Terminal Jive

Creative projects by Abigail Ward

Suffragette City – The Music Event

Saturday March 10th 2018

The Refuge
Principal Hotel
Oxford Road
M60 7HA

As part of the Suffragette City – Portraits of women in Manchester music exhibition, The Refuge will be hosting an all day and night-into-early morning charity music event both to celebrate International Women’s Day and to close off the exhibition’s two-week installation in the public bar.

Music across two floors from an all-star female DJ line up.:

Love Is The Message
In the Refuge Public Bar
3pm – 1am

* Blasha & Allatt (Meat Free)
* Corinne Drewery (Swing Out Sister)
* Dance Lady Dance
* Abigail Ward (Manchester Digital Music Archive)
* Nongi Oliphant
* Claud Cunningham
* Kirby Leanne Halliday
* Justine Alderman

Move Ya Body
In The Refuge Basement hosted by The Social Service
10pm – 4am
* Rina Ladybeige
* DJ Paulette
* Gina Breeze
* Kath McDermott
* Disco Mums

There will be collection buckets on the night and a £2 door donation for the Social Service with all proceeds going to Women’s Aid and Manchester Digital Music Archive.

The Suffragette City exhibition is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

Suffragette City opening party

The Refuge
Principal Hotel
Oxford Road
M60 7HA

Fri, 23 Feb 2018, 17:30 – 1:00

(Booking is advised but not essential.)

Suffragette City is the culmination of a period of activity aimed at recognising and celebrating women’s achievements in the music industry. In the year we celebrate 100 years of Suffrage in the UK, we want to pause and highlight the roles women have played, bringing their voices to the fore. We set out to show just how vibrant, brilliant and influential women in music have been and continue to be.

This exhibition, curated by Manchester Digital Music Archive co-founder Alison Surtees, features photographic portraits of 25 key women in Greater Manchester music, including venue owners, sound engineers, record label managers, DJs and musicians.

Join us for the opening of our exhibition on Friday 23rd February from 5.30pm. Music comes from DJs Abigail Ward, Kath McDermott and Paulette, 5pm-1am.

Exhibition closing date: Saturday 10th March.

This exhibition is part of our ongoing project, Rebel Music – The Sound of Politics and Protest in Manchester and is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.



For more information contact: info@mdmarchive.co.uk

First show for NTS radio

On Sunday 10th December I presented the first ever Manchester Digital Music Archive show for NTS Radio. I had a brilliant time choosing the records, old and new. All have a Manchester connection. You’ll be unsurprised to hear it’s quite a contrary selection. There are plenty of stories to go with the music, because that’s what the archive is all about.

Harlem Spirit – Dem A Sus
The Eccentronic Research Council feat. Maxine Peake – Autobahn 666
Pete Shelley – Witness The Change (Dub Mix)
10cc – Blackmail
Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames – Music Talk
Moloko – Forever More
E Davd – Ice Moon
Shura – White Light
The The – Helpline Operator
The Smiths – Wonderful Woman
Lord Kitchener – If You’re Brown
Annette – Dream 17
Magazine – The Light Pours out of Me
Barry Adamson – Mr Eddy’s Theme 1
Throbbing Gristle – 20 Jazz Funk Greats
Al Green – How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?
JS Zeiter – JS05R
Floating Points – Peroration 6
Manicured Noise – Faith
Gerry & The Holograms – Gerry & The Holograms
Jane Weaver – The Architect
Nev Cottee – If I Could Tell You
Digital Justice – Theme from It’s All Gone Pear Shaped

Queer Noise exhibition extended to November 2017

We are delighted to announce that our Queer Noise exhibition at the People’s History Museum has been extended to 5th November 2017 by popular demand,

The show has garnered great press support. Check out the links below:

6 Music interview (1hr and 40 mins into this broadcast)

The Guardian 

Another Man

The Mirror

I love MCR

Manchester Evening News

It’s Nice That

Free training from Manchester Digital Music Archive

MDMA: Online exhibition menu

Manchester Digital Music Archive is an online community archive established in 2003 to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history. In September 2017 we are holding two (identical) training days on how to curate online exhibitions within our website/archive.

The events are part of our Heritage Lottery-funded project Rebel Music: The Sound of Politics and Protest in Manchester, which targets and celebrates women and members of the LGBT+ community, and their musical achievements.

Passionate about Manchester music, past and present? Got a story to tell?

MDMArchive Online Exhibition Training Day #1, International Anthony Burgess Foundation
Sep 23rd 2017
A relaxed training day led by curator Abigail Ward for people who are interested in creating their own online exhibitions within the Manchester Digital Music Archive website. Book your free place here.

