Latest Commission- mjf 2024

Verity Watts: SÈANCE 

Our originals commission will be SEANCE by artist, turntablist and  founder of Better Songs, Verity Watts. Verity completed the 2022 hothouse programme and we are delighted to welcome her back to mjf.  SÈANCE will be an evening of restorative evening of healing in which Verity will fuse storytelling with sound by resurrecting voicemail messages of lost loved ones.  In doing so she will create a supportive and shared space in which audience members connect via a shared understanding of grief.

Coming soon – more details to follow! 

Previous Commission- mjf 2023

Un.Procedure: THEMORY

THEMORY is an audiovisual installation presented by Manchester Jazz Festival, drawing from the subjective and fluid forces of family and history, place and time. Telling a collective story through a collage of memories, heard and seen, the audience will be propelled through a thematic narrative, bound together by a backdrop of past and present Manchester.

The idea took root after lead band member, Piera, was given hours of video tapes from her dad of her family in rural Ukraine, which he had filmed thirty years ago. It led to conversations about the subjectivity of how memories and history become part of our lives, however indirect.

The installation is built around its audience – featuring footage collected on a local scale, THEMORY remembers what its contributors have forgotten; secondhand, long-shelved or passed down footage, photographs and audio are central to the project. An emotive score will accompany this, realised by un.procedure, using specialised sound to create an immersive environment for its audience.

This work is supported through the Cheltenham Jazz Festival Jerwood Jazz Encounters programme, co-commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival and supported by Jerwood Arts. And with special thanks to The North West Film Archive (NWFA) for their support to the project.