For-Wards Project

Since June 2016 MAC has been involved in the citywide music programme for-Wards a a major large-scale city-wide music project celebrating Birmingham’s diverse music scene and vibrant communities.

Year 1

In 2017 for-Wards commissioned 10 leading composers with a strong Brummie connection including alternative pop legends Pram, Afrofuturist Hip Hop artist Juice Aleem and Godflesh’s Justin Broadrick, to work in one of the city’s 10 districts and all of its 40 Wards, to produce a distinctive sonic response, inspired by a bank of community generated field recordings collected in each district and shared stories. The 10 new works were performed back in the districts in which the sounds were found.

mac worked with Capsule and Pram in the district of Edgbaston. You can follow Pram here.

In each district for-Wards will programmed:
– a sound walk
– 4 field recording sessions
– 3 workshops with their selected composer
– local performances in unexpected venues.

The 10 pieces of new music were performed at an event celebrating the distinct musical and cultural heritage of Birmingham, bringing new audiences to different musical styles. Working in collaboration with Birmingham City University (BCU), the newly created work was also published via an online record label, on a limited edition vinyl record and an interactive website linking music, communities and cultures.

Time scale:
for-Wards is a 2-year project with 5 Composers per year working in:

  • Year 1: Northfield, Edgbaston, Selly Oak, Perry Barr & Hodge Hill Districts.
  • Year 2 : Hall Green, Sutton Coldfield, Ladywood, Erdington & Yardley Districts.

Year 2

In 2018 MAC has teamed up with independent music venue Hare and Hounds and have selected composer Grandmaster Gareth (Misty’s Big Adventures) to co-create music with four community groups based in Hall Green district.

Participants will be asked to share their stories and experiences and take part in a series of composing workshops to co-create new music with their selected composer.  They will also be invited to go out into their own community to record sounds and conversations reflecting their own working and living environment. 

for-Wards will culminate in live public performances in each of the remaining 6 Districts – Yardley, Hall Green, Sutton, Ladywood, Erdington and Perry Barr, in June 2018. 

for-Wards is kindly funded by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, PRSF, mac birmingham, Hare and Hounds, Access to Music, Flatpack Projects, Wassifa CIC, Kalaboration, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, The Feeney Trust, Birmingham City Council, Arts Council England and PledgeMusic supporters. 

Image: Scott Johnson.

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