Bury Line

Over the coming months we'll be updating this page with details of the stops along the Bury 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.

Bury | Radcliffe | Whitefield | Besses o' th' Barn | Prestwich | Heaton Park | Bowker Vale | Crumpsall | Abraham Moss | Queens Road

 


Bury 

The song came out of research carried out by the songwriters in the café bar of Bury Met. When Geli arrived in Bury for the first meeting, she couldn’t find long term parking and asked a man in the street. He immediately offered to get in the car and take her to the Big Tesco car park. They had a great conversation about music. When the two songwriters interviewed other Bury residents in the café – every single one talked about how friendly the people of Bury were and how everyone welcomed strangers.
Lyrics by Geli Berg
Music by Carol Jason



Radcliffe - Chapelfield Primary School

Chapelfield Primary School worked alongside practitioner Tom Scott to compose and record a song for Radcliffe tram stop. The Year 5 group enjoy making music and each child is learning to play a brass instrument at the school. The group were inspired to write a song which reflected the industrial past of Radcliffe and also contemplated what future generations might think of life today in the area.



Whitefield - St. Michael’s Primary School

A creative and energetic group who enjoy being hands on and making music. Children in this group study flute and clarinet and are enthusiastic and eager to learn.

About the track

We used an American children’s song “Engine, Engine Number 9” as our starting point. We enjoyed writing new and creative lyrics to fit the same tune. The class had been learning to play flutes and clarinets this year, so we included an instrumental backing in some of the verses.



Besses o' th' Barn - Commission by Eve Harrison

Besses o’ th’ Barn was commissioned by Tram Tracks, a celebration of the anniversaries of The Bridgewater Hall and Metrolink. The new brass quartet forms one of the 93 new pieces of music for each of the tram stops on the network. The work is 3 minutes in duration and hopes to represent and reflect the area of Besses o’ th’ Barn and the Besses Boys Band who kindly premiere the work.

Besses o’ th’ Barn has fascinating stories and history behind both the area and the brass band as each has developed and changed over the years. I felt there was an analogy between this and the feeling of a tram ride, excitement, gaining momentum, sharing adventures, reflective moments gazing out of the window and some potential disruption and challenges on the journey before safely arriving at your destination. Much of the musical material for the piece originates from transcriptions of speaking the names of the tram stops on the route from Victoria to Bury Interchange!

My thanks to Besses Boys Band and their Musical Director James Holt.

Eve Harrison, July 2017



Prestwich - Kay Dee Kidz

Children from Year 5 at King David Primary School who love to create and perform raps. King David Primary School is founded on traditional Jewish values with a belief in respect, courtesy, self-discipline, diligence and the pursuit of excellence.  Their mission is to encourage each and every child to reach the highest levels of academic achievement, creativity and personal development. We aim to create a generation who will be knowledgeable and committed to their faith and values and will become outstanding citizens within the Jewish community and in the wider world.

About the track

This song is based on a Blues song called "Engine Engine Number 9" written and recorded by American country music artist Roger Miller in 1965. The Year 5 classes rewrote the lyrics about Prestwich and the area surrounding the tram.



Heaton Park - Public songwriting session

Written and composed by members of the public during a full day of song writing workshops with Eve Harrison at The Bridgewater Hall.

 



Bowker Vale - Klezmer-ish

Klezmer-ish is what happens when four classically trained musicians let their hair down, explore a wide range of music from travelling people across the world and fuse it all together into their own unique sound. Join us on our musical journey through klezmer, tangos, gypsy jazz, Irish fiddle music, “music of the travellers”.

About the track

This part of North Manchester has a long history of immigration, with people from Jewish, Irish, African, Caribbean and Indian backgrounds (amongst others) all making their lives here at various points over the last two or more centuries.

Our song reflects this rich social history by drawing on two very different music traditions. Our piece starts with a 19th-century “broadside ballad” called The Exile’s Lament. Manchester was a national centre for the production of these hugely popular ballads, which were sold cheaply on the street and often dealt with current events and issues. As the Irish population of Manchester grew, unsurprisingly many ballads emerged with Irish themes. We have tried to reflect the nostalgic tone of the words in a slow and simple musical setting.

Sounds imitating the sounds of a steam train (or perhaps a steam tram…Manchester had steam powered trams 100 years before the present-day Metrolink!) lead into the second part of our song, which reflects the strong Jewish community in the North Manchester area by using a song from Ukraine called Sem Sorok (“7:40”). It is a freylakh often performed at Jewish weddings, and one of the stories behind the song suggests that its name refers to a train which brought Jewish merchants from their shtetl to work in Odessa each day, arriving at 7:40am and returning at 7:40pm.

www.klezmerish.com

Thanks to staff at Manchester Jewish Museum for their assistance in researching this commission. 



Crumpsall - Kay Dee Kidz

Children from Year 5 at King David Primary School who love to create and perform raps. King David Primary School is founded on traditional Jewish values with a belief in respect, courtesy, self-discipline, diligence and the pursuit of excellence. Their mission is to encourage each and every child to reach the highest levels of academic achievement, creativity and personal development. We aim to create a generation who will be knowledgeable and committed to their faith and values and will become outstanding citizens within the Jewish community and in the wider world. 

About the track

The verses alternate between the Year 5 girls and boys rapping, with a sung chorus from everyone. The lyrics of the verses describe the experience of being on a tram and what you may hear, see and smell. The chorus focuses on the diversity of the community in the area and the languages you may hear spoken in Crumpsall.


 

Abraham Moss - Abraham Moss Community School

The group consists of 14 pupils from across Years 8 and 9 who have demonstrated a commitment to practical music making. Within the group are singers, pianists, guitarists, rappers, drummers and ukulele players. Abraham Moss Community School is a thriving multicultural community in North Manchester which prides itself on its harmony and success. The group consists of pupils from years 8 and 9 who have demonstrated a commitment practical music-making. The group is diverse in ethnic origin but as the school motto says, Ex Diversitate Vires, from diversity comes strength.

The group talked about daydreaming and the feeling of being elevated on the tracks looking out over Manchester. They also enjoyed people-watching on the tram and seeing, from a distance, people and a snapshot of their life. The peaceful and dreamy nature of the music also reflects this feeling.


Queens Road - Commission by Aidan Jolly

‘Tram Song’ was created by Aidan Jolly as a commissioned piece. Aidan spent time at the Queen’s Road Metrolink depot talking to members of staff, including engineers, drivers and customer services. He pulled together their stories in a celebration of ‘the men and women of the tram’ without whom much of Greater Manchester would grind to a halt. Particular thanks are due to Val Smith, who showed him around, Irene Shaftoe and Nick Bland who provided most of the material used, Yolanta Johnston who helped create the melody for the chorus and sang on it, and Fran Lewis-Morgan who plays clarinet.

 

  • Bury Line