Creative projects by Abigail Ward

Tag: Abigail Ward (Page 1 of 2)

Stepping down from MDMArchive

DJing at Freight Island. Photo: Nick Marchant

After 17 years of involvement with MDMArchive I have decided to step down from my role as archive manager and curator to focus on my career as a musician, DJ, writer and creative facilitator. I’d like to thank everyone on the archive team and our Board of Trustees for being my companions on this ride, which has been deeply rewarding, occasionally anarchic and pretty exhausting. I think it has been our shared sense of humour that has kept us going.

I’d particularly like to mention Mat Norman, the big brother I never had, for getting me involved in the first place; Alison Surtees for always being ahead of the curve on democratising heritage; Cathy Brooks for getting me back into making my own music and helping me out of spreadsheet despair; and to Sarah Feinstein for truly seeing my work and celebrating it. Thanks also to our chair Dave Carter for his tenacity in gaining charitable status.

In July we lost MDMArchive co-founder and co-chair, CP Lee, whose Shake, Rattle & Rain book was the initial spark that ignited the Archive. I’d like to acknowledge all that Chris gave to our organisation over the years: unparalleled knowledge of Manchester music, usually coupled with unparalleled belly laughs.

Particular highlights on the journey have included creating 1 Top Class Manager – The Notebooks of Rob Gretton; Queer Noise at the People’s History Museum; We Are Dynamite! at NIAMOS; and The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map.

We Are Dynamite! at NIAMOS

But my abiding passion has always been our online archive, which I created back in 2004-5 with our long-term digital developer, Ashley Kennerley. Ash and I have worked hard together on several iterations of the website, and overseen its constant maintenance. Special thanks to Ash for his creativity, calm problem-solving skills and database-whispering ability.

It has been amazing to watch the development of the website and archive, which now has over 22,000 uploads from its community of users. The images and stories contained within it are a true source of learning and inspiration. I have particularly enjoyed making and using the online exhibitions facility – there are so many lesser-known stories about Greater Manchester music that deserve to be revealed.

In order to remain a living, breathing community archive, we need to encourage more and more users to upload. You can help us do that by adding your favourite images and stories to the site, and, in turn, sharing those uploads through social media.

As a charity, MDMArchive is in a period of transition and our Board of Trustees is currently scoping out the future of the organisation. They’d like to hear from any individuals or organisations who may be interested working with us. Please contact info@mdmarchive.co.uk if you’d like to have a chat, making your emails FAO Alison Surtees.

Queer Noise at People’s History Museum

Peterloo: Artivist GM commission

Still from Mike Leigh’s film, Peterloo

I’m excited to announce that I have been commissioned by Manchester Histories to create a piece of audio art that draws inspiration from the 200 year anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre and its accompanying themes of protest, democracy, freedom of speech.

I am one of ten artists chosen as part of the ArtivistGM project, which pairs creative practitioners with Greater Manchester archives. I will be working with the Working Class Movement Library, responding to their collection of minutes from the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades Union Council 1895-1919.

ArtivistGM enables archivists and artists to collaborate in bringing a heritage collection to life, whilst creating new ways for the public to engage with the heritage of their local area.

The audio piece will be released in September.

Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades Union minutes.
Source: http://www.mswtuc.co.uk/

Fleshback: Queer Raving in Manchester’s Twilight Zone

‘Fleshback: Queer Raving in Manchester’s Twilight Zone’ is a Boiler Room and British Council film uncovering stories from Manchester’s LGBT+ clubbing scene.

In the early 90s, Manchester’s queer scene was blown wide open by the Hacienda’s seminal queer party, Flesh and its progenitor Number 1 Club on Central Street. Aided, or some would say ruined, by hit TV show Queer as Folk, the scene entered the national mainstream a few years later.

The film explores this history while revealing all about those carrying the torch of alternative rave culture in the new era, featuring collectives such as Homo Electric, Meat Free, Body Horror, and High Hoops. Each has a different approach and musical feel, drawing in different crowds, yet sharing the same vision. The film uses archive footage to highlight the continuum between Flesh and the parties that are happening today outside of Manchester’s city centre.

