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Allan Crescent Flats - FLAT 124

The Electric Box

Stevie Jackson

 

SEE EYE 23rd - 24th March 2007

 

The Electric Box is actually the ‘A’-side of a 45 rpm single. It was inspired by the youth wardens of Abbeyview, stemming from conversations about everyday life there and what a perfect day in Abbey view would be like. The ‘B’-side, Bird’s Eye View, was inspired by Carol Lambie’s story and photographs of 126 Allan Crescent taken by Nicola Atkinson Does Fly. The songs were developed in different locations, like the flats themselves, and St. Ninian’s Church, where Birds Eye View was written. The songs were finally produced and recorded by Stevie & Nicola in Glasgow.


Stevie travelled to London to get the record cut in time, and 10 copies will be ready for the art event with a further 500 to be released in August along with the SEE EYE booklet & the Cabinet of Curiosities. The choice of a 7-inch record was to do with it being a somewhat archaic medium, referencing the past, whilst presenting a new work in an aesthetically pleasing and distributable form. The record was be played in the bedroom at the rear of flat 124 on a Bush record player, and a live performances was on March 23rd Friday and March 24th Saturday at 1pm.

 


The process of engagement with the Abbeyview, and time spent exploring the area, was integral to the development of the songs. The Electric Box aims to present conversations with the youth wardens in an accurate way, through a form of reportage. The lines in the verses provide exact quotes of what was said at the meeting, while the chorus conveys a sense of Stevie’s own thoughts on the situation. Bird’s Eye View draws from secondary images and text, in order to conjure a picture of everyday life in Abbeyview in relation to the issues surrounding the regeneration project.

 


While the work strives to present a voice for the community the nature of music and its emotional power, means that the songs inevitably become a subjective personal listening experience, creating a fertile space for nostalgia and bittersweet memories. This is perhaps what was intended anyway, and I think Stevie would be the last person to lay any claim to being “the voice of a generation” the process of writing the songs was more about sourcing material, and presenting it in a sensitive way.


Chris Hladowski

 

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