Manchester has been the birthplace for the UK’s most iconic music movements throughout the decades. Now, Royal Northern College of Music (RCNM) students Jack Sindall and Erin Bathgate are modernising the classical French Horn in their new project – and supporting Invisible (Manchester) in the process!
Their project, called HornFusion, involves collaborating with musicians and artists around Manchester to cultivate pieces which fuse the horn with liquid drum and bass, Reggae and electronics. Although the pandemic has scuppered plans to join forces with dozens of creators, the duo is thrilled to be working with Manc drummer Amen Sage and RNCM PhD student Simon Knighton. The world premiere, composed by Simon, promises “unheard soundscapes…combining traditional instruments and electronics.”
Seeking to support people experiencing homelessness in Manchester through the venture, Jack and Erin initially considered charities such as food banks that provide crucial immediate responses to homelessness. However, it was ultimately Invisible (Manchester) who stood out for them. It was Invisible (Manchester)’s nuanced approach which made it the perfect match. The social enterprise aims to dismantle stigmas surrounding homelessness and encourages dialogue with the broader community on an individual scale.
Next month, the duo plan to release two pieces of music – streamed on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Having endured multiple disruptions due to the pandemic, Jack and Erin will represent the culmination of months-long work and preparation in their creations. HornFusion will share Invisible (Manchester)’s emphasis on individuality. The social enterprise has always favoured the personality and uniqueness of guides over stigma and stereotypes. Similarly, each of HornFusion’s creations will celebrate the contributions of diverse musical, and artistic, styles. A work of art will accompany each composition, again celebrating local talent.
Bury art student Char Taylor is compiling a nature-inspired textile-based artwork for their cover of ‘Climbing’ by Etherwood. Meanwhile, North West-based Sophie Law is creating a time-lapse drawing to accompany HornFusion’s cover of Hollie Cook’s reggae-dub song ‘Milk and Honey’.
Having nominated Invisible (Manchester) as their chosen organisation, the project will promote the social enterprise – including the Invisible Cities shop – and raise awareness of the issue of homelessness in Manchester.
Aside from supporting Invisible (Manchester), the duo aims to open up a world of new opportunities for the French horn. Often confined to classical music, Jack and Erin are seeking new possibilities for the instrument in different genres. Since the pandemic has impeded their usual orchestral performances, the duo has had the opportunity to explore digital recording and editing. These newfound skills, plus the resilience they have gained in the process, will shine through their modern compositions and encounters with contemporary music genres.
Invisible (Manchester) extends their thanks to Jack and Erin for recognising the positive impact it makes, and eagerly anticipates the release of their pieces next month!