An Update from Music @ Bradford University
This Spring/Summer season marks two years of Andy Abbott’s Fellowship in Music at the University of Bradford. Andy has used his time here to explore and share his interest in grassroots, self-organised and DIY (do-it-yourself) music and culture. His Fellowship has involved encouraging collaborations, programming one-off events in unusual spaces, facilitating a Bradford Music Society and inaugurating the city-wide festival Bradford Threadfest. Andy now takes time to reflect and place some of these practical experiments and events in an international and critical context, asking the question: what role does DIY and self-organised activity play in the past, present and future of Bradford?
This season takes the form of four stages and events:
1. In early 2013 Andy has been invited to complete a month-long residency in Istanbul as part of the London-based Gasworks Fellowship and the PiST/// Research and Production Residency Programme. Here he will be researching the relationship between art, music and culture at institutional and grassroots levels to the development of one of the world’s largest, busiest and culturally famed cities. Following the residency Andy wrote the article 'Bosphorous Reflections: Revealing the Conditions Conducive to DIY Culture' and produced two Istanbul Specials of The Mirrored Hammer.
2. In early May Andy plans to host a day-long symposium that looks at the relationship between DIY and independent cultural activity and social change. Local and international cultural practitioners, contributors and organisations will be invited for a discussion event which aims to unpick the resonances and implications of self-organised culture in the current sociopolitical, economic and environmental climate. Details here.
3. In late May we celebrate Bradford’s wealth of independent music venues, organisations and talent as Bradford Threadfest returns. Threadfest is an inclusive and affordable opportunity to join up the pockets of activity that often occur in isolation, share audiences and encourage people to embrace the unfamiliar and discover the special music in the city. Go to Bradford threadfest 2014 for details.
4. Over the summer, Andy and Fellow in Visual Art Caroline Hick will work together on the exhibition 'Fieldworks: Co-researching Self-organised Culture' at Gallery II. The exhibition will draw together the various off-site projects Caroline and Andy have programmed over the last few years. The exhibition examines the new ways of thinking and acting suggested by collaborative cultural research and asks wider questions about what role the arts play in education and social change today.