Q: If you didn’t become a musician/songwriter/producer, what would you be doing right now and why?
BAY BRYAN: I think in an alternative universe I would have chased the dream of becoming a professional athlete. I grew up playing football (soccer where I grew up) and that was a major part of my life for nearly 10 years —all year round: club seasons fall & winter, indoor during the winter, tournaments during the summer.
Q: Scoring an instrumentalist from the BBC Philharmonic is an impressive feat! How did that collaboration come about and what was it like including Fraser Langton on this project?
BAY: Funny you should ask. Well, it helps to be married to him HA! In all honesty working with Fraser is brilliant —AND also quite tumultuous at times —that’s because he will always tell me what he thinks, without any filter. And even though it’s hard to hear sometimes, it always brings the best out of me in the end. Not only is he a fantastic clarinetist and musician, but he has an incredible ear for composition and arrangement. He wrote a few stellar parts for clarinet, viola and flute within the album that I would not have been able to —his brain is swirling with Shostakovich and Gandalf so he brings this wealth of musical knowledge and a love of fantasy that I not only respect but know has sprinkled more magic into The Meadow.
Q: Your upcoming self-produced debut studio album, was recorded at Airtight Studios in Chorlton. What was this process like for you and is there anyone notable on this album you would like to give a shoutout?
BAY: Sound engineer Seadna McPhail at Airtight Studios was recommended to me by my friend-and-fellow-creative Paul Bytheway. Seadna, throughout the process has been a dream to work with —he is effortlessly professional and a fabulous human —his grounded experience and ability to comprehend my vision, even when I couldn’t articulate it at times, made me feel confident and inspired to slay another day… Honestly, every creative & musician who worked on this album is notable —I would love to write a chapter on each of them some day but for now I will name their gorgeous names: Sarah Bennett (flute; Hallé orchestra); Roísin Ní Dhuíll (viola; BBC Philharmonic); Peter Mitchell (percussionist extraordinaire); Sam Vicary (double bass/bass magician); Claire Marie Seddon (Trumpeteer, actor and writer); Mat Peters (analog synth master); Tom Bennett (sound designer and curator of sounds); Zach Kornhauser (mixing & mastering machine).
Q: Writing, planning and releasing a self-produced album is a difficult task. What is your favorite moment or song from this album and why is it your favorite?
BAY: This question is a brilliant one and also very triggering. I’m kidding of course haha… There have been several moments throughout the process that come to mind but I think I’ll choose something a bit more general as it was a recurring moment-of-sorts. Every time that one of these musicians came into the studio, it was invigorating and emotional for me; I have dreamt of elevating my songs with intricate arrangements for a long time —and to see it unfolding in-the-moment as each stellar performance was captured brought me severe joy…
When it comes to a specific song, my favourite is the final one: “Beyond The Meadow”. It’s the moment that I hope provides catharsis for the person listening. The album is about the process of letting go and moving forward. “Beyond the Meadow” represents those actual physical steps we must take in order to move on —I hope for the listener, especially if they themselves are going through some sort of transitional period in their life, that they feel acknowledged and encouraged to move onto the next chapter calling them.
Q: What are your upcoming plans after the release of “The Meadow” and what would you like to say to your audience out there?
BAY: My hope is to continue discovering who out there loves my music and to get the live gigs going for them. I am planning on building a UK tour for 2022 —and if possible I would love to get in a few US dates as well as that’s where I’m from originally. I would like to say to anyone reading this who digs my music, thank you for listening and loving what I do! I look forward to being in a space with you soon, and sharing the particular magic that can only be found in live music.
Interviewed by Stephanie Pankewich
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