AHEAD Archive : Intangible Sounds as part of Manchester Histories Festival

Saturday 8 June : 9:30am – 10:30pm at Grosvenor East Building, MMU and HOME

Dr Susan O’Shea  Senior Lecturer in Sociology (FHEA) Manchester Metropolitan University.

Very lucky to have a job with brilliant colleagues that allows us to creatively engage with research through music and sound, as part of our ‘Intangible Sounds’ programming with Manchester Histories Festival 2024 (Karen Shannon). We had a brilliant day and evening on Saturday.

Fortunate to share a panel with fabulous colleagues talking about alternative voices, narratives, archives and histories [Kirsty Fife, Professor Kirsty Fairclough, Katie Milestone Manchester Sociology Dept., Maria Ruban, John Lloyd with the wisdom of Karen Gabay.

Privileged to curate and perform at the sold out DARK MASS event with Dr. Julian Holloway bringing together two research groups (and bands), the Dark Arts Research Kollective (DARK) and Music and Sonic Studies Manchester (MASS) in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at The Manchester Metropolitan University. Celebrating creative excellence with PGRs (Katie Chatburn & Markus Hetheier) and Staff (Chris Gladwin School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University). Special thanks to the team at HOME Manchester for supporting us. They were fantastic.

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.

This event is supported by AHEAD – Arts & Humanities Engagement and Dialogue, Manchester Met’s Engagement Programme for making a positive impact through research

For further information on the Manchester Histories Festival 2024. Please visit www.manchesterhistoriesfesival.co.uk

Or follow on socials: facebook.com/manchesterhistories | instagram.com/manchesterhistories | twitter.com/mcrhistfest


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 and 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

In the late 1970s, then PhD student Melanie Tebbutt at Manchester Polytechnic began a piece of research that would result in the Manchester Studies Oral History Collection. 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 panel brings together those who first conceived 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.

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

Presented by DⱯRK Research Group


•Dominique Tessier (Manchester Historian)

•Mark P Henderson (Professional storyteller and folklore expert)

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

• Emily Oldfield (Poet and writer)

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 Heritage Impact Network (HIN)

In addition to members of the Heritage Impact Network, confirmed guest speakers are as follows:

  • 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

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’. Bringing together field recordings, manipulated sounds and electronic interpretations of Pankhurst’s famous first independent speech