Over the coming months we'll be updating this page with details of the stops along the Ashton line; information about the groups creating the tracks for each stop, interesting facts, media and snippets of information as the project progresses. Be sure to check back on Monday 17 July, when we will be uploading recordings of each full track.
Ashton-under-Lyne - IKEA
At IKEA, we believe that sustainable transport to our store should be celebrated. The Metrolink has connected our IKEA store to far-reaching areas of Greater Manchester, and we are proud to have a strong working relationship with Metrolink in making the Ashton-under-Lyne tram stop known as the IKEA stop!
About the track
‘End Of The Decline’ was created by four staff members from Ikea. We began by improvising around the idea of a journey, and also being at the ‘end of the line’. We decided to record some sounds from the tramline, and then spent a day in Aidan’s studio creating a track based on the improvisations. Finally Dan went away and wrote the lyrics, recording his vocal in his own studio. Andrew Montana played cajon and percussion, Robert Britner played the guitars, Daniel Taylor played keys, electronic percussion, bass, and sings. Aidan pulled it all together.
Ashton West - The Heys Primary School
A lovely, lively, loud and enthusiastic bunch of Y5 children (31) with equally chirpy staff! Ready, willing and able to take part in anything and everything – looking forward to TramTracks and collaboration with teamtravel! Whoo hoo!
About the track
The Heys primary school in Ashton-under-Lyne worked alongside practitioner Tom Scott to compose and record a song for Ashton West tram stop. A lot of people pass through the stop on their way to Ashton-under-Lyne (the next and final stop on the line) and the group (Year 5) discussed what they see and hear on the tram route and also the history of the local area. The class loved singing and music is a big part of their creative learning at the school.
Ashton Moss - Audenshaw Grammar
The group is made up of Year 10 GCSE Music Students. Instrumentation includes vocals, cornet, saxophones, viola, guitars and drum kit.
About the track
This track was composed using the initial creative ideas from a GCSE class at Audenshaw Grammar as a starting point. The musical letters from Audenshaw provide the chord sequence, and the majority of the melodic material is derived from the default iPhone ringtone. The track is a musical representation of multiple phone calls in the tram carriage, performed in a quasi-improvisatory romantic style by a piano and double bass duo. The composition begins with a solo cadenza from both instruments, and comes to an abrupt end when the phone is answered mid-ring!
Piano – Emmanuel Vass
Double Bass – Gemma Ashcroft
The Johnny Barlow Therapeutic Drama Group has been running for more than 20 years. The group is for people with mental health issues and/or learning difficulties and a passion for theatre. The group members are currently working on a project called The Anti-loneliness League. As part of this, they are developing skills in creative writing, music making, performance and filmmaking. They are an eclectic mix of wonderful characters who are open, creative and passionate about helping people through theatre. Most of the group members are economically disadvantaged and are unemployed due to their challenging circumstances. Many volunteer regularly and attend other arts based activities. They are a self-running group who make decisions by committee and are supported by Tameside Arts, Guide Bridge Theatre and Mr One Million CIC. The group is committed to tackling the blight of loneliness and isolation for vulnerable people in their community. The group’s latest show is a multi-media superhero music theatre piece that takes the issue head on.
Droylsden - Hearts and Minds
Hearts and Minds project is an over 60s music and drama group. Participants gain skills in lyric writing, music making and drama. They come from a range of elderly care settings across Tameside and meet up every Thursday morning at Guide Bridge Theatre, Audenshaw to get creative. Many are economically disadvantaged. Many are experiencing mental and/or physical health issues. All of the participants are passionate about music and drama and creating work that helps bring about positive change within their community. The group is delivered and maintained by Mr One Million CIC. Tackling loneliness and isolation in old age is an issue that the group feel very passionate about and they are currently working towards a piece of music theatre that will tour local primary schools raising awareness of this issue.
Manchester Camerata Community Leaders Programme: a group of extraordinary professional people from care homes and health/social care organisations in Tameside. They have come together to share ideas and develop new and exciting methods of using the arts to improve health and well-being. They are committed to a 9-month programme that will help older people throughout Tameside benefit from regular exposure to music, drama and art and help improve the quality of that delivery. Right at that beginning of this process, the group have used percussion, text and rhythm to reimagine an epic tram journey. They have used this creative process to learn new and innovative ways of creating music with their clients- this has then been cascaded down to their clients in workshops all over Tameside.
