Housing

Underworld create 'street poem' for Manchester

Music legends collaborate with people experiencing homelessness on installation for the Manchester International Festival

British music legends Underworld have undertaken a unique music and art installation in Manchester, featuring people who have been through homelessness in the city.

The celebrated duo Karl Hyde and Rick Smith has been busy creating the Manchester Street Poem as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival.

Hyde has been working with people who have experienced homelessness at UNFEAR, an empty shop in the city centre, covering the walls of the venue with words and phrases drawn from their stories.

The project also involves Smith creating a powerful new soundtrack based on fragments from the various subjects’ voices.

The pair collaborated with local charities – including the Booth Centre and Mustard Tree – on the ground-breaking project.

It brings voices to life in a way in which we hope will be both enlightening and thought-provoking

“We came to Manchester with a concept for a performed installation to serve both as a shop window and a receptacle for stories from people with lived experience who are too often reduced to a generic the homeless,” said Hyde.

“Rick has created a unique piece of music exclusively for (BBC) 6 Music, interwoven with voices from recorded interviews with people who have first-hand experience of homelessness, bringing them to life in a way in which we hope will be both enlightening and thought-provoking.”

You can hear Rick Smith’s unique piece of music and more about the Manchester Street Poem on BBC 6 Music this Sunday, July 16 at 1pm.

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