CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) is a fascinating national organisation that inspires musicians of all levels and audiences of varied natures to perform, write and interact with contemporary music. With new commissions, installations, concerts and loads of opportunities to get involved, they are part of a new force breaking down the ivory tower of art music and creating events designed to engage with issues relevant to everyone. This is precisely what CoMA Manchester are doing with their project Streaming Blue.
You can expect intimate and personal performances
In collaboration with Groundwork Greater Manchester, the group have been exploring the sounds and stories of our rivers. In their return to live events, the ensemble will be staging a mini festival with installations, discussion and new commissions exploring how you can sonify Manchester’s waterways.
Streaming Blue is split into two parts. The first is a repeated concert with works from Joanna Baile, Sarah Hennies, Pauline Oliveros and Shaun Davies. Alongside the music there will be a mixed media exhibition featuring stories relating to the use of Mancunian rivers told by Greater Manchester residents. There will be two opportunities to see the programme on 21 August – one at 2:30pm and again at 7pm, both taking place at St Margaret’s Church, Whalley Range. You can expect intimate and personal performances that will introduce you to the warm personality of the group as well as their inventive programming. The later concert will be followed by a short reception where you’ll be able to chat with both the ensemble members and representatives from Groundwork.
The second part of Streaming Blue involves a brand new commission from Manchester-based sound artist Kelly Jayne Jones. Based on the group’s research and experiments, Kelly is working with them throughout August to devise a brand new musical work. As a performance artist, Kelly has often interacted with alternative performance spaces, and this particular piece will take place at 3pm on 22 August, in the glorious natural surroundings of Phillips Park, along the River Medlock. The group have been generously supported by Arts Council England, as well as a diverse, nation-wide community who helped crowdfund part of Kelly’s commission earlier this summer.
CoMA take on ambitious projects and produce imaginative, high-quality performances
CoMA Manchester is distinctive in that the ensemble is led by a mixture of professional, academic and amateur musicians. They take on ambitious projects and produce imaginative, high-quality performances whilst remaining open for anyone to join them. The group have been tackling the challenges of rehearsing over Zoom during the lockdown, but are now bursting with excitement to share months of hard work with an in-person audience. If you’re a Manchester-based musician and interested in playing with the group, you can find out more via the CoMA website. They are always open for new members to join.