The release of the film marks the 30th anniversary of the enactment of Section 28. Section 28 was the last piece of homophobic law in the UK. It stated that councils should not “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” in its schools or other areas of their work. Section 28 was enforced in 1988 before it was repealed in Scotland in 2000 and then 2003 in the rest of the UK.

Steffi, DJ and promoter for Meat Free in Manchester, says, “People are very honest up North, and big movements don’t always wash with the Northerners. We’re not about branding or excluding people. Sexual identity is not at the forefront of our parties.”

Directed by Stephen Isaac-Wilson and produced by Anais Brémond.

We Are Dynamite! Exhibition Opening

Steel Pulse at the Northern Carnival © John Sturrock 1978

Steel Pulse at the Northern Carnival © John Sturrock 1978

Mon 3 September 2018
18:30 – 20:00
Niamos (former Nia Centre)
Chichester Road
Manchester
M15 5UP

BOOK YOUR FREE TICKETS HERE

The Northern Carnival against the Nazis, a rally and concert held on 15 July 1978 in Moss Side, Manchester, was a defining moment in establishing anti-racism in the city and beyond.

Dubbed ‘the day it became cool to be anti-racist’, the Carnival galvanised North West communities against racist groups, including the National Front. A rally of 15,000 people marched all the way from Strangeways prison to Alexandra Park joining a further 25,000 for an afternoon of music, dancing and unity.

Co-organised by Geoff Brown of the Anti-Nazi League (ANL) and Bernie Wilcox of Rock Against Racism (RAR), the Carnival featured incendiary live performances by pop-punk superstars Buzzcocks and Steel Pulse, the UK’s leading reggae band of the period. Support came from Moss Side reggae band Exodus (later X-O-Dus) and China Street from Lancaster, who had released a single on EMI called ‘Rock Against Racism’.

We Are Dynamite!  –  an exhibition of unseen photos and ephemera – aims to highlight the passion and excitement of the day whilst inspiring visitors to reflect upon a new era of challenge for people opposing messages of racism and division across the world.

Join us for drinks and conversation from 6.30pm.

Special guests: Honey and Patrick from Exodus.

The exhibition will run from Mon Sep 3rd-Sat Sep 22nd 10am-7pm and is FREE.

Our project volunteers would like to speak to anyone who attended the march or Carnival. We are looking to capture memories, images and footage for our permanent digital exhibition. If you can help, get in touch: info@mdmarchive.co.uk

IMAGE: Steel Pulse at the Carnival (L-R) Basil Gabbidon and David Hinds © John Sturrock, 1978

Twitter:
#NorthernCarnival1978
@MDMArchive

BOOK YOUR FREE TICKETS HERE

Supported by by Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, Heritage Lottery Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

Supported by Futura

Futura are the north’s leading Rec2Rec headhunting specialists. Established in 2001, they provide experienced recruitment professionals to the very best recruitment agencies in the country.

 

Northern Carnival Against the Nazis: 40th Anniversary project launch

black-kid-with-bubblegum-at-Strangeways

Marchers at Strangeways © John Sturrock 1978

The Northern Carnival against the Nazisa rally and concert held on 15 July 1978 in Moss Side, Manchester – was a defining moment in establishing anti-racism in the city and beyond. The 15,000 people who marched across town and the 40,000 people who danced in Alexandra Park that day didn’t just make racism no longer respectable. They made it uncool.

Co-organised by Geoff Brown (the Anti-Nazi League) and Bernie Wilcox (Rock Against Racism), the Carnival featured incendiary live performances by Buzzcocks, Steel Pulse and Moss Side reggae band Exodus. They were joined by post-punk bands Gang of Four, Frantic Elevators and others, who played on trucks to accompany the marchers.

