it. And I think what it reminded me most of all was the sheer wealth of musical skill and heart in my home town – there is a live jazz night somewhere almost every day of every week here, and it showed during Jazz By The Sea again. Just think of a band like Dan Somogy’s Thokazile Collective – it’s a bit of a supergroup of folk from musical life locally, but they sound like they are from the whole world.”

“We were even approached by local jazz supermind Bob Hill from The Illicit Grooves Radio Show to run his own Grooves On The Fringe fest all week concurrently, warming up for Incognito at Canvas and DJing whole nights elsewhere each evening. Imagine if we could book some of his favourite artists live for next year? Here’s to the 2018 party, I say.”

WATCH MOMO MEET TOMMASO STARACE AT THE WORLD JAZZ JAMBOREE:

 

WATCH MOMO MEET MONICA VASCONCELOS AT THE WORLD JAZZ JAMBOREE:

 

MO THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU: looking forward and tickling up the brand.

 

A brand new chapter, a brand new visual brand language. Much of the old mucking about – but all of it pointing forward for new times with Momo.

 

Is it finally time? The bloke from Momo seems to think so. “Time to begin revealing what I and others have been up to with Momo – though this is just a beginning,” he says. “The beginning of the future.”

Transforming the visual of an idiosyncratic music project like Momo:tempo might afford lots of room for play, you might think. But as Bournemouth creative Timo Peach says, you’ve always got to stay true to your identity.

“Momo’s previous style was a truthful expression of this daft creative musical world I live in. Momo:tempo in the Thespionage years sounded especially spy-caper somewhere in the mix, and it was a fab little world to inhabit. But since then, I’ve been turning my attention forward – and working on a project that may be an even more truthful expression of all that I love” he says.

“We won’t be revealing the project itself for a month or so yet, but much has been happening behind the scenes,” he explains “and the new look unveiled today is the first expression of its tone and attitude. We’re heading towards the future with Momo in all manner of ways – and there’s an awful lot to come.”

But keeping the right tone is still a balancing act?

“For sure. Momo is playful, and I’m a slightly goofy Englishman abroad as a character in the middle of it,” he says, “and broadly this will never change. So all that we developed here has to still keep a good twinkle in its eye. But Momo is perhaps as much an art project as it is a musical one, and all my wider creative work seems to be bleeding past its borders more and more as I go on.”

“I love the idea of exploring the space between the dancefloor, the cabaret theatre and the gallery. And this is where we start.”

 

 

Support and development.

Developing and building beneath the surface is long time friends and Createful art director, Toby Pestridge. “And he’s  developed a lovely set of tools under the bonnet to use. I’m really looking forward to using it more” says Timo.

“We’re about to roll out a new Mercato shop – built as we speak but being shaken down. Which is going to be so super to build up things – have loads of ideas for posters and tees, over time. But I suppose the thing I’m most looking forward to is developing my relationship with my family of amigos, and seeing it grow. I think we can have some adventures together with the new work and I think it’s going to get them ALMOST as excited as I am about it.”

“For now, this is just the beginning. Of an adventure bigger than I’ve dared try before. I’m a long way from shore in my little ship this year, redirecting everything that Momo is. But I’m loving the direction we’re heading, at least. Let me know when the water biscuits run out and we’re all at sea for real, won’t you…”

Life’s A Pitch

The popular south coast creative scene podcast opened its second season with the bloke from Momo, asking him what on earth he thought art was. At least, they got an answer to this question, whatever it was they asked.

 

When Nabil and Viraj  asked Timo to join Life’s A Pitch, our man was chuffed – for he would be joining some real alumni from the central south agency landscape, most of whom know what they’re talking about to inspiring degree, while Mr Peach is ‘just a bloke in a shed’. Thankfully, the boys are interested in all manner of creative experiences as their developing series explores what it means in the twenty teens to be working as a professional maker and communicator.

The results here are a glimpse into the wider creative world of Momo and you can judge for youself if you get any more out of it than Bob the alien.

CURSING THE FUTURE: Coping with now in twenty C-words

 

When Momo was invited to close the inaugural Open Sauce in October last year, he decided to hint at things to come, addressing some ideas that are driving his next big project.

