How can we keep our energy and our commitment to activism going at a time such as this? Frankie has been helping people to ‘find’ their voices for 47 years, as well as being a singer in the peace, women’s and social justice movements since the 1960s. Her experience tells us that we can maintain our energy and commitment to activism by raising our voices together.
We need a belief in our right to make ourselves heard, and we need to find a full-bodied voice that matches our desire to be heard. This workshop is designed to help everyone (regardless of past experience) to find a free, powerful and expressive voice. Frankie, a singer and voice teacher, will be joined by her partner Darien Pritchard, a massage and flexibility teacher, to explore how using the body and breath contribute to finding a vibrant voice, combining ease with power.
We aim to create an enjoyable, supportive ,nonjudgemental atmosphere – with the emphasis on exploration, discovery and play – not “getting it right”. No prior experience is required, just wear loose comfortable clothes for gentle exercises, and bring a water bottle and an open heart and mind.
Workshop: 10am to 1pm, 18th August 2022 Tickets: £50 For further information and to book directly please contact Darien Pritchard email@example.com
Paul King is an explorer of places inside and out. He is co-founder of The Beyond Partnership a leading-edge people development consultancy. He has been working as a coach and consultant for more than 35 years. He particularly known for his work with the body-mind and integral approaches, connecting personal development to larger system change. He currently delivers embodiment-based workshops and coaching across Europe. www.thebeyondpartnership.co.uk
This three hour masterclass will explore how the ancient soft-martial arts can help us explore our inner experiences of self and centre.
In such a way, the foundational human aesthetic of sensing and moving, inherent in our design, is compromised by modern life. We are ‘bent out of shape’, struggling in the midst of our nervous system’s pull between its drive to keep us safe, which often leads to a sense of separation, and its drive for connection.
Greater creativity and freedom are enabled when we shift from being contracted, separated and oppositional to being open, energetically extended and inclusive. With all our hope and fears, our visions and goals, how do we show up and meet the world. What is our art of being within our doing?
This is explored within the ancient traditions of martial arts, and particularly through the experience of centre. This is especially true of the ‘soft’ martial arts such a tai chi (ji) and aikido, founded on relational interdependence not opposition. Tai chi is perhaps more correctly named as tai ji. ‘Tai’ represents the person, open and present. ‘Chi’ is universal life force. ‘Ji’ is the relationship of integrated complimentary opposites, in Taoist terms, yin-yang. Through moving awareness, and the practice of centring, we learn and explore these forces that shape us and our relationships with others and the world.
Centre is not a fixed state but a process. Centring we learn to resourcefully engage in the ebb and flow of life. We centre, not so much inside ourselves but within the context we are in. From centre we raise our ability to effectively respond with presence, confidence, and compassion even under difficult, challenging or stressful situations.
The quest for work-life balance might be better explored in the deeper enquiry into yin-yang balance. Yang – ‘masculine’, strive-drive, grasping, accumulation, imposing. Yin – ‘feminine’, receptivity, listening, letting go, opening, empathy.
We tend to over-effort, overly focus on content and procedure and forget the means where-by, we focus on surface and form and lose feel and the relational dimensions of life. The creative complimentary pairing of yin-yang comes together harmonically in the concept of wu-wei which, roughly translated, means ‘doing by not doing’. This is not an advocation for passivity but for intending and allowing, for appropriately trusting and sometimes controlling. Like the best athletes we seek how to relax inside activity.
Embodied awareness asks us to be honest with ourselves, how we are now, how we are relating and how we are creatively engaging with the fundamental patterns of life.
We are very excited to be welcoming O’Hooley & Tidow to AoMO2022’s gala dinner event on the 20th August 2022.
Celebrating their 10th year of performing together, much loved Yorkshire folk duo Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow have been propelled into newfound fame for penning the theme tune for Sally Wainwright’s hit BBC1/HBO drama ‘Gentleman Jack’, earning them global admiration, appearances on TV, Radio 4 Woman’s Hour and concerts that sell out months in advance.
