Cheryl Beer

Cheryl Beer
Award Winning Creative Director making social change through the mediums of sound, story & mantra

Monday, 23 July 2012

Studio Days, Puppies & PJ's

How utterly and gorgeously fabulous to have this opportunity to use my studio for ME!!!
I know it sounds ridiculous but I quite honestly can not recall the last time that I was in my studio with an engineer with enough time to experiement and get comfortable. If I record my stuff usually it will be inbetween or slipped in after other people's work, community work, favours.

My Individual Mainline Grant has enbaled me to take the time to sketch songs in the studio which means I can carefully think about which musicians I want to join me on this creative journey ...

It enables me to have an Engineer to work with
on my own material!

And most importantly it gives me the luxury of sitting crossed legged on the floor of my studio, with my uke and my puppy, still in my PJ's getting down my ideas.

In these shots we're recording 'Mad Man' which is the track based in St.David's when Dafydd our main character will be stumbling to the Cathedral for guidance.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Contemporary Dance Film Shoot at Bishop's Palace, St.David's Cathedral, Cultural Olympiad

As part of the Cultural Olympiad,
LegaC Contemporary Dancers with
Arts Care Gofal Celf
had a site rehearsal on the day of the Event.

They had already invited me to film them and use some of the footage for my production as a film scape, but the weather kept filming at bay.

You can read in my earlier blog telling how we ended up in Whitland Town Hall!

 But on the day of the Cultural Olympiad Launch the sunshine kissed St.David's beautifully.

Bishop's Palace came alive.

However, it was very hard for me to get any film footage that I could use for my production because ...

People were wearing plain clothes, or walking across me .. it was their reheasrsal and so I decided to stay in the background.

Even so, I haven't been through all my film footage yet ... but I'm sure I will be able to get some amazing shots on slow motion.

This piece on the stairs was absolutely stunning  on film. Everyone had gargoyle masks on.

The section where the dancers caught the wind and danced with their wings looked amazing on film .. bit harder to catch with stills though!

Look how dance fills everyone with joy!

Afterwards, back stage, I did manage to get some AWESOME film footage asking dancers to do specific things, but they were exhausted and resting for their performance, so I only filmed them if they felt able.

Arts Care Gofal Celf Dance Co-ordinator,
Laura Hackett, asked me to take a few informal shots back stage.

'Cauldrons and Furnaces'

And then LUNCH!

Or filming for Chez, ME ...
This little lad will represent our character
Dafydd as a child.

The hat and scarf travel through films with the walking stick.

Others did what dancers do when they are relaxing! Head Stands off course! lol!

The girls sat chatting ...

... or snoozing

It was very touching to watch some of the dancers supporting each other with extra rehearsals.

And then onto the business of making oneself blend into the stone  ...

The Bishop's Palace.

These are the 39 Steps ...
I need to film my character Dafydd crawling up these steps! This is where I want to bring actor,  Simon Morgan Thomas
when we have good weather. 

Oh and I must show you these Bell Ringers who were absolutely wonderful.

I'm thinking they could record a piece with me to signify the bells ringing at the bottom of Cardigan Bay as part of the opening piece: The Legend of the Lost Lowlands. I spoke to the leader and hopefully she will email me.

Meanwhile in town, the streets were absolutely packed with procession and pilgrimage.

On my way home I stopped off at the beach to watch a kite fly across the blue ...

And to sneak one of nature's trinkets into my pocket to remind me of my wonderfully creative day ...

 Thank you Arts Care Gofal Celf
LegaC Contemporary Dancers
& all the wonderful team!

What Fun!

If you want to join a dance class,
or you want to get involved in ANY community arts in Carmarthenshire or Pembrokeshire,
why not contact Arts Care Gofal Celf.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Dylan Thomas Street Dance

I had really hoped to film the street dancers in the sea, I had them kicking up the crest of a wave, but this June must have been the rainiest one ever!
So I decided the day before to rustle up a contingency. I thought the Amusement Arcade would be an interesting location but the manager was having none of it.