It involved, uncharacteristically for him, writing and learning word-for-word a very exact performance – for the successful south coast ideas networking event formats its speakers into Pecha Kucha-style delivery – twenty slides of twenty seconds each, timed.

The result was something special, though as the accompanying article below, written for the Open Sauce magazine on the night, sets out, Timo Peach himself hardly considers himself an obvious hero for change.

 

Living on the edge of tomorrow.

Music artist, wordist and creative, Timo Peach – the bloke from Momo:tempo – has been thinking about the shape of the future. And is trying to work out how to cope with it.

“I think, for me, this is a start. Nothing more impressive. Certainly not a conclusion of any kind. Just a dim awareness of a beginning in a restless fug. Much like the end of Farming Today when my radio alarm first goes off. It makes no sense, but I’m pretty sure something’s going on in a field somewhere, so frighteningly early the stars are still out.

I thought I had thought about the future a fair bit since being in the present. Grew up drawing spaceships as instinctively as drawing at all, and I know I speak for a chorus of other nerds when I say that all our spaceship fantasies are long overdue now, thanks. I think this has something to do with expectations. The sort that come from stories I grew up with. We all grew up with. That came from the culture their writers were also born into – a sort of industrious confidence, even questionable arrogance, that still has the power to make me say “OOooh…” at the news that our nearest foreign star, Proxima Centauri, has an Earth-like planet in it’s ‘Goldilocks zone’, a tantilising mere 40trillion kilometres away. I mean, surely that’s not so far if we really put our minds to it?

Last summer, the first glimmer of an idea dawned on me. As this idea for my next grand artistic endeavour began to take shape on scribbled layout pads around the studio, I began to really think about the future. And quickly began to realise that I’d never really thought it through properly before. Because, if I had, I might not want to think about it ever again.

STAR TREK, OR ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK?
I don’t mean thinking about how I really should have done something about a pension by now. I mean that futurey future – trying to predict exactly when my robot manservant will be clever enough to do the hoovering and the dishes and cheap enough so that an indolent chump like me can afford one but still stoopid enough not to suddenly twig its life would be much more logically efficient with me efficiently dead. Oh, wait. ..Isn’t that right now?

The future is a minefield. With numbers and concepts to boggle the mind. Think about bots and bio engineering for too long and you begin to wonder where our humanity will be, not long from now.

But, hang on, you might say – where is our humanity now? Doesn’t today have enough worries of its own? Tomorrow will take care of itself. And it’s true, you wise sausage, we don’t need to fret about the impending singularity to break out in a cold sweat and wrap our hazmat suits in duck tape. Who can understand all we are connected to already, like a human flood over Cornflakes? Who could ever do emotional justice to each single news item in one day, today? At what swipe count am I officially a bad person? And will it be obvious on Facebook?

Coping with the present, with more than empty bad language, is challenge enough. I tend to feel a bit useless every day, in some way. But tomorrow is being shaped by the echoes of today. Which means we all need to think about the story we are collectively writing already. ..Awkward silence.

This is, in fact, the point I’ve come to – that we sort of already are in that conversation, at least in the background radiation of our culture. Because those fearsome concepts of the future aren’t, well, alien to us any more. Creative imagineers have long started our collective therapy, helping us prepare for various frankly terrifying possibilities that those sickos have dreamt up and we are probably now developing. So now we’re all armed with at least a basic understanding of some fairly far-out concepts. Soon to be all too close to home.

It surely means that you and I, plugged into the future as we are right now in such an unprecedented way, can properly start talking about the practical roadmap for tomorrow. You and me. So that we can as clear-headedly as possible work out where the hell we ought to have been starting from by now in the first place.

SILENT RUNNING OR THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY?
Exploring a creative business life remarkably loose at the defining boundaries, Momo has taught me one thing if anything: I’m no data pin-up. I can’t exactly boast of numbers or names. No grand figures on the CV in any respect. Nothing to light up a spreadsheet or a Wiki page. Which could even mean that in the digital future of right now, I don’t even properly exist. Round-downable to zero, you might say. I’m behind you.

