Keep Smiling

Back in 1993, Manchester nightlife was still dining out on the late ’80s/early ’90s Madchester era, and there was more than a whiff of danger as gangs still ran the night-club doors. It felt like there was nowhere for mild-mannered Mancunians to bop along to obscure ’60s pop without getting their heads kicked in, until,…

No Holds Bard

When Jenn Trethewey’s first theatre venture, Chapel Street Studios (operating out of Manchester’s Black Lion pub) found it was having to turn people away through lack of available seats, it became apparent that she had found her niche. The productions that Jenn hosted at CSS had earned her a reputation for being risky and innovative.…

The Future of Memory

Birmingham-based sound artist Justin Wiggan (aka Roadside Picnic) has been undertaking a daunting but beautiful series of phonological investigations to recreate memories of people who are at the end stages of their lives. The project is called Life Echo, and Wiggan claims that his process can foster “memory health through phonic wealth.” Life Echo attempts…

Calendar Girl

In the latest of her regular drawing columns, artist Louise Clarke divulges how links between the Moon, menstruation and mark making were instrumental in forging her art practice. I sat incredulous when my granny told me that my periods were connected to the Moon. Aged 12, I couldn’t believe that the calm white disc that…

Max Richter

The Blue Notebooks (Deutsche Grammophon) ‘When I think of beautiful music, I think of vinyl music’, Max Richter told journalist Paul Morley in an interview leading up to last year’s live premiere and anniversary vinyl reissue of Richter’s 2002 debut LP Memoryhouse. Now it’s the turn of its successor, 2004’s The Blue Notebooks to get…

Other Worlds

Preston, 5 June, 2015 As James Birchall took to the stage at the Continental, a modest pub-restaurant tucked away between the banks of the River Ribble and a housing estate just south of Preston city centre, no one could really have anticipated what would follow. Unassumingly padding up to the stage, bottle of Corona in…

Dark Frame / Deep Field

Breese Little Gallery 4 June–1 August 2015 This exhibition, co-curated by astronomer Marek Kukula and art historian Melanie Vandenbrouck, is a celebration and exploration of the last half-decade or so of space travel, and an examination of the human response to our ever more-accurately defined place in an ever-expanding universe. To this end, contemporary takes…

Secondhand Daylight

Liz Rever recounts how a childhood encounter entwined science, fact and fiction into a lifelong fascination with the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun. When I was seven years old my teacher asked everyone in our class to keep a “phases of the Moon journal”. Each night, for one month, we were to find…

Satellite of Love

It’s 45 years since the first Moon landings, yet our enigmatic lunar neighbour still seems oddly far away. Here, Katie Grocott explains just what has made, and continues to make this shimmery celestial rock so alluring. There’s A Moon In The Sky (Called The Moon) Life on Earth arose and evolved under the influence of…