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Making Manchester interview 7 - Vonnegut Collective, contemporary music ensemble

The Vonnegut Collective is a chamber ensemble based in Manchester, UK. It was formed in 2014 by two members of the BBC Philharmonic with the aim of exploring new music and making it more relevant and accessible to all. The Vonneguts will work with pupils at DTA to generate musical ideas to accompany Khan's poem. These will form the basis of semi-structured musical improvisations, reacting to both the narrative aspects of Khan's poem and the actors’ movements. What interested you about Making Manchester, and why did you decide to get involved? We were immediately drawn to the concept of Making Manchester as it explores themes that are very important to us. In every project we do we look for meaning and relevance, and MM epitomises this.

How do you see Making Manchester being different from other projects you've been involved in? It’s different in the sense that there will be input from lots of different voices, from a variety of genres and performance art forms. This means we have a bigger palette to represent the telling of these journeys and create a rich, colourful, and nuanced performance.

What are you most excited about, as part of Making Manchester? We’re most excited about learning more about the experiences of refugees and how they have shaped the city we call home. It feels like a privilege to have the opportunity to gain this insight and to try to reflect it somehow artistically. We’re also looking forward to teaming up with a fantastic group of creative people to make something wholly new.

What do you hope to achieve in your role as part of the project? We hope to respectfully represent the human experience of this topic, particularly as it feels so incredibly relevant right now. As classical musicians, the music we play so often comes from composers who we will never meet in person. As the Vonnegut Collective we strive to create our own new works through collaborations with all kinds of different voices, and in the Making Manchester project it will be incredibly rewarding to draw on such significant human accounts and give them a new voice.

Two performances of Making Manchester will take place on 27/28th June at Niamos Radical Arts Centre. Tickets for are £5 and available from Skiddle, Tickets For Good or on the door.


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