If only my ‘green footprint’ were so insignificant. At the ‘sensible’ end of my business spectrum, Momo:Typo, working as designer, copywriter and art director in various brand development projects in one or two nice spots around the planet over the years, I’ve found myself alongside clients that, if I stood up and listed them as sectors and businesses at Radical Progressives Club, it might sound like a confessional. A bit of a rogues’ gallery. Property developers. Estate agents. Financial advisors. Plastics companies. Military test equipment engineers. And, y’know. Advertising agencies.

However. What this has instilled in me, as a reasonably hapless jobbing arty type, is that there’s no simple template to change the world. When I think of those sectors, I can’t simply write them off from some lofty idealised distance. Because I don’t just think of my new kitchen. I think of particular people.

The financial firm founder who’s quick wit drives a successful business as much as it drives his encouragement of humanity in the numbers. The friends in the Gulf who make me want to pull up my own socks in my attitude to professionalism and a certain reverent responsibility in their work. All the estate agents I know who found a local spot and committed to its community over decades. And all the ad men and women who also count among my most inspiring and clever chums, daily making business and art work together. Whatever the real world challenges and indeed compromises of doing what they all do, they’re individuals doing their best. Adding something. Making stuff. Alongside me. Here on Earth now.

It’s no good being asked for directions and replying: “Well, I wouldn’t start from here.” We can’t secretly hope to be the people of Golgafrincham, devising a plan for losing the less worthy sounding jobs to a giant space ark. Our only pragmatic future is an inclusive one.

EX MACHINA OR AVATAR?
What we do next will come down to two motivators, as ever. Context and consciousness: What we’re born into, and what inborn instincts keep pulsing up inside each of us. Us floppy, saggy, squelchy bags of fluids and bones who are native apes to the planet Earth and whose damn-fool ideas change things. Damn-fool ideas put in our heads by one thing: stories.

None of these complex factors did you or I have a jot of say in. We were just teleported into the mix of it. What we do with that mix, however… perhaps that’s where we have a jot of say. ..And how we share what we do. Now that might be how we get more than a jot of say in the shape of a highly network-ised future.

Is everything in the fearsome cauldron of Now really just our species trying to come to terms with who and what it really is? That we’re not the machines or holy statues we always thought we should be. In the future, our sense of identity may be the only true wealth we’ll be left with – or need. We might even be okay. If we face the future not with a daft, pyrotechnic fantasy of flying away but on something honest. On what we are. On our humanity.

Standing up for that is going to define the next chapter of our evolution, and the shape of our planet and our natural environment. And for me, trying to help it – while still staring out at the stars – might just finally feel like a start. The fuggy, very beginning, of an awakening. That’s only possibly rude.”

—-

 

Timo Peach’s Open Sauce  talk:

”CURSING THE FUTURE:
Coping with Now in 20 C-words.
Bournemouth music artist, wordist and creative Timo Peach is a little peeved at the whole end of the world thing – even though it might be a great time for some creative language.”

GLIMPSING INTO THE OBSERVATIONARIUM – a one-off new installation

As south coast arts hub Lighthouse Poole reopened after a refit, it asked Associate Artist Hazel Evans to produce a little installation to celebrate, at the end of November – and she chose to create a pocket experience of a key part of her musical project with Momo, Adventures Into The Monochronium.

 

The finale to the musical spin-off of Hazel Evans’ 2012 exhibition was a piece that wordlessly evoked some mysterious, melifluous climax to an uncertain narrative about the black and white world of the Monochronium – The Observationarium, written by Timo from Momo:tempo. But, as different aspects of the implied story have since been explored further – such as Hazel’s 2014 installation at the Shelley Theatre, The Ink Mountains – the real goings on in this rich fantasy world seem to keep wanting to come out and become clearer. At least, this is what Mr Peach has observed in his work with Hazel in the years since they completed the original project together.

“It always felt like a beginning of an adventure, not a completion” he says. “It certainly felt like the beginning of a recurring partnership, and rather proved to be so,” he adds, “but Adventures itself… I just knew Hazel would come back to it. And The Observationarium installation is just one of the ways we’ll be peeking deeper into the magical mysteries of this abounding inner landscape of hers.”