MDMArchive Online Exhibition Training Day #2, International Anthony Burgess Foundation
Sep 30th 2017

A relaxed training day led by curator Abigail Ward for people who are interested in creating their own online exhibitions within the Manchester Digital Music Archive website. Book your free place here.

Please note: the content of the two training days will be the same.

Lovely lunch provided!

What is an online exhibition?
An online exhibition is a curated collection of digitised artefacts (scans, photos, images, audio, video) that anyone who has access to the internet can view. Online exhibitions are like physical exhibitions in real museums, but they exist digitally instead of in the ‘real’ word.

Abigail Ward, trainer & co-founder of MDMA, has been creating online exhibitions about Greater Manchester music since 2008. You can view some of hers here:


Who is this training day for?
This training day is part of Manchester Digital Music Archive’s Rebel Music project, which aims to celebrate and document the musical achievements of women & LGBT+ people in Greater Manchester. We are encouraging members of those communities to attend this training day and learn about how they can create online exhibitions with us. It will be accessible for anyone who is interested in Greater Manchester music, and has a basic standard of computer literacy.

What will this training day cover?
• An introduction to the work of Manchester Digital Music Archive
• How to digitise material using scanners, cameras and phones
• How to upload images, audio and video to MDMArchive
• How to curate a digital exhibition within MDMArchive
• How to share your work through social media

Hayling Island – stories at sea level

Hayling Island banner

Refugees, tourists, circus acts, smugglers, a destitute Russian princess and escapees from the industrial mainland: Hayling Island’s many sea-level lives exposed through a digital story map and a series of spoken word events

  • Acclaimed artists will collaborate with a literary geographer to explore the hidden histories of Hayling Island’s working class community using short stories, spoken word, audio soundscapes, visual art and an evolving online map of the island.
  • Work in progress versions of short stories and audio will be shared at three literary events across October 2017 held in Hayling, Manchester and Durham.
  • The short story collection will explore themes including climate change, human migration, economic shift, disability, and LGBT+ issues

A true island completely surrounded by sea, Hayling is off the south coast of England in Hampshire, near Portsmouth. It is home to a working class community and is rich in overlooked histories, from the arcades and smugglers’ tunnels to the nearby military base. It is a place of resilience and contrasts, and as the water rises, there are no climate change deniers to be found.

Using remembered histories of local people and the geography of the island itself as inspiration, four Manchester-based artists, led by writer and spoken word artist Michelle Green will create an interactive digital map housing a short story collection and accompanying audio.

The stories and soundscapes will be shared as work-in-progress at the following events:

Durham Book Festival event Sat 7th October 2017
Book tickets here, priced £6/£4

Hayling Island Library event Sat 21st October 2017
Book free tickets here.

International Anthony Burgess Centre event Thursday 26th October 2017
Book free tickets here.

All events are supported by Arts Council England and New Writing North.

Michelle Green is an acclaimed writer and spoken word artist born on Hayling, now based in Manchester. She was two when her parents left the island, and so her ‘memories’ take the form of many stories from her extended family, centred on the arcades, bingos, cafes and clubs they ran in the 70s along one of the tourist strips, just as the arrival of package holidays was beginning to take its toll on the local economy. Hayling has always been a tenacious place, and it is from this that interesting stories grow. Michelle is particularly interested in the lives that are pushed to the margins – working class, disabled, disenfranchised – and those living at the water’s edge as the sea rises.

Ahead of the events, lead artist Michelle Green says: “This map has been growing inside me for years. My family moved around a lot, and so I carry a map of other people’s stories and landscapes as a way of connecting to the places that have shaped our lives. As mainstream discussions of class and economics become a binary caricature with talk of ‘strivers and shirkers’, good and bad, I want to push back with the complexities and resilience that I know lives within every ignored or abandoned working class community. I want to push back against the idea that art and culture is inherently middle class. People who live on a low lying island know just how near the edge is, and I want to invite the audience to walk along those edges and listen, a short story at the tip of each finger.”

The Hayling Island digital story map will be designed by Maya Chowdhry, an interactive artist, writer and poet. It will comprise collage of historical documents, hand-drawn elements and audio hotspots where audiences can listen to or read the stories. The map will also link to local tidal reports and will change according to the real-time tide on the island.

The audio elements of the map, overseen by facilitator in sound and ‘sonic enchantress’ Caro C, will take a sensitive radio-quality approach, adding depth to the world of each story and providing access to audiences who struggle with text. Caro will also create a unique piece of music that responds to the sonic environment of the island.

