Latest Commission- mjf 2024

Verity Watts: Séance 

A moving musical performance, transforming The Deaf Institute Venue into a space for connection. Please read on to learn more. 

Built around voicemail messages from lost loved ones, artists’ Verity Watts (2022 hothouse artist) and Rosie Parsons (Better Songs), will invite audiences to come together over shared experiences of loss and grief.

Many of us keep everyday messages or voicemails from loved ones after they have passed, and this piece seeks to create a space where they can be heard and responded to through music and sound, to honour the significance of these messages, and place them in a new and uplifting context.

Using the idea of a séance, the performance draws on the different ways we maintain a connection with those who are no longer with us. Using turntables, electronics and newly commissioned choral motifs, artists Verity Watts and Rosie Parsons will work together with improvising performers Lara Jones (saxophone) and Lucy Nolan (harp), to create a supportive, shared space through sound and music.

Tickets can be found here! 

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.