Facilitator Aidan Jolly worked with this incredibly creative group of cross-generational group of poets and musicians create the song for Edge Lane, was written by members of the public during a full day of song writing workshops at The Bridgewater Hall.
Clayton Hall - Commission by Aidan Jolly
Welcome Comes Again was created as a commissioned piece by Aidan Jolly. The Hall is a unique moated building dating back to the 13th Century. It’s hidden away in a busy part of East Manchester. Aidan spoke to Lynn, Dennis and Shirley of the Friends of Clayton Park, who told him its history and showed him round. The song imagines the lives of all the people who have lived and worked there, seen as ‘friendly ghosts’ as you move from room to room, and out into the garden. The hall is well worth a visit - more information is available on www.claytonhall.org
Velopark - British Cycling
The team from British Cycling created a layered rhythmic cycling tapestry using drum sticks on bikes, mixing the noises of the tram at Velopark with sounds from inside the velodrome itself and writing lyrics celebrating cycling success. From the medal winning glory of the Great Britain cycling team all the way to the joys and achievement to be found in everyday cycling, this Tram Track throws open the doors of the velodrome to the whole of Manchester.
Boots and Beats is project engaging 14-25 year olds in open access football and music provision. The project aims to create a lively unique atmosphere for young people to have fun, socialise and engage in informal learning. The project’s underlying aim is to provide opportunities for young people to improve their life skills and employability. Boots and Beats is designed, developed and delivered by young people and funded by Cityzens Giving funding through Manchester City Football Club.
About the track
Initially, one of the tour guides in the Club and Stadium Tours department at Manchester City wrote some lyrics for the Etihad stop. These lyrics were then taken as a basis for inspiration by the young people at Boots and Beats. The final track has been written and sung by one of the young leaders, Roosevelt Sigsbert.
The Golden Voices Community Choir was inspired by a visit to Manchester International Festival by the Young at Heart Choir (New York) 8 years ago. We are a performing choir with an age-friendly focus. Our members range in age from fifty right up to eighty-five and we are a real mixture of folk. Some members had never sung before joining Golden Voices, some sing with other choirs and musical groups. We come from all corners of Manchester but our roots lie in Ancoats. We are a diverse group with different backgrounds and cultures.
About the track
We created music for the Holt Town Tram stop and had just 4.5 hours in which to create and record the different pieces. We started with by creating a short “jingle” around the name of the choir, what the choir means to group members and the name of the tram stop. The rhythmic impetus came from a short phrase one of the basses was singing when he arrived at the session “dee-dum, dee-dum-dee-dum-dee- da” so we built on that as a bassline, getting the altos and sopranos to do short vocal motives echoing the sounds of the tram doors opening and the sound of the machine that people have to clock into with their travel passes. Over this we created a verse about the group and a verse about the tram stop. People were throwing suggestions for lyrics which the composer then had to catch and weave together, allowing the group to refine the ideas as the process evolved. The sopranos were keen to shout out single words reflecting the essence of the group and the basses suggested starting with a spoken rhythmic phrase to get the piece going. We then created a soundscape of the tram as it travelled towards Holt Town. Members of the choir suggested a range of sounds from doors opening/closing, engine and track noises, brakes, hatter, mobile phones, announcements - which we then arranged collectively into the short piece.
One of the choir had found some interesting historical information about Holt Town and the Mills, houses and the mill working community. The composer had also researched Manchester City Council’s regeneration plans for the area which includes restoring some of the green spaces, building new apartments and introducing bars and restaurants along the canal. We discussed the impact of “gentrification” on the Holt Town and the group expressed a strong desire that a sense of community could be restored in that area. At the moment Holt Town is “like a ghost town” and the group observed that no-one ever seems to get either on or off the tram there. The group were keen to do a song that sounded like a song from the 60’s or 70’s. They performed “What a wonderful world this could be” as an example of the genre type. The composer created a bass and alto framework in a similar style over which a melody could sit.
New Islington - The Hallé, Terry Caffrey and the New Islington Free School