To celebrate this pivotal moment in Manchester’s fight against racism, Manchester Digital Music Archive and the Ahmed Iqbal Race Relations Resource Centre have brought together the original organisers of the Carnival for a panel discussion and all-day event exploring its impact and continuing relevance today.

This event will also be the official launch of our Heritage Lottery-funded project and exhibition celebrating the Carnival.

12.00 FILMS

A series of historical films introduced by Geoff Brown

Rock Against Racism: Nazis Are No Fun
Who Shot The Sheriff?
Leeds Rock Against Racism

13.45 BREAK

14.00 SPEAKER: Jaheda Choudhury-Potter & Ajah UK

14.15 FILM: A brand new short film on the Northern Carnival Against the Nazis, 1978

14.30 PANEL DISCUSSION

15.45 SHARING MEMORIES

Recording memories  – share your memories of the Carnival with our project volunteers

PANEL

RAMILA PATEL (Bolton Asian Youth Movement)

On July 15th 1978, Ramila Patel of Bolton Asian Youth Movement addressed a crowd of 15,000 anti-racism protesters that had amassed in the car park of Strangeways prison to march across town to Alexandra Park in Moss Side – the main site of the Northern Carinval Against the Nazis. Ramila was asked to give the address by Anti-Nazi League organiser Geoff Brown, following her brave stance against National Front leader Martin Webster at a previous demo, in which she marched alone in defiance of Webster holding a placard saying ‘This man is a Nazi’. Ramila is now Head of Visual Arts at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa.

BERNIE WILCOX (Rock Against Racism)

Bernie Wilcox was the original organiser of Rock Against Racism in Manchester and was, with Geoff Brown of the Anti Nazi League, one of the instigators and prime movers behind the Northern Carnival Against The Nazis in 1978. Bernie has since forged a successful business career owning specialist recruitment businesses. Anti-racism, socialism and music are still close to his heart.

GEOFF BROWN (Anti-Nazi League)

Geoff became a revolutionary socialist at university in 1968, active in the campaign against the US war in Vietnam. His first arrest was for chalking slogans on his college wall, his second for obstructing a police officer at an anti-National Front protest. Joining the International Socialists (from 1977 the Socialist Workers Party) he moved to Manchester in 1972. When the Anti Nazi League was founded in late 1977 he became its Manchester organiser, helping saturate the city with leaflets, badges and protests and getting fifty coaches and minibuses, about 2,500 people, to the first Anti Nazi League/Rock Against Racism carnival in London in April 1978. Geoff went on to be a union tutor, working with shop stewards and on projects abroad, particularly in Pakistan. He was union branch secretary till he was victimised for his trade union activity, after which he was a part time official for his union, finishing in 2015. He is now active as a historian of Manchester ‘from below’.

Chaired by ABIGAIL WARD (Manchester Digital Music Archive)

Supported by by Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, Heritage Lottery Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

Supported by Futura

Futura are the north’s leading Rec2Rec headhunting specialists. Established in 2001, they provide experienced recruitment professionals to the very best recruitment agencies in the country.


Photo: Front row action at Alexandra Park, 1978 © John Sturrock

New radio show for NTS

Advert for NTS radio show

My latest radio show for NTS is now available on playback.

The Fall – Lost in Music
Sisters of Transistors – The Don
Wynder K. Frog – Mercy
Soundcarriers – Last Broadcast
LEVELZ – Jazzface
X-O-Dus – See Them-A-Come
Bryan Ferry – The Right Stuff (Dub Mix)
Quando Quango – Atom Rock (Mark Kamins New York Mix)
Only Child feat. Veba – Addicted
John Ellis – Unidentical Twins
The Weather Station – Transmission
James & Brian Eno – Wah Wah
[EXCERPT: SLUMS]
Lonelady – Little Fugue
Sub Sub – Lost in Watts
[EXCERPT: ORDSALL]
Tim Burgess – Oh No I Love You
Graham Nash – Chicago
John Kongos – He’s Gonna Step On You
LeonXLeon – Acid Disco
Charles B – Lack of Love
Denis Jones – 3333
Ludus – Breaking The Rules
Ill – Hysteria
The Montgolfier Brothers – The World is Flat
The Durutti Column – Sketch For Summer
Jon Kennedy – Boom Clack (Martin Brew Remix)
Primal Scream – Screamadelica

https://www.nts.live/

L-R: Denise Johnson (Ged Camera), X-O-Dus (Shutterbug), Gonnie Rietveld of Quando Quango (City Life).