Creative non-fiction co-author and literary geographies consultant Dr David Cooper is a senior lecturer in the Department of English at Manchester Metropolitan University. He will co-author pieces of creative non-fiction with Michelle Green, as a geographic exploration of the island that takes subjective experience of the place as the starting point.

For further information, images and interviews please contact:

Abigail Ward – Production Manager
Haying Island – stories at sea level


Queer Noise launch event

Flyer for Attitude at the Academy, 1990 Design: Homocult

Queer Noise Launch Night

People’s History Museum
Left Bank
M3 3ER
Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:00 to 20:00
Book your FREE place

Join Manchester Digital Music Archive for the launch of our small but perfectly formed Queer Noise community exhibition at the People’s History Museum. Curator Abigail Ward will be in conversation with Rod Connolly and Zoë McVeigh (LIINES) – the DJ/promoter team behind Bollox Club – one of Manchester’s best-loved alt-queer hangouts.

Abigail will also deliver a lively visual presentation celebrating highlights from the history of queer music and club life in Greater Manchester. Material includes rarely seen photos, flyers, posters and videos from the 1950s to today.

In the foyer DJ Kath McDermott will play classic tracks from legendary queer nights Flesh at the Haçienda (1991-1996) and Homo Electric (1998-2002).

Performance artist Grace Oni Smith will be doing a 10-min projection-based ‘Welcome’ performance in response to the DJ set.

Fairtrade drinks provided by the Co-op.

Queer Noise tells the story of how proudly queer musicians and clubbers in Greater Manchester helped to redefine attitudes towards sexuality across the city and beyond. The exhibition is on display at PHM from July 1st until September 10th and is based on the digital project of the same name.


Queer Noise: The History of LGBT+ Music & Club Culture in Manchester

Seventies secrecy in Salford pubs, joyous Gaychester resistance and cutting-edge, late-nineties, alternative club culture. Manchester’s musical LGBT+ history explored with exhibition and digital archive revamp:

  • Exciting, rarely-seen footage and photography from the dancefloor of the Hacienda’s famous FLESH club night evoke the unassailable spirit of ‘Gaychester’ in new exhibition
  • Photography from 1970s Salford and Manchester gay bars and the provocative, alternative dance scene of the millennium tell overlooked stories from the famous music city
  • Articles from influential fanzine, ‘The Mancunian Gay’ as well as flyers, badges and membership cards are retrieved from personal archives tell a tale of struggle, resilience and celebration.

The history of Manchester as a home for free expression and resistance through music, dance and culture is told through stories, unseen videos, photographs and rare artefacts drawn from the personal archives of the city’s LGBT community for a new exhibition, Queer Noise: The History of LGBT+ Music & Club Culture in Manchester, opening at the People’s History Museum between Thu 1 July – Sun 10 September 2017. As part of Never Going Underground 2017, a major exhibition marking 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, Manchester Digital Music Archive gathers notable artefacts, imagery and music to tell the story of how pubs, gig venues and dance floors gave rise to flourishing, creative and diverse scenes once known as ‘Gaychester’.

The small exhibition, a contribution to the museum’s larger focus on LGBT+ rights, coincides with the archive’s relaunch and drive to attract more music lovers to upload their artefacts, with the archive’s founders expressing concern that the vital LGBT+ and women’s histories are in danger of being lost forever without more collecting and sharing.

Punk provided an expressive sanctuary for LGBT+ communities in post-industrial Manchester as the wake of the Sex Pistols’ appearance in the city in 1976 left bands like Buzzcocks (fronted by openly bi-sexual, Pete Shelley) and clubs like The Ranch, a bar owned by renowned drag artist and entrepreneur, Foo Foo Lammar, to soak up the city’s disenfranchised youth. As well as photographs of the punk era, including contributions from Kevin Cummins, exciting, rarely-seen evidence of the otherwise well-documented dance revolution of the early 90s and the Hacienda’s legendary Flesh night also features in the exhibition. Shot from the Hacienda dancefloor, film featuring a travelling contingent from London club, Kinky Gerlinky, shot by film maker, Dick Jewell and up-close shots by Manchester photographer, Jon Shard, evoke a sense of unbound freedom in a community threatened by the oppression of Greater Manchester Police and ‘God’s Cop’, James Anderton.

In addition to the LGBT+ perspectives on these famous episodes in the city’s music history, it is the lesser known people and places that also find space in the considered selections of archive co-founder and curator, Abigail Ward.

