I think Jamie Linwood has been working with me and Oily Cart for around 2 decades now and its difficult to imagine our work without him. We file him under Total Joy to work with.
And that’s not surprising when you consider his skills. Along with fascinating PhD in Pitched Percussion, he brings a great deal of highest quality prowess with him …both in terms of musical theory, musicological knowledge and amazing constructional ability. Sometimes he even lets us see that he can play like a demon too. He has a conceptual and musical open-ness and an unquenchable optimism and curiosity, which doubtless go hand in hand. So you can’t fail but look forward to the next time you’ll be working with such an inspirational multi-talented artist.
Jamie has provided enduring musical solutions to every single conundrum we’ve ever laid on him. There have been many but here are a few: Constructing physical pentatonic musical instruments that people with very little movement can play; adapting those instruments so that they can float and be played in water therapy pools; providing a set of Balinese gamelan instruments and also teaching me how to play and compose on them; creating new instruments out of wood, metal and even plastic tubing which have provided the main accompaniment for over 10 different productions and survive their composition, rehearsal, and most damaging of all, the touring processes, which have taken the instruments as far away as New York and Abu Dhabi; advising/devising on scales, pitch lay out, mallets etc; sourcing the hides of Vietnamese oxen and turning them into the most earth shaking drums ever heard in the Cotswolds...and always, but always, delivering the instruments, ideas, accessories or maintenance well on time.
I’ve also seen Jamie’s instruments weather the storms of weather and participating audience at WOMAD for the last few years and its wondrous how they always seem to make some kind of a great sound whoever’s on the mallets. We’ve also used Jamie’s knowledge, articulacy and ability to hang with legends of Southern African music to good effect on BBC Radio 3’s World on 3 programmes from Womad.
So don’t hesitate…catch him if you can. Its truly a total life and music enhancing privilege to work with him.
- Max Reinhardt (Musical Director/co-founder Oily Cart www.oilycart.org.uk Presenter Late Junction BBC Radio 3 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tp52
“Our pupils are really enjoying the new instruments that Jamie made and are visiting our Music Garden every day to experience the superb quality sound and vibrations from the Contra Bass Chimes and the wonderful wood sounds from the Akadinda.”
— Georgina Cartledge, Foxwood School
“Every outdoor musical instrument made by Jamie Linwood is a hand-made, bespoke, creation. ”
— Mandy Ribbans
“All his instruments make beautiful sounds even when played by young people with very little control over their own body movements. His creations are gorgeous to look at and lovely to feel.”
— Oily Cart Theatre Company
“Jamie Linwood has made musical instruments for many Oily Cart interactive performances for very young children and young people with complex disabilities. He has even made instruments which float on the water. All his instruments make beautiful sounds even when played by young people with very little control over their own body movements. His creations are gorgeous to look at and lovely to feel. Very importantly, they are extremely strong and have withstood the rigours of touring and children.”
— Amanda Webb
“We saw your work at WOMAD and were stunned by it. ”
— Vik Haydn Taylor
“When Jamie first mooted the idea of putting a tuned percussion instrument at Prema I had very mixed thoughts – it would be great to have a permanent sculpture at the front of the arts centre but the idea of something slightly vulnerable and open to vandalism filled me with dread. The piece has now been installed for almost 3 months (and is looking as good as the day it arrived) and I can honestly say that watching people interact with the piece has been an utter joy. We work with a huge number of people of all ages, abilities with varying degrees of musicianship and understanding of the arts but the manza seems to command attention from each visitor and everyone seems comfortable playing it.”
— Gordon Scott, Prema Arts Centre