Out of the Shadows

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Northern Voices: Manchester Collective's commissioning scheme to provide a platform for bold and underrepresented voices

Northern Voices artists CourtsWrites, CURRENTMOODGIRL, and Chris Alton with collaborator Emily Simpson. Photography: Brandina Chisambo
Northern Voices artists CourtsWrites, CURRENTMOODGIRL, and Chris Alton with collaborator Emily Simpson. Photography: Brandina Chisambo

Manchester Collective's Northern Voices is a commissioning scheme (launched in Spring 2021) to provide a platform for 'bold and underrepresented' voices in Manchester Collective’s home region, with the intention of making new work that explored the connection between music and other art forms. The first fruits of the programme are now available.

Musician and producer CURRENTMOODGIRL, artist and curator Chris Alton, and writer and director CourtsWrites, all based in Greater Manchester, have created new works that span film, music and visual art, and explore topics such as grief, creative blocks and female empowerment. 

CURRENTMOODGIRL has created a new track, Skin Stretch, for voice and electronics, using manipulated audio samples from a Manchester Collective recording of Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night. Chris Alton has created a collaborative artwork, Words to Grieve, Part #1,  with Emily Simpson which explores bereavement, grief and language. In Blink, CourtsWrites interweaves film, spoken word and photography to explore the turbulent journey creators experience when faced with a blank sheet of paper, set to a Manchester Collective recording of Philip Glass’ String Quartet No. 2

The three works are available to view on the group's website, and the artistic commissions will also be showcased at a live event at 7.30pm on Friday 10 December at The White Hotel in Salford, prior to the group's Heavy Metal show. 

A parallel strand in the Northern Voices (with Salt Magazine) has seen commissions from authors from a diverse range of backgrounds to present new critical writing on art in the North, and the first fruits of this are available on Salt Magazine's website.

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