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Intangible Sounds

June 8 | 9:30 am 10:30 pm

A day of workshops talks and performances from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Manchester Met present a day of public talks and workshops on music and sound heritages, followed by a night-time music and performance event.

Both the daytime activities and the evening gig will explore how music, sound and sonic experiences constantly interweave with both time and place: creating emotions, evoking memories and bonding us into many different kinds of community.

10:0011:30Session One: Alternative Voices – Round Table Discussion
11:4513:15Session Two: 40 Years of the Manchester Studies Oral History Collection
14:0015:00Session Three: Paranormal Manchester
15:4517:15Session Four: Intangible Heritage in Place
19:0022:30Evening Event: 7.00pm DⱯRK MASS

This event is part of  Manchester Histories Festival and will coincide with MMU’s 200 Years celebrations. It focuses on music and sound heritages.

The event brings together several research groups Contemporary Intimacies, Genders and Sexualities, MASS, Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage , DⱯRK)  and represents several departments from around the Faculty, and beyond.

It invites multiple speakers from academia; public and community history; arts and culture practice; lived experience to join in the conversation.

10.00am – 11.30am – Session One: Alternative Voices (Round Table Discussion)

Presented by the Contemporary Intimacies, Genders and Sexualities (CIGS) Research Group:

Hosted by Karen Gabay (broadcaster, TV producer, podcast host & producer, film maker)

Speakers : Prof Kirsty Fairclough • Dr Katie Milestone • Dr Susan O’Shea • Dr Kirsty Fife • Maria Ruban and John Lloyd

Topics discussed will include,

  • Intersectional approaches to telling the underrepresented stories of minority gender and women’s contributions to Manchester music and their global impact,
  • Gender and Northern Soul,
  • Popular music and DIY archives.
  • Overlaps between music, film and fashion.

11.45am – 1.15pm – Session Two: 40 Years of the Manchester Studies Oral History Collection

Presented by Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage (MCPHH)

A panel with the collections founder, curator and users from Manchester Sound Archive and a phd Student –  with interludes of recorded sound

Speakers : Prof Melanie Tebbutt • Rob Hillman, Tameside Archivist •Dave Govier •Suzie Cloves, PhD Student

Manchester Studies was initiated by Bill Williams, the renowned historian of Jewish Manchester, and developed by a team of other talented individuals. Between the 1970s and 80s hundreds of interviews with working class people were undertaken, many of them born in the late nineteenth century, detailing their lives and their experiences working in Manchester’s now lost industries. This remarkable piece of research would develop into what is now known as the Manchester Studies Oral History Collection. This panel brings together those who worked on the creation of the archive, have used it, and who now care for it, in order to stimulate new conversations and research directions around this remarkable resource. We will also be providing a workshop by current oral history practitioners on best practice in oral history research.

2.00pm – 3.00pm – Session Three: Paranormal Manchester :

Presented by DⱯRK Research Group


• Ian Waring (Flecky Bennett ghost tour guide)

•Mark P Henderson (Professional storyteller and folklore expert)

• Dr. Morag Rose (Psychogeographer and expert on strange Manchester)

• Emily Oldfield (Poet and writer)

•Hannah Singleton (Lecturer in the Department of Art and Performance)

Ghosts, earth mysteries, UFOs, cryptids, occult energies, and their kin are, by definition, intangible – absent presences that cannot always be fully known, touched, and rationally explained. Evidence, where it exists, is often elusive and indefinable, and always contested.  Manchester’s strange heritage encompasses many strands of the paranormal from hauntings to occult practitioners, hairy cryptids to canal monsters. This session seeks to explore these phenomena and allow members of the public to experience this hidden and strange side to Manchester.

3.45pm – 5.15pmSession Four: Intangible Heritage in Place

Presented by the Dr Johnathan Djabarouti of the Heritage Impact Network (HIN)

  • Bernadette Bone, Conservation Architect and Tutor at the Manchester School of Architecture, Owner BB Heritage Studio
  • Jenna Johnston, Senior Heritage Consultant, Buttress
  • Katie Wray, Director, Deloitte

The Manchester School of Architecture’s Dr Johnathan Djabarouti will host a ‘Long Table’ panel of invited industry guests and members of the newly created Heritage Impact Network (HIN), with encouragement for public participation from the audience.

The newly formed ‘Heritage Impact Network’ at Manchester Met brings together contemporary heritage researchers who have a specific interest in understanding ephemeral, intangible, social, and non-physical manifestations of heritage and culture. At this Long Table event the network’s interests will respond to the UK’s recent ratification of the UNESCO (2003) Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, by shifting their attention to historic places. How do immaterial manifestations of culture – such as cultural practices, storytelling, memories, rituals, and events – relate to physical heritage buildings, sites, and places? Experienced industry heritage practitioners from various disciplinary perspectives and heritage remits will join network members, along with empty chairs at the table for audience participation in the conversation.

7.00pm – 10.30 pm Evening Event DⱯRK MASS

At HOME, Events Space, 2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN – Separate Booking page

Following the day sessions at MMU, please join us in the events space at HOME for an evening of performance linked to our themes.

Presented by the DⱯRK Research Group and the Music and Sonic Studies Research group (MASS) at Manchester Metropolitan University

This evening performance will showcase the soundscapes and research-influenced music being created by PhD students and staff.


Katie Chatburn: ‘The Shape of Sounds’. Using data from her research around how people draw and perceive sound bringing graphic scores to life through a semi-improvised piece with synths and amplified strings.

Markus Hetheier: In his soundscape performance, Markus Hetheier will investigate queer sonic geographies of Manchester.

Chris Gladwin: ‘Runic Acid (V.2)’ A conjunction of the city’s musical past and Pennines occult heritage from witchcraft to chaos magic.

Susan O’Shea & Julian Holloway  ‘Monstrous Women: Sounding Space at Boggart Hole Clough’.


Grosvenor East Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

Cavendish Street
Manchester, M15 6BG
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