Stephen Bass reveals his secret spot…

Stephen Bass reveals his secret spot…

Stephen Bass, co-founder of Moshi Moshi Records and Hole & Corner contributing editor (responsible for the musical programme at last year’s Port Eliot Festival Makers’ Tent and for elements of Piano Craft), reveals his secret spot…

A ‘hole-and-corner’ is an old English term meaning a secret place: somewhere you go to escape the world, to be inspired and to contemplate and create. Where is your ‘hole-and-corner’?

Probably the closest I have to this is the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool, a vast open-air Victorian swimming pool on the Kent coast, between Margate and Broadstairs.

 

Walpole Bay Tidal Pool on the Kent coast, between Margate and Broadstairs

 

Can you explain why it is so special to you?

It is a beautiful spot, close to urban life yet far enough away from it, peaceful and private – although, it’s open to the public and so not exactly ‘secret’. I think once in there and swimming, you are completely alone with yourself and your thoughts – which is a rare and important treat.

 

Is it important to you to have somewhere to escape from the hustle and bustle of life?

Yes I think it is – and, in answering this, I realise that I need to make more of an effort to have that space!

 

What do you like to listen to when you’re working?

Probably Bill Callahan / Smog – something familiar, but engaging. Some sort of touchstone to life and emotion.

 

What elements do you think make a perfect ‘hole-and-corner’?

A place to experiment, make and enjoy mistakes as much as perfecting any sort of skill; a sense of security and safety that you can do what you want without needing to worry. And it should have a nice sound system!

 

Is it private to you or do you let other people visit?

I think an element of any great ‘hole-and-corner’ might be the ability to share it with friends when the time is right. But, like the tidal pool, that sense of privacy is important too.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

You get out of life what you put in!

 

What was your Port Eliot highlight?

Mellowing myself on the straw bales outside the Makers’ Tent, while everyone else was busy inside!

 

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