Ahead of the exhibition, Ward says: “‘Queer Noise’ spans some of the most famous moments in the city’s cultural history, and highlights the incredible influence of queer artists, club promoters and fans. But queer club culture in this city didn’t just start with punk and the end at the Haçienda, it existed and thrived in the post-war period and continues to evolve today. The purposely provocative alternative queer scene of the late 90s reflects as many stories of true, expressive freedom as the remarkable footage from the famous ‘Flesh’ night at the Hacienda or images of Salford’s underground taken four decades ago.”

A Salford pub, the name forgotten, was captured by renowned musician, artist and photographer, Linder Sterling in the late 1970s and is the subject of three, unseen photographs loaned for the exhibition, alongside a further three shots of the inside of the notorious Dicken’s Bar on Oldham Street during the same period. As the popularity of Canal Street boomed at the turn of the millennium, DJs, musicians and dancers turned to smaller clubs on the fringes, giving rise to nights like the legendary, Homo Electric, eschewing the ‘glam’ of polished bars and commercial dance music for eclectic playlists in sweaty, run-down cellars. Candid footage of nights in much-loved, pre-Manchester regeneration clubs, like the demolished Legends, provides a window onto an electrifying subculture.

Ward continues:Manchester Digital Music Archive can trace some of these histories through the contributions of our LGBT+ members, but the exhibition also gives us a chance to reflect on the fact that more LGBT+ music lovers, and women in particular, need to share their memories and artefacts with us or face the prospect of their individual and shared histories going undocumented and unavailable for study by future generations. There are so many photos, posters, videos and other items out there waiting to tell incredible stories.” 

Manchester Digital Music Archive was established in 2003 to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history and has 2953 active users, uploading artefacts from their personal collections. A relaunch of the site, including updates to allow easier and more instantaneous smart phone uploads, has gone ahead to encourage the 30% female base of users to share more items as well as offering a potential solution to an evident shortfall in the number and range of uploads relating to the region’s current and historic LGBT+ music culture.

Drake Music Lab North West: New Musical Frontiers


Over the last few months I’ve been involved in an exciting project for Drake Music that has focused on introducing members of the hacker/maker/coding community to disabled musicians.

Four teams, each made up of both musicians and makers, have been commissioned to design a prototype for a brand new musical instrument that overcomes a specific barrier experienced by disabled musicians.

We’re going to be showcasing these brilliant ideas at two FREE events at the International Anthony Burgess Centre on Sat April 29th and Sat May 27th respectively.

Both events will be presented by the wonderful Kris Halpin (Winter of ’82), who will be talking about his own journey as a disabled musician-technologist and demonstrating his amazing MiMu motion-tracking gloves (see video!)

Seeing Kris perform live with the gloves is an unmissable experience. Watching him conjure strings out of thin air and kick start a drum sound with a single gesture is – quite simply – magical.

DMLab North West Challenge – Development Launch
Meet our teams and hear about their ideas.

When? Sat 29th April 2017 – 2-3.30pm
Where? International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY
How? Reserve your ticket via Eventbrite

DMLab North West Challenge – Final Showcase
The final showcase where the four finished designs will be unveiled and played live.

When? Sat 27th May 2017 – 2-3.30pm
Where? International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY
How? Reserve your ticket via Eventbrite

More info here.

Iceland: Foreboding Joy

I went to Iceland in January. It was a truly mind-expanding experience. Awesome is a word I steer clear of, but its original definition fits the feeling: inspiring awe, wonder or dread; extremely impressive or daunting, intimidating.

Gazing out at those endless lunar landscapes, filled me with joy, but isn’t all joy tinged with a kind of vulnerability or dread at its passing? This is a mix that attempts to capture those conflicting emotions. It’s a bit chilly!

Three poems by Jónas Hallgrímsson
Ulver – Desert Dawn
Philip Glass – Protest (Jóhann Jóhannsson Remix)
Nils Frahm – Said and Done
Sigur Rós – Meo Blodnasir
Ólafur Arnalds – Árbakkinn ft. Einar Georg
Plaid – Wen
Petar Dundov – Then Life
Emilie Simon – Aurora Australis
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Melodia (Guidelines For A Propulsion Device Based On Heim’s Quantum Theory)
Blanck Mass – Sundowner
Brian Eno – I’m Set Free
A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Atomos IX
Max Richter – War Anthem
Björk – All is Full of Love (Strings Version)
Aphex Twin – Blue Calx
Max Richter – Morphology

Here’s a little 4-minute video of the things we saw.:
Iceland 2017 by Gareth Taylor

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