As a winter storm brewed, Joe began his process by recording sounds from around the Bay, and adding them to a device called a fader controller.
This allowed him to blend them with the piano as he began composing – in the ocean room, The Living Space and his beach loft.
“The piece is as much sound as it is music,” Joe says. “They work in harmony. I make sure I give enough space to both.”
Pay attention as you listen and you should hear the sounds that caught Joe’s ear. His favourites were the gully of rainwater running down to the beach, and the sound of the surf. You may also hear the general buzz from around the hotel – people chatting and the clinking of plates.
But Joe’s outdoor experience wasn’t just about foraging for sounds. He also had a surf lesson. The two hours spent in the rolling sea invigorated his creative brain, he told us – and inspired the music even further.
Joe recalls “the rhythm of the ocean, bobbing up and down in a repetitive way”. This is mirrored in his composition, where patterns of notes repeat at regularly spaced intervals, just like the waves.
Joe played live in The Living Space every day, his improvisations soundtracking the space. As guests and visitors shared meals and stories, he let the different musical ideas, patterns and motifs take shape.
And when the weekend drew to a close, Joe took his memories of the sea and surf back home, and set about arranging the final composition “Winter waves”.
“When I got home, I listened back, and all the little ideas I’d composed and recorded in the communal areas of the hotel fell into one track,” he says.
Have a listen. And hear where the music takes you…
Meet: Joe Kirby
From BBC1 to London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios, find out more about Joe Kirby’s musical career and approach in our introductory blog post.
Could you be our next artist in residence?
We're always on the lookout for our next artist in residence, to find out more and how to apply follow the link.
Discover more artists in residence
Artist in residence: Reflections with Becca Hall
Find out about Becca's residency at Watergate Bay and learn how to draw your own...
Meet: Pianist Joe Kirby
Our first musician in residence kicked off between 16 - 19 November. We caught up...
Artist in residence: Jethro Jackson
“Each time the tide comes in, it’s like a clean slate. But the memories live...
Artist in residence: Nina Brooke
Local seascape artist Nina Brooke took up residency at Watergate Bay in September, sketching and...
Meet: Illustrator Becca Hall
Meet illustrator Becca Hall as we chat story, coastal colour palettes, drink and draw workshops...