 

JOURNEYS, LANDSCAPES, STORIES
With so many projects and workshops explored in her work as a performance illustrator, Hazel Evans can be comfortably referred to as colourful. Her own creative journey could be described even more overtly like a pilgrimage than many contemporary artists who might use the word, employing words and verse around marks and illustrations and use of her own physicality and character to develop recurring themes of exploration and progression and a certain searching in her storytelling. So it’s obvious that in its self conscious restriction to black and white tones Adventures Into The Monochronium is saying something. The banishing of explosive pigments from its every character and scene is unlikely to be through creative timidity. But what drives her back to it – and why illustrate the final chapter of it in a new installation?

“I am in constant relationship with this beautiful dance of life between inner and outer worlds” Hazel says, “and Adventures is a very personal inner landscape to explore. It has led me as much as I have led it.”

But where that landscape has been hinted at, revealed in part, suggested, in the collaborative pieces Hazel has expressed it through so far, there is something more clarifying in development – a full musical with Momo.

“The story just kept coming back to me, and more and more of what I have been exploring instinctively through it seemed to suggest more and more detail. So Timo and I spent some time last summer scribbling on a big layout pad around the story, while I found the writing of a complete storybook really beginning to flow again.”

Mr Peach elaborates: “Every time Hazel read more sections of the details of the different chapters of Adventures to me and to our partners – both of whom are almost as familiar as we are with the original recordings – we all just said… wow. It’s so rich. It makes so much sense. And it just has to become a full musical. So this summer, we made a start on first sessions exploring a full narrative.”

The Observationarium, however, was a chance to go back to one of the pair’s favourite pieces from the project.

“If I’m honest,” says Timo, “it’s one of the pieces of music I’m most proud of. Inspired by such an evocative moment in Hazel’s remarkable story. Getting to explore this tonal world again a little, and to expand it out into an ambience, a sonic environment, was a little joy. The Observationarium is a magical, mythical structure in my mind, but I now know more of the pivotal events that take place within it, and of its back story. And I can tell you, it too is not a completion, but a beginning…”


Enjoy the Observationarium Ambience here >

WHEN MOMO MET OOMAN & MOOF

 

Nickelodeon’s new animated short has Mr Peach tuning up his jungle drums to follow the charming, colourful prehistoric action.

 

When illutrator Benedict Bowen invited Momo:tempo to join him and Karrot Entertainment in the swampy everglades and ignious plains of ancient Earth, none of them had much of a clue whether the bloke from Bournemouth could score a cartoon. Or get inside the mind of a young caveboy and his best mate, a baby woolly mammoth. ..Well, and you’re there already – turns out, this was not going to be a problem. Especially with such a beautifully drawn world to explore.

“My absolute favourite board game from Christmases past was called Lost Valley Of The Dinosaurs. It evoked a kind of cartoon sense of adventure from the mines of old King Solomon himself, or something – larva flows and swamps and terrible lizards and lost gold” says Timo. “The very opening frame of Ben’s animatic, sent over to me from the chaps at Karrot a couple of years ago, had me instantly transported back to that tabletop reverie. It was an immediate, single-image trigger for me to want to dive right in.”

Ooman & Moof is written for young children. Those just about to start school, in fact, so the storytelling had to be almost completely straight. An interesting audience to write for, in any sense.

“Ben was clear on the way Nickelodeon wanted to target the tone to those who’s humour is largely slapstick and friendly. But I think we all felt that the best way to talk to, well, anyone – but also littler humans – is honestly from the idea. If we found that prehistoric world kind of gorgeous and evocative, anyone might. All we had to do was not clutter up the experience for them.”

Was this a challenge to turn into music?

“Nah,” grins Timo. “Cute little tunes is essentially just what I do. The thing for this was to make it sound in some way like animal skins and bits of bone are in the mix, even while we allow a kind of bouncy bright coloured production. The point is the same on anything I get to tackle – can I make something the audience will love that I will also want to put in a Momo live set? And the theme to Ooman & Moof? You freaking bet!”

And writer and production team seemed pleased with the result. As Ben says “Can’t praise Timo enough. He came out of nowhere with that first mix and nailed it!”

“It was a pleasure working with such positive people in such a beautiful little pocket universe,” responds Timo. “A wonderful little glimpse at making something for the little adventurers in us all.”

