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We’re delighted to be working with Artswork on providing work opportunities for young people through the Kickstart Scheme. Aidan joined us in early March and is working as a technician in our recording studio. We had a chat to find out how he’s getting on.

SoCo: Hi Aidan! How’s it going?

Aidan: It’s great, thanks! This is an absolutely lovely, peach of a job and I’m really excited to be here

SoCo: Wow, that’s an amazing way to start this chat, thanks! Before we talk about that a bit more, how about you tell us about yourself, who you are, where you’re from?

Aidan: Sure. I’m Aidan Cooper, born and brought up in Eastleigh. I’ve got a background in theatre and composing, and studied Film Production at Bournemouth University. I’ve been involved with The Point in Eastleigh since 2007 when I joined the Youth Theatre, and then I started working creatively with them in 2017.

SoCo: Great stuff. The Point is a fantastic venue, isn’t it? It’s quite edgy and perhaps not what people would expect to find in Eastleigh?

Aidan: That’s right. They do some really interesting stuff there.

SoCo: So tell us what you’re doing here at SoCo.

Aidan: I’m based in the Hightown Studio and for about 90% of my time, I’m essentially a recording studio technician. It’s really exciting. I get to work with anyone who is using our studio, I help them record their tracks, support on mixing and mastering, and guide them towards a potential release. It’s a really great space to work. One day I might be working with a young person who is considered to be at risk of offending, who’s been given this opportunity to help them try something new, and the next I might be working with a professional artist. Both people would get the same level of support, and access to all the kit – it’s really good to hear the music take shape and see people come alive when they perform.

SoCo: That sounds amazing. Craig talked to us about that work with young people, it sounds really rewarding.

Aidan: Yeah, it is. I’m half way through my six month placement and am really looking forward to the next three months, working with more people.

SoCo: So after that six months, what are you hoping for next?

Aidan: Well, I’ll be honest, this has always been a tough question for me! I’ve really enjoyed working in theatre composition – it’s an amazing thing to come up with something with a bunch of actors in a few minutes, throw it out into the room and their work, and see them respond to it. I thought that would be the way I’d go but it never lit me up the way this work does. I am loving this work so much that if there was a chance the placement could be extended I’d jump at it. When I saw the job come up I just knew I had to have it, and i was right, I love this work. I haven’t had a single day where I’ve been annoyed or in a huff about going to work – I love being here and if this could be my career, that would be amazing.

SoCo: That’s an amazing thing to say, thank you so much. We’re really pleased to have you here with us on this placement – who knows what the future will hold!

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