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Have You Heard? #5: Rachel Adams

Rachel Adams

City of Beacons Creative Director, Creative Producer, Consultant and Yoga Teacher.

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Welcome back to Have You Heard? – an interview series highlighting the people behind Bristol Beacon.

Each month we speak to colleagues, artists, fans and friends and ask them to share their thoughts on our transformed venue, as well as the music that matters to them.

Introducing…Rachel Adams

This week, Creative Producer and Consultant Rachel Adams gives us an insight into her role as Creative Director for City of Beacons and her love for transformative live experiences. 

Currently based in the Forest of Dean, Rachel lived and worked in Bristol for a number years as a Trustee for Off The Record, Travelling Light Theatre Company and as founding CIC Director of Saffron Records.

She also shares Bex Burch’s cover of O Superman, as well as her love for Canadian singer-songwriter, Martha Wainwright.

What can you tell us about your role as Creative Director for City of Beacons?

City of Beacons is a celebration of creativity and expression, bringing together artists from all backgrounds at different points in their careers.

My role is to mentor and provide support to the artists, helping to them to shape their vision. Everyone is from varied performance backgrounds, with different experiences of living in Bristol. They’ve worked, or are still working, towards nurturing and establishing relationships in community; delivering creative and nurturing experiences to others – whose stories resonate with their own.

What impact do you hope the project will have?

The artists’ projects include working with a local primary school to inspire the writing of a new piece of music, creating Bristol’s first choir specifically for Neurodivergant women & non-binary people and a new film inspired by the stories from the members of the Next Link community. In this respect, our artists are nurturing a City of Beacons, bringing people together through creativity.

Some of the projects will be celebrated at The Housewarming in December, but the work doesn’t stop there; we hope the legacies and relationships made during this project will continue. It’s a wider opportunity to open up further conversations around collaboration/ co-creation across Bristol.

We’re all learning a lot as we go – it’s a two-way conversation. We hope that this way of commissioning and engaging work with communities will help to support the Community and Engagement team to continue their work with the Programming department long term.

What does a stand-out live performance look like to you?

I love immersive, transformative spaces and experiences that remain with you long after the event has passed – installation performances, musicians – seeing Martha Wainwright in venues across the city including St George’s, Trinity and at the Redgrave Theatre was magical (especially when I got to meet her after the Trinity gig, the joy!!)

Any live, outdoor or street performance is amazing too, and generally a more accessible experience for everyone – events like Carnival and performances by Extraordinary Bodies/ Paraorchestra are great examples of this.

What are you listening to right now?

I love this new cover of Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’ by Bex Burch!

Have You Heard? Bex Burch – O Superman (Laurie Anderson cover)

(2023, live in session for BBC Radio 6)

Please note: a BBC account is required in order to listen.
Bex Burch’s cover of O Superman begins at 01:38:00

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Have You Heard? #8: David Harrington

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Have You Heard? #7: Eljay Briss

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