OPEN SAUCE – PEERING FORWARD

The bloke from Momo is speaking. How is this news. Well, surprisingly, he’s been invited to share ‘something’ at the brand new ideas initiative from Think Create Do – and whatever it is he’s going to say to a room full of like-minded explorers, he’d better make it snappy.

Open Sauce is the latest brainchild of Matt Desmier – digital ambassador and founder of Silicon Beach, She Who Dares Wins and many other creative conferences in the UK south. And as he says, “the aim is to create an inclusive event.” One of the most inclusive aspects of the format undoubtedly turning out to be watching the invited speakers sweat over a timed pecha kucha-style presentation – 20 slides of 20 seconds each.

“A PLACE FOR PEOPLE OF ALL WALKS OF LIFE TO CONNECT, LEARN AND SHARE.”

No one likes the word Networking. It either implies a more boring version of speed dating over business cards or possibly a lot of tangled cables. Either way, Open Sauce aims to be different. And the inclusion of Momo’s own Timo Peach in the proceedings may help this aspect of the event. The question is, a little too much?

“When Matt asked me to consider talking, I did wonder who the hell would pay to hear me babble. And about what, for goodness sake?” Timo says. “I am famously this unqualified bloke in a shed, not an expert or representitive of something really blooming clever and interesting. ..My entire back catalogue of music not withstanding, of course…” he smirks typically.

But that seems to be part of the goal of Matt and the team from Think Create Do. They even use the word ‘fun’ in their blurb about the upcoming night at favourite Bournemouth night spot Canvas, explaining that Open Sauce is for “anyone and everyone to come along” hoping that they will leave “having been inspired by the exciting, interesting and novel speakers”. Which means Momo might at least provide some entertainment.

“That I can usually find a way to do” Mr Peach confirms. “And timing the talk as a pecha kucha sort of turns it into more of a performance – it’ll feel a bit more like a spoken word piece.  But crikey, it also puts the pressure on to do something uncharacteristic for me… get it right.”

“EXPECT TO BE SURPRISED AND ENTERTAINED…” AND WORRIED?

So what can the first Open Sauce audience expect from Momo’s 6min40sec?

“Confusion” he says.

“And in the middle of it, a first idea of what I’ve been working on over the last year. I’ll be peering forward a bit. But the official title of my talk is: Cursing the future: Coping with now in 20 C-words. It just feels like a time for some colourful language.”

“But don’t worry,” he adds, “we won’t be raising money via a swearbox.”

If you fancy being in that exclusive audience and being among the very first to hear what colourful language comes next from Momo, you might want to try to bag the very last tickets still available on Eventbrite here.

 

MOMO SCORES KNIGHTFALL

THE PROOF OF CONCEPT TRAILER TO RAMPAGE STUDIOS’ EPIC SWORDS AND SORCERY ODDITY SEES MR PEACH WHEELING OUT SOME BIG 80s FANTASY SOUNDTRACK LOVE – AND WIELDING A LITTLE MORE THAN A DIGITAL BATON.

Knightfall is a fantasy action feature in development by director, Ben Campbell. And as Momo amigos will know well, Ben and Momo:tempo have a long working relationship, through TV, short films and other corporate creative collaborations. So when he asked Timo Peach to join in with first musical development for a full length movie, Momo was never going to say no.

“Benny had kindly let me see a draft of the script early on,” says Timo. “And I loved it. Just the simple A-to-B of the action, set in the darkest woods of fantasy, seemed like a big romp of film making to be part of. Then when Ben said he wanted to make this score more overtly electronic, I was hooked.”

Following a misfit band of knights as they attempt to bring the heavily pregnant Princess Ivy back to her father for a healthy ransom, Knightfall throws up all manner of fowl creatures and violent n’er-do-wells in the writhing depths of Oublié Forest. Swords spark, limbs fly and blood splashes as the music of Momo:tempo roots the action in a very synthesised, vintage fantasy kind of wry drama.

“Ben and I explored a lot together. Lots of music worked through the many cuts as we wrestled with the possibilities of this slightly odd beast of a concept together, trying things out. Music does so much to set tone, and in a proof of concept cut like this, getting a very self-posessed tone bang on is essential to, well, winning funding to make the full film!” Mr Peach smiles.

