A major city-wide music project, for-Wards, culminates this June with performances of 6 world premieres of new music inspired by the second city in the final year of the project.
One of those premieres will be taking place at Concerts in the Park in Sutton Coldfield on Sunday 1st July following workshops and some intensive recording with four of the Royal Town’s community groups.
Access Creative College presents Harmonious Generations by Chris Eddowes, aka P0gman, with Whitehouse Common Primary School, Sutton Rock Choir, Greville House Retirement Home and Shaggy Dog Golf Club. Harmonious Generations provides an opportunity to hear Sutton Coldfield as never heard before; A chance to delve deep into the diverse sounds of the area transformed into a musical journey. Generations of Sutton Coldfield working together to bring the district to life in sound.
DJ P0gman, who has recently been touring the USA with sold-out sets said:
“Experiencing the sense of community in Sutton after working with such a diverse collection of people is very warming. I am very excited to capture the life and soul of Sutton through the sounds of a mixed generation.”
In just 2 years for-Wards has worked across 40 Wards, 10 Districts, with 10 Composers and 40 Community Groups and will have created 10 Local Performances premiering 10 new musical creations.
Year 2 has seen a collaboration between professional composers from Birmingham and 100’s of residents across 6 Districts in the city working together to produce a musical anthem which celebrates the sounds and stories from their own communities.
The performances, open to all, feature the collaborative work of community groups from Erdington, Hall Green, Ladywood, Perry Barr, Yardley and Sutton Coldfield Districts who have been out recording sounds from streets, parks, strange strings, homemade instruments, local butchers, hairdressers, cows and Pakistani fairy tales.
The recorded sounds are currently being embedded into what will be six wonderful musical creations through the professional talents of composers from a range of music genres: Electroacoustic composer, sound artist, performer and music lecturer Annie Mahtani, songwriter and composer Grandmaster Gareth who runs an 8-piece band Misty’s Big Adventure, as well as releasing solo-albums; Dubstep guru Pøgman who is cementing his place in dubstep with tours in Canada, USA and Australia; Handsworth-born Jazz saxophonist Xhosa Cole, part of the established legacy of Birmingham Jazz saxophonists founded by Andy Hamilton; Scott Johannsson a Birmingham-based visual artist and musician and member of the group LARVA; producer and writer and Brit Award nominee Simon Duggal who has written in a variety of genres for artists including Shania Twain, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and The Beat.
for-Wards is the brainchild of proud Brummie Bobbie-Jane Gardner, a composer and musician who is currently studying at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
“This has been an incredible journey for me. I have been blessed to have worked with such talented professional composers and over 500 residents across the city over the 2 years. We have been producing some amazing and thought-provoking music and I am so very proud of everyone involved.
We have touched so many hearts and given residents a unique opportunity to collaborate with composers and create their own music. This really has been a major project for the city and I am sure the performances in June will be very emotional as we come to the end of the project.”
The community groups range from rock choirs, special needs schools, historical societies, and care homes to academies, fitness groups and youth projects. The groups reflect the different cultures and diversity that makes Birmingham such a vibrant and exciting city to live in.
Award-winning producer and Brit-Award nominee Simon Duggal who has been working with groups in the Perry Barr District said:
“Through my work on the for-Wards project with community groups in the Perry Barr area of Birmingham, I’ve seen first-hand how music really can change lives. I’m looking forward to showcasing the compositions in June”
The 6 music compositions will be recorded on limited edition vinyl and all the sounds and music created will form a unique online interactive sound archive. These will be added to the music from Year 1 for future generations to access.
Each of the 6 compositions will receive their world premiere in the area in which the sounds are based. The community groups and their selected composer will perform their music to audiences made-up of local residents and members of the public. Expect a variety of musical instruments, sound recordings, gizmos, and reggae to electronica in these exciting premieres which will appeal to all ages.
Be a part of these historical performances by booking your FREE tickets now
www.for-wards.co.uk/upcoming – Please note that tickets for Sunday’s (July 1st) Concerts in the Park have sold out and there is currently a returns waiting list.
for-Wards is kindly funded by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, Arts Council England, Access Creative College, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, The Feeney Trust, Flatpack Projects, Hare and Hounds, Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), PledgeMusic supporters, PRSF and Wassifa CIC.
for-Wards year 2 is in partnership with Access Creative College, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Flatpack Projects, Hare and Hounds, Kalaboration, Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), and Wassifa CIC who each selected the 6 composers.
Saturday 16 June – 3:30pm – 4:15pm
St Barnabas’ Church, 152-156 High St, Birmingham, B23 6SY
Flatpack Projects presents IRIS by Scott Johannsson with Kingstanding Food Community Project, Chivenor Primary School, Stockland Green History Group and The Polish Expats Association.
Using archive material, semi-improvised electronic music, cut-up voice and field recordings, this ‘prepared history’ of Erdington native Iris Threadwell will blend personal reminiscence, local history and dramatisation of her storied life and mysterious disappearance.
Saturday June 23 – 11:00am – 12:15pm
Old Yardley School Trust House & St Edburgha’s Church
Church Road, Yardley, Birmingham, B33 8PD
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group presents Re-Sounding Yardley By Annie Mahtani with Kimichi School, Sheldon Tai Chi Group, South Yardley Library Craft Group and Stechford Scout Group.
Immerse yourself in the rich soundscapes of Yardley District through live performance utilising electroacoustic sound, field recordings, voice and performers from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Follow a sound trail to uncover more sounds of Yardley and round it off with a vintage tea in the Old Yardley School Trust House.
Saturday 23 June – 4:00pm – 5:00pm
South Aston United Reformed Church
Upper Sutton St, B6 5BN
Moving Ladywood by Xhosa Cole with Deaf Cultural Centre, James Watt Primary School, South Aston United Reformed Church Ramblers and Via Nova choir.
Delve into Ladywood’s rich past, its pivotal present and its exciting future through brand new work ‘Moving Ladywood!’ incorporating voices, signing, instruments, gizmos and gadgets.
SOMEWHERE OVER THE GALAXY
Thursday 28 June – 6:00pm – 7:00pm
The Springfield Centre, Springfield Rd, B13 9NY
Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) and Hare and Hounds presents SOMEWHERE OVER THE GALAXY by Grandmaster Gareth with Robin Hood Academy, All Saints Youth Group, The Springfield Project and The Ashiana Community Project.
Grandmaster Gareth and his sound explorers have sampled sounds from all corners of the Hall Green District. This performance features members of Misty’s Big Adventures and includes strange strings, homemade instruments, field recordings, local butchers and Pakistani Fairy Tales.
Saturday 30 June – 3:00pm – 4:15pm
Lozells Methodist Church Gerrard Street, B19 2AH
Universal Sounds by Simon Duggal with Yew Tree Primary School, Maryvale Community Project, Handsworth Fitness Group and Demential Information and Caring Services.
Birmingham born Multi-Award-Winning Music Producer & Composer Simon Duggal has collaborated with community groups in Perry Barr District to explore and record sounds in their local area. Simon has used these sounds to create four short genre-hopping pieces of music ranging from reggae to celtic to electronica and bhangra.
Sunday 1 July – 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Concerts In The Park, Sutton Park, B73 6LH
Access Creative College presents Harmonious Generations by Chris Eddowes, aka Pøgman, with Whitehouse Common Primary School, Sutton Rock Choir, Greville House Retirement Home and Shaggy Dog Golf Club.
Come and hear Sutton Coldfield as you have never heard it before. Delve deep into the diverse sounds of the area transformed into a musical journey. Generations of Sutton working together to bring the district to life in sound.