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For-Wards Project

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

for-Wards is an ambitious 2-year music programme working in partnership with outstanding music programmers across the city to commission 10 leading composers with a strong Brummie connection, including alternative pop legends Pram, dubstep maestro P0gman 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 are performed back in the districts in which the sounds were found.

In each district for-Wards will programme:

– Field recording sessions – Composing workshops with their selected composer – A local performances in unexpected venues.

Each of the 10 pieces of new music are performed at an event celebrating the distinct musical and cultural heritage of Birmingham, bringing new audiences to different musical styles.

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. 

Working in collaboration with Birmingham City University (BCU), the newly created work will be published on a limited edition vinyl record late 2018 and feature 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 (2016 – 2017): Edgbaston, Hodge Hill, Northfield & Selly Oak Districts.
  • Year 2 (2017 – 2018): Erdington, Hall Green, Ladywood, Perry Barr, Sutton Coldfield & Yardley Districts.


Year 1

MAC worked with Capsule to commission alternative pop band Pram to create new music inspired by the district of Edgbaston. Pram worked with Chad Vale Primary School (Harborne Ward), Woodgate Valley Country Park History Group (Bartley Green Ward) Women's Group at The Haven (Quinton Ward), and Volunteers from Martineau Gardens (Edgbaston Ward). You can learn more about their work and hear the sounds via the for-wards.co.uk/map and the following blog post.

Image: Scott Johnson

Year 2

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; Robin Hood Academy (Hall Green Ward), All Saints Youth Group (Kings Heath and Moseley Ward), The Springfield Project (Springfield Ward) and The Ashiana Community Project (Sparkbrook Ward).

You can learn more about Grandmaster Gareth’s work here and how to book FREE tickets to the June performance here.

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. 


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