For the trailer did indeed pack a feature’s worth of ideas and cast into just four days of filming, in October 2015. An intense shoot to introduce the whole world of Knightfall to a potential audience… that included a day’s visit from Mr Peach himself. And, in the end rather conspicuously.

He grins. “Yes. My dear friend Benny actually offered me an acting part. One that involved over five hours of makeup and some heavy over acting. And a heavy sword. I can’t thank him enough for one of the funnest days of work of my life.”

To see if you can spot the results of that day’s ‘work’ for yourself:
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR KNIGHTFALL NOW

And watch a little behind the scenes action with Mr Peach himself:
SEE TIMO PEACH ON SET PREPARE TO BE THE DAMNED KNIGHT LEADER

KNIGHTFALL NEEDS FUNDING. EXPLORE THE WORLD OF OUBLIÉ FOREST NOW:
KNIGHTFALLFILM.COM

TWO FEET TALL IS A FILM AUDIENCE FAVOURITE

DIRECTOR ANDY ROBINSON’S UNIQUE NEW SHORT IS SELECTED FOR PLYMOUTH FILM FESTIVAL, AND WINS THE AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD FOR THE WEEKEND. FEATURING A SCORE BY MOMO:TEMPO.

When Momo was approached to score a film that follows a character whose voice we never hear and whose face we never see, he might have wondered just how its director would tell a story that anyone understands enough to care about. But given that the director was friend and former collaborator Andy Robinson, Momo had no doubts.

“As soon as Andy described the premise to me, I was hooked,” says Mr Peach. “And I just knew it would be the sort of film that he of all people could make work beautifully.”

Devon-based filmmaker Robinson is an award-winning writer/director whose previous films include Exeter’s first independently-produced feature film, The Forewarning, and the short science-fiction drama, Neil, which won Best South West Film at the Plymouth International Film Festival, as well as the widely acclaimed unofficial Doctor Who short Seasons of War – the project he and Momo:tempo had first collaborated on.

The idea for Two Feet Tall was from writer and photographer Wend Baker. “It was at a meeting of Shooting People, the Devon filmmakers network, that Wend mentioned that she’d amassed a large collection of shoes, each with its own distinct personality” says Andy, “and she wondered: What would a day-in-the-life of a pair of shoes look like?”

As a result, Two Feet Tall takes a modern fairytale back to the roots of cinema – silent movies. “Without the capability of recording sound, the silent stars were much more reliant on their body as well as face to convey emotion” says Andy. “Our lead actress, Becky, really taps into this – you can feel her character’s personality radiate from her performance. I worked with Becky previously on Seasons of War, and that was totally about face and voiceover. Here, we were at the other extreme!”

Andy also turned to Seasons’ composer, Momo:tempo, whose score reflects the film’s mixed tone of modern oddity and thoughtful romance.

“Once those rushes first came back, I knew Andy had made a very him film, which was just what I was hoping – a played-straight emotional piece with poised sincerity. Unfussily clever” says Timo. “What came to my mind musically was something that could combine the oddly modernist, with a quirky intimacy but a romantic lift. A simple pallet of sounds that wouldn’t get in the way, given the music is on screen all through the running time, but which could add an affectionate weirdness. Andy says he wasn’t expecting it, but fell for it.”

Another score brought to life by Realstrings‘ Pete Whitfield and cellist Simon Lockyer. “It’s just a two-part violin score plus cello, where the more human sound of strings features,” Timo explains, “and I knew my regular violin and cello talents would help me wonderfully with the delivery of the pieces. I love the end result.”

Of course, making a film that takes place entirely at ground-level can have an odd effect on a director’s world-view. “For the duration of filming I became a bit obsessed with looking at people’s feet when in the street” says Andy. “Then in the run up to filming the sequence that takes place around a puddle, I would find myself stopping in the middle of the street and staring at any gathering of rainwater. I and our practical effects man Tony Apps became a bit of an expert on puddle formation.”

Two Feet Tall is currently only available to watch on request privately, while it does the rounds of other film festivals. Sign up to the Momo mailing list to watch it and follow the official Twitter page for updates.