Belinda and Heidi’s boundless songwriting has been described by The Guardian as ‘exceptional’ and The Independent as ‘defiant, robust, northern, poetical, political folk music for the times we live in.’ From an emotionally charged song about an elephant orphanage in Nairobi, to a joyous celebration of the Leeds cycling champion Beryl Burton, they explore, consider and connect subjects and stories in a distinctive, inventive and memorable way.
Having the originality and skill to invite comparison with the most celebrated harmony duos, from early Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic Kate and Anna McGarrigle, 6 Music’s Tom Robinson says ‘They sing together in the way families do. Normally, you only get that closeness in the voices with family bands like TheCoppers or The Watersons.’
‘I have just listened to your track, ‘Beryl’, with tears in my eyes! It’s beautiful and brilliant.’ Maxine Peake
A MOJO MAGAZINE TOP 10 FOLK ALBUM
Nominated four times for BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Best Duo’.
‘England’s answer to the McGarrigles.’ * * * * * The Guardian
‘Brave, beautiful and full of love.’ Martin Simpson
‘Insightful, determinedly left-field angles on the human experience.’
* * * * MOJO Folk Album of the Month
‘Have Belinda and Heidi done it again? Certainly.’
An evening of song, poetry, story, laughter and some tears. The 23 minute documentary film, written and directed by Stephen Linstead won UK Best Film at the Research in Film Awards 2018 awards at BAFTA, and 82 other international awards/selections including the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards. It has now been acquired by the BFI for its Film Forever archive, and has been shown on broadcast TV more than 30 times. It tells the story England’s long-forgotten worst mining disaster when 361 miners and rescuers were killed in explosions at the Oaks Colliery, Barnsley in 1866 and the emotional struggle against the odds by local people to raise a memorial 150 years later. Black Snow is the choking black dust which rained down from the heavens after the blasts. Jed Grimes (twice BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Nominee) composed and arranged the music, with Mercury Music Prize winning producer Rob File (Badly Drawn Boy). The music in its own right won an award for excellence at the Southern Shorts Awards, Atlanta, Georgia Film Festival, and in the Roadshow this is expanded into a full concert set with Steve adding vocals, and both Jed and Steve contributing original material and new arrangements of traditional pieces.. Visually compelling with atmospheric cinematography, using virtual reality footage to recreate the disaster, the film builds to a moving, inspirational and spiritual climax. The 90-minute multimedia roadshow sets this poignantly in context through songs, poems, stories and original visuals. The film has featured on Together TV, BBC Look North and in The Times, and had a double page centre spread in the Daily Mirror. The Roadshow has played several independent cinemas and arts festivals including Ripon International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe.
“A moving documentary. A dramatic reconstruction from real-life accounts …. [a] brilliant evocation of a lost way of life – and the lives lost in it” – Paul Routledge Daily Mirror
“An award-winning documentary, gaining plaudits from across the globe for a story that focuses on a small section of Yorkshire” – Living North
“The sort of show for which the Fringe exists. Informative, provocative… and entertaining. A must-see show indeed”– Edinburgh Festival Fringe
“A terrific multi-media joined-up local history community project about really significant events … a canny piece of work” Jerry Simon, Stirrings Magazine
Broadstairs International Folk Week was very pleased to feature the Black Snow Roadshow in 2019. The film is extremely moving and involving, with seamless links between historical facts and the lasting impact of the disaster on the community. It is of high quality and deserves to be shown on national TV. Wrapped around the film is the specially written score which has heartfelt lyrics and beautiful tunes; Jed Grimes and Steve Linstead do the whole story justice and honour the memory of those involved. We had to turn people away from the venue – we should have shown it twice! Jo Tuffs Festival Director
Art, activism and the fight for better buses in Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow by Ellie Harrison.
