We've been busy in libraries over the last six months. Here we look back at the highlights of the Echo Trace: five brilliant creative projects in five local Manchester libraries.
Named after the incredible acoustic effects in the Central Library’s reading room, the Echo Trace marked the second phase of Chaos To Order - a programme that commenced with a weeklong artistic residency curated by Everything Everything at Central Library last November.
With photography, visual art, writing, sound and music, the Echo Trace multi-arts programme saw an abundance of creativity take place across the five libraries involved. The project’s activities celebrated the cultural value of the library space and showed the different ways libraries are used by local people in Manchester.
To deliver the Echo Trace, we brought on board some of Manchester’s most exciting artists and creative organisations. At Longsight Library, we joined forces with Inna Voice to work with young people to develop lyric writing and beatboxing skills. At Beswick, musicians Najia Baji and Sara Lowes worked with young families at Baby Chaos to explore the book We’re Going on Bear Hunt through music, sounds and different materials.
Over at Wythenshawe, digital media mavericks Let’s Go Global worked with residents to document the life and times of the area via an interactive map and digital soundtrack. At Withington, The Noise Upstairs and The Owl Project led improvised music and sound sculpture sessions, and north of the city in Harpurhey, writer Emma Jane Unsworth and photographer Rebecca Lupton worked with the Grand Day Out group to build a modern interpretation of a local history installation.
Following a busy six months of workshops and creative sessions, the Echo Trace programme culminated on Sat 30 May at Manchester Central Library. Here we brought the five libraries together under one roof, for a one day creative showcase for everyone to enjoy.
The event featured a taster of each of the five Library projects, plus additional highlights. This included the brilliantly original, Fictitious Dishes taking place in the Library café. Here, the audience listened to Emma Jane Unsworth recite famous 20th century prose, whilst acclaimed chef Mary Ellen McTague served literature inspired canapés.
The Echo Trace made use of all the Library's spaces, and even saw a digital music installation by Let’s Go Global hidden amongst the library books, which visitors discovered by following a map.
Baby Chaos made itself at home in the Children’s Library for its busiest session yet. The Grand Day Out group showcased their installation in The Shakespeare Hall and featured a walk through journey of memories accompanied by a newly commissioned live piece of music by Eve Harrison.
The Library’s brilliant performance space provided a platform for young people from Withington and Longsight Libraries to perform, and also a stage for the Chaos to Order residency musicians, who performed a set to close the events of the day and end the Echo Trace on a well-deserved, celebratory high.
Talking about the project, Debra King, Director of Brighter Sound said, "I thought the final culmination of Echo Trace at Manchester Central Library was incredibly inspiring -it felt like a genuine connection to and unveiling of creative ideas, histories and stories from communities and artists from across the city ,I felt very privileged to be there on Saturday and to be able to experience such a range of fascinating insightful work."
FREE DOWNLOAD: to celebrate this fantastic project, we’d like to share the Chaos to Order set with you for free. Download it to keep here.