Agent Starling in the Big Lockdown Music Survey with their Track Helicopter Arms

Really great to be included in this rather wonderful lockdown project… Funded by an Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant, the Big Lockdown Music Survey is a snapshot in recorded music of a once-in-a-generation experience shared by the nation.

The Big Lockdown Music Survey tells the story of the national lockdown introduced in response to the pandemic on 23 March 2020 from the perspective of music creators, through recorded music and sound, data and testimony. We were interested in representing the broadest range of musical styles and forms, including fragments and works-in-progress, and in showcasing music creatives from the broadest range of backgrounds. The survey is an account of exceptional personal circumstances, of emotions engendered by enforced isolation (or enforced community), but also of creativity, technical innovation, personal resilience, and originality.

By making music that was created all over England during this period accessible, we examine questions such as: How do you make music together, remotely? How has creators’ music-making been facilitated by new technologies? How has the experience of the pandemic influenced the content and form of the work of music creators?

Contributing creators and artists whose tracks are selected were paid for their work according to a Musicians Union-approved fee scale, remunerating composers/performers whose work was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can click on the listening map to hear the nationwide tracks here:

There is also more info, liner booklets, in-depth analysis of the data collected in the survey and a free educational resource pack about recording music at home:

NMC Recordings is an award-winning record label with charitable status. We believe that new music is a dynamic and engaging art form and seek to inspire and challenge audiences through the release and promotion of recordings by British and Irish composers, innovative artistic partnerships, and delivering education projects to young people.

We fulfil our charitable aims by:

  • collaborating with leading composers, artists, orchestras, and ensembles
  • producing high-quality recordings of outstanding works
  • promoting recordings and other resources to expand new music audiences worldwide 
  • preserving this creativity for future generations