Glasgow-based artist and activist Ellie Harrison introduces ‘Bus Regulation: The Musical’, her epic trilogy inspired by the 1980s hit musical ‘Starlight Express’. Harrison’s musicals feature performers on roller skates to re-enact the history of public transport provision in three of the UK’s biggest city-regions.
Presented in collaboration with local campaign groups in Manchester (Sept 2019), Glasgow (April 2022) and Liverpool (coming late 2022), the musicals have helped create awareness and support for the need to re-regulate buses in order to provide the fully-integrated and affordable public transport networks each region urgently needs to address chronic poverty/inequality and tackle carbon emissions.
Ellie will introduce her work on Friday 19th August at 12noon.
Organised in collaboration with the Art of Management & Organisation conference, co-hosted by the Bluecoat and the University of Liverpool, the group exhibition Do They Owe Us A Living? Brings together twelve artists and artist collaborations and takes as its point of departure the conference theme ‘art-as-activism’. Each artist was asked to respond to the theme of activism within the broader context of the conference.
The exhibition features a diverse range of practice: from community-focused projects engaging with care in the workplace and council-approved regeneration programmes; through to artworks directed at the histories of prejudice surrounding different communities; as well as work that questions the efficacy of art to function as an act of political resistance in its vulnerability to political co-option, ‘activism’ is proposed less as a given than a complex proposition. While the Achilles’ heel of activism lies with its susceptibility to sanitisation under capitalism, and the Achilles’ heel of ‘art-as-activism’, the squaring of aesthetic questions with moral ones, what unites these artists is the way in which they seek to critique life under the market forces of neoliberalism, shedding light on the grassroots of lived experience, in the workplace and beyond, whilst throwing caution to the ‘activist’ tag.
Inspired by the 1978 song by the punk band Crass, from which it takes its name, Do They Owe Us A Living? sets out to reveal, as exhibition and idea, how any “living“ owed is registered solely with quality of life, as distinct from the ubiquitous culture of cost-benefit analysis and transactional thinking that surrounds us.
Artists: Beagles & Ramsay, Terry Bond, Dreamchord (nil00 & Yank Scally), Pil & Galia Kollectiv, Rachel Garfield, Julika Gittner, Al Hopwood, Sumuyya Khader, Manual Labours (Sophie Hope &; Jenny Richards), Chad McCail, Ian Monroe, Simon Willems
Curated by Simon Willems, artist and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Reading.
Join us for a private viewing at The Royal Standard on the 17th August at 6pm.
‘Voicing Activism’ Frankie Armstrong @ The Bluecoat (18th August 5.30pm)
Why is it we talk about a people, an oppressed minority, or indeed an oppressed majority (women) ‘finding their voice’?
From the suffragettes, through the anti-apartheid movement and Greenham Common and many other political movements, it is raising their voices together that has helped them both to keep in the struggle and to be heard. It may be an individual voice such as Victor Hara in Chile, or the collective voices of the children of Soweto, but it is the quality of the voice that called to Frankie. It was Pete Seeger in the 1950s that stirred Frankie into this realisation, with songs that spoke to both the head and the heart.
Since then, Frankie has been singing songs that are an expression of working people, songs from women’s lives, songs of people struggling against oppression, of daughters against tyrannical fathers (in the folk tradition), and about the environment or social inequality.
In 1975, she began running voice workshops. Her teaching is aimed at helping others find the same sense of energy and power of communication that she experienced as a solo singer. In her keynote presentation, she’ll also speak about her feeling that the beauty and power expressed through voice can engage the artistry available to all of us.
Frankie is the honorary president of the NVN (Natural Voice Network), an honorary member of VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association) and received a Gold Badge from the EFDSS (English Folk Dance and Song Society) as both a singer and a voice teacher.
Frankie Armstrong will deliver a keynote speech on the 18th August 2022 at The Bluecoat at 5.30pm.