Then I called my lovely frned Annie Haden
at The Dylan Thomas Birth House,
Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive.

She didn't hestitate!

'Annie, I need a favour love,'


I went up to Penlan through the council estate to the youth centre to pick up the dancers who were all waiting patiently.

What a lovely bunch of people!

And Martin Kurina who is the 17 year old running the dance troop as a volunteer to 'make a difference within the community'
is an absolute star!

I'm not entirely how sure how to fit this new venue into the production.

I'll just have to change the story line around and link onto the end of the Dylan Thomas Trail song .... Mr Blueface ....

Mmm will have a thinkette!

What a very special thing indeed to be the Director who brought Street Dance to Dylan's doorstep. I'm certain he would have LOVED it!

New, edgey, out there genre,
youth fired, wired and inspired.

It warmed my heart that the young people were asking Annie loads of questions and were genuinely interested in his life.

I stood filming them in what we know was Dylan's bedroom and it felt so outside the box I forgot that there even used to be one!

THANKYOU Martin Kurina, Penlan Youth Service, Annie Haden & Dylan Thomas!

THANKYOU Arts Council of Wales for my Individual Mainline Grant.


Ukulele Shed Heads!

What an AMAZING afternoon we all had at
The Tin Shed Experience in Laugharne.

30 people turned up in total.

Some from ukulele courses, some from Swansea Ukulele Group ...

and some I have never met before!

Mostly everyone came dressed in the outfits!

They looked absolutely fabulous.

There were points when I thought to myself that I couldn't believe that we were all there.

I had drawn a picture in my head that I could see as a projection in the production and now here we were, in The Tin Shed Experience 1940's Museum, all strumming my song, Mr Blueface.

Mr Blueface is about the Dylan Thomas Trail and how I keep seeming to bump into him ...

It was genuinely moving to see so many people playing my song, that I haven't even finished recording yet!

I sung it live in draft, so that they at least had an idea of the melody.

Then everyone went for it!

Rob and Ollie are father and son.

When I caught eye of them playing football before we started filming, I almost cried.

They look so beautiful together.

In the group filming I was very gentle with them. I didn't want to shine the bright head lamps on them, but once we got into the tin cottage I could sense that Ollie was more comfortable, so I started gentley directing them.

Everyone was brilliant, but I have to say that the folks from Swansea Ukulele Group looked the business and I would seriously consider asking 4 or 5 of the lads if they would be up for perfroming with my for the production. We shall see!

Seimon Pugh Jones took the stills shoot for me, which I thought was so incredibley kind because I would never have been cheeky enough to ask when they were already kind enough to let me bring everyone.

Our 'arrangement' for the use of the venue is a barter. I like these. They gave me the venue and I have agreed to help organise their line up for a live music event next year.

I think in the old days when bartering like this was how people got by, it brought people closer together and actually fosters a real sense of community.

All of these stills here (except the Father & Son playing footie) on this post are from Seimon's shoot.

Aren't they absolutely gorgeous.

You can book a shoot too!

It's how the Tin Shed manages to stay afloat without outside funding the photo shoots and venue hire enables this team of passionate people to bring their collection the community.

Think about it, where better to have a Retirement Party or an Anniversay Celebration, a Themed Wedding or a Divorce Shin dig!

The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress on their days off, happen to be ukulele players and lovers of folk music, they run a Folk Train from Llanelli to Ammanford on a regular basis which ends up humming and strumming in the pub!

Why not have a look on my facebook to link up with them.

BIG THANKYOU to Meinir Min Evans. It is becasue she held out a reaching  hand of friendship that I visited The Tin Shed Experience in the first place just a few weeks ago!

Also, thank you Min for your beautiful cakes and serving up afternoon tea for everyone.

The Tin Shed Experience is an authentic 1940's family team. Matthew on Marketing and Communications, Andrew owns the buildings, Seimon the Collection, everyone pitches in ... all the families, girlfriends, children. Just like it would have been way back then!

I am definitely a SHED HEAD!!