NTS-line-up

The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map

Lapsed Clubber Audio Map , powered by Manchester Digital Music Archive

Manchester Digital Music Archive  has teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University to develop an online audio heritage map that will tell the story of the rave scene in Manchester in the words of clubbers, DJs, promoters, venue staff, producers and more.

The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map is a place for members of Greater Manchester’s original rave community to preserve and share their spoken word memories of clubbing and its culture during the ‘first decade’ of rave, 1985-1995.

Our interface allows you to record your voice directly into your desktop computer or laptop and pin 60-second sound clips onto a map of Greater Manchester at the exact spots where the events you are recalling originally happened.

You can also listen back to the memories of others.

Popular culture has referenced rave culture in Greater Manchester in print, in major films, on TV and in theatre, but almost always from the perspective of the well-known ‘expert insider’. Focusing on the raving landscape between 1985 and 1995, we are creating the Lapsed Clubber Audio Map with community input, giving the community the opportunity to write its own rave history.

Can you help?

If you went raving in Manchester between 1985 and 1995, we’d like to hear from you. We are looking for people who’d like to share some stories to help us test our map. We will send you a secret log in, allowing you to view and contribute to the map before it is launched. We’ll then ask you to feedback on your experience.

The memories are left anonymously with no username attached to them.

If you’d like to get involved, please email Abigail at info@mdmarchive.co.uk.

GEEK NOTE: This project is an experimental and evolving piece of work based on fusing third party protocols such as Google Maps and Web RTC. The latter, which is new open source software that allows you to record via browsers, is not currently FULLY compatible with iPhones, iPads and Safari. For the best experience, we recommend using a desktop or laptop computer running Chrome or Opera.

The Lapsed Clubber Project is a Heritage Lottery Funded Project based at Manchester Metropolitan University and run by Dr Beate Peter in partnership with Manchester Digital Music Archive (Abigail Ward), Go Bang Design (Ashley Kennerley) and Pin Studio (Paul Hemmingfield).

 

Suffragette City – The Music Event

Saturday March 10th 2018
3pm-4am

The Refuge
Principal Hotel
Oxford Road
Manchester
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
feat.

* 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
feat.
* 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.

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

Songs in the key of Beatle

I created this mix while high on Night Nurse. It contains some of my favourite Fabs solo tracks and some heartfelt Beatles-inspired moments by other artists. I’ve dug out a couple of curios (a Gene Simmons solo effort, an Eno/Manzanera live track), plus lots of Harrison-esque slide.  As always, there’s an emphasis on the melancholy. Thanks to SJP for ‘Bedspring Kiss’ and numerous others.

01. The Beatles – Because
02. Cian Ciaran – You & Me
03. John Lennon – Steel & Glass
04. 801 – T.N.K.
05. George Harrison – Art of Dying (Take 36)
06. Emitt Rhodes – Ever Find Yourself Running
07. ELO – Telephone Line
08. Paul McCartney – Jenny Wren
09. Jellyfish – Bedspring Kiss
10. The Paragons & Roslyn Sweat – Blackbird
11. Wings – Let Me Roll It
12. Nilsson – Jump Into The Fire
13. Gene Simmons – See You Tonite
14. Todd Rundgren – It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference
15. XTC – The Disappointed
16. Aimee Mann – How Am I Different?
17. Paul Weller – Song For Alice
18. Marmalade – Reflections of My Life
19. Field Music – Measure
20. David Bowie – Try Some, Buy Some
21. The Beatles – Because (Love version)

 

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