Karl Hyde's back

Underworld return to Manchester International Festival to tell the stories of homeless people

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Underworld have released the music score from Manchester Street Poem, which told the story of homeless people during Manchester International Festival 2017, as they gear up to repeat the installation at this year’s event.

During the course of a week in summer 2017, the electronica band’s Karl Hyde covered the walls of a disused shop on Manchester’s Oldham Street with words and phrases drawn from the streets, whilst the space was filled with a soundtrack by Rick Smith built on fragments of human voice recorded all over the city.

Manchester Homeless Charter and Mustard Tree helped to make the project happen, teaming Hyde up with people who had been homeless.

A track from the collection – Doris – is the latest release in Underworld’s ongoing DRIFT project, in which the band release new music weekly over the course of a year. Hear Doris here. 

Manchester Street Poem Installation Score is available to buy from underworldlive.com. Proceeds from download sales will go towards funding the activities of Manchester Street Poem ahead of its return to this year’s Manchester International Festival (4-21 July).

Over the past two years, the Manchester Street Poem team have continued to work with Manchester International Festival and local organisations including Mustard Tree and the Manchester Homelessness Partnership to develop the project. 

This year Manchester Street Poem returns in a new incarnation in Festival Square – MIF’s takeover of Albert Square – which also features free live music, cabaret, DJs, and special events.

Hyde and the Manchester Street Poem team will create billboard-sized artworks each day at a temporary workshop at the old Bauer Millett arches on Albion Street.

It will be possible to watch the creative process in action at the workshop, which is open daily. Members of the team will also be available to answer questions.

Visitors will be able to scan a QR code on the displayed artworks, which will enable them to listen directly to the contributors’ voices, newly recorded for this project.

Hyde said: “The experience of taking part in MIF17’s Manchester Street Poem performed installation was both euphoric and humbling – something that will remain with all of us involved in the project forever. 

“In the two years since, we have rolled out a series of monthly workshops, continuing to collect new stories and drawing in the wider community. This year, we’re filling an even bigger canvas, publishing fresh stories daily, as billboard-size broadsheets, right at the heart of Festival Square. This is a project that we will continue to evolve for as long as there are stories that need to be told and voices that remain unheard.”

Manchester International Festival is on 4-21 July

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