Floc breaks artistic boundaries

September 21, 2020 BY

Isolated sounds: Young producer and musician Sarah Barclay, or Floc, has been involved in a series of musical projects over lockdown. Photo: RUBY STALEY

ONE young Ballarat musician has taken strides towards diversifying the city’s music and arts scene by adapting to the boundaries set by the pandemic.

After years of performing on stage, Sarah Barclay, better known as Floc, said she had to pivot her offerings at the beginning of the first lockdown to suit an online community.

“I lost a lot of gigs, but I also found a lot of opportunities online,” she said.

“I played Sanitise at the start of lockdown and a live stream for the Fully Sick festival which were both really cool.

“I’ve also found a lot of communities online, there’s a lot of electronic artists who spend their time online and we have Zoom calls who I wouldn’t have met if we didn’t have to go online in the first place.”

In addition to her online sets, the young producer also recently released her debut single Haunt Me to streaming platforms.

Released 24 August, Floc said the track was a product of the Big Sky Girls program that she took part in last year which saw regional female musicians flown to Queensland for writing workshops.

“The program paid for us to go to the studio and get our tracks produced and mastered,” she said.

“I’ve had some nice feedback and it’s great because I can look on Spotify and see that people are listening.

“I’ve been performing live for about two years so it’s nice to actually have something out there.”

Another project the young musician has in the pipeline is an art installation for the Art Gallery of Ballarat in collaboration with local weaver Donna Blackall.

The exhibit is set to combine both woven textiles and sound elements which Floc said aims to reflect the positive impact of the pandemic on the environment and wildlife.

“Donna and I were talking about how the wildlife around the world has really been flourishing and how we’ve noticed an influx of birds around during COVID,” she said.

“Our concept is centred around positivity because there’s so much negative stuff on the internet and everything’s so confusing, we sort of owe to people to give them something good to look at for a moment and to forget for even a second.

“We had a similar mindset but created different things, I’ve created electronic tracks and put poetry and vocals over the top.”

While she’s not creating her own music or art installations, Floc is also busy hosting Ballarat’s Lockdown Lab which is a space for local musical talents to collaborate online.

She said she pitched the idea to Sonika and people liked it so she proceeded to host the sessions on Band Lab for anyone to come and join.

“I’ve been hosting it as an online jam session for local musos to come on and keep creating and writing,” she said.

“So many people have lost their hobbies in lockdown and people can’t play in their bands, as they usually would.”

“It’s also a place to meet people because you lose that social aspect of going to gigs.”

Although COVID-19 posed as a significant challenge for the music and arts industries, Floc said for her, it’s important to look at the positives and opportunities as a result.

“It’s been a huge learning experience for me,” she said.

“I miss the Eastern and the social side of gigs, seeing new acts and especially going to festivals, this was the first year I got to play the season of festivals.

“But now, I have more time to work on my craft and learn new things and apply myself.”

To listen to Floc’s music or learn more about her past and upcoming projects, visit facebook.com/flocgurl.