At the beginning of this year, Geli from Lingua Franca World Music Agency knocked on my door. She had an idea for an event using the ginnels (alleyways) around our street to encourage the local community to see them as more than just a rubbish dump!
Flytipping is a big problem in Levenshulme (even the litter is getting fed up with it) and I’m always looking for an opportunity to get people playing music together, so I jumped at the chance to organise an event in one of the ginnels.
Many funding set-backs and ginnel cleanings later, the festival was underway! On 30th July, we celebrated the International Day of Friendship with lots of fantastic ginnels organised by members of the community. Among others, there was a Green and Wellbeing Ginnel where you could have a massage, a World of Words Ginnel where you could learn a new language and a Children’s Ginnel where lots of paint was thrown around!
The Musicians of Henderson Street Ginnel (shown above) encouraged people from the community to come together and play music.
The wall was turned into a big score, combining conventional notation and graphic notation (which was mostly pictures of cats, flowers and children writing their names!).
We were lucky to be joined by some African drummers for the afternoon, whose brilliant music drew people in and got a lot of the children playing the different instruments. You can hear some of the music we played here.
All in all, it was a fantastic day and a great opportunity to connect with people in the community. Thank you to Geli for spending so much of her time organising the festival. Let’s hope there are many more in the years to come!