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Manchester International Festival: Day 10

  • Richard Fair
  • 7 Jul 07, 09:55 AM

Love. Love love. Love, love, love. Love. Love. Love love, love. It doesn’t quite work the same written down as it did when I heard it on Art Radio. Basically they’d taken the word love out of hundreds of songs and strung them all together into one long audio piece. I missed the beginning, but I’m guessing it was called ‘Love’ or something wittily similar.

Anyway, that’s what I listened to as I was driving into town yesterday. The day before it was some bizarre mix of an old foreign language lesson where all the non English words had been replaced with birdsong. I can now order a large beer, yellow socks and medicated toilet paper in sparrow. It’s art you see and so Art Radio is a really good name for the experimental station broadcasting this kind of stuff on FM and the Internet.

I was thinking about do a recording of me cutting my toenails and sending it to them, but somebody has probably already done it mixed in with a Whitney Houston track.

If you pop into the Cornerhouse you can see the radio station at work up on the second floor, not that there’s a lot to see, but then radio’s like that.

Up on the top floor however, there’s something far more interesting to watch. It’s The Assembly by Rachel Davies, a one time member of the Manchester Girl’s Choir. The installation opens with spoken memories from former members of the choir, moves on through an interesting mix of Gary Barlow and the Girls’ Choir singing Want You Back for Good - apparently he gave his personal permission for the song to be used. Finally there’s a wonderful piece of creativity with the entire choir dressed in blue falling over. You really need to be there.

I also popped into the Central Library to see the Queen and Country exhibition by Steve McQueen (no, not the one that was in The Great Escape). A large wooden box contains a series of vertical draws that when slid out reveal large sheets of stamps made with photographs of British soldiers killed in Iraq. I’m not sure that stamps are a fitting tribute to those that gave up their lives, but the families seem happy with the whole thing. What I did find slightly chilling after looking at a number of these sheets was to open a drawer and find it empty – perhaps just waiting for the next ‘killed in action’ face to appear.

Tom Kerswill introduces us to Not The Manchester International Festival, while we get's view on Monkey. I'm not quite sure what is all about, but they're encouraging you all to come to our Blog Meet on Monday, so I'll give them a mention (for free). Don't forget to let us know if you plan on coming.

I’m off to spend the afternoon at Manchester Central for The Great Indoors. It promises a whole weekend of activities and adventure all inside Manchester Central. Expect a heat wave.

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