Making Tracks – End of Stage One

As mentioned in the previous blog post – we have been busy creating some exciting sounds. These workshops have enabled Zakyia to experiment with creating different sounds and to test the material.

The inspiration behind the final piece can be found on here –


The order of the piece is:
Movement 1:
“Demolition” – Sounds of explosions to create instrumental references.
“Shovelling, Raking & Flattening” – Inspiration came from videos of railways being constructed in a documentary that is available online about the Woodhead tunnel to see what kinds of sounds would have been created during this construction phase.
“Laying and joining track sections (hammering & striking)” – Same as above
Movement 2:
“Ceremony, opening” – Considered ‘Pomp and Circumstance’, the very well-known piece that is somewhat contemporaneous to the opening of the line. Considered the musical timbres, textures and rhythms that would allow a musical reference to the time in history as well as the general feeling of excitement and ceremony around the opening of the line.
“Money” – Gathered together coins and tested the sounds they make on various surfaces and against each other. The idea of referencing money as a key element of this part of the history is that it was central in many ways – it costs money to make, it took money in, and only people with money could use it (at the time of opening there was no 3rd class service).
“Talking/chatter & excitement” – The opening of the line generated a lot of buzz, both in the press and within social groups. This part looks at the communication around this new enterprise. Considering the sounds of burbling chatter in a busy room full of excitement, there are lots of moving notes. Investigated extended techniques such as the lip smack on the French horn and tongue stop on the flute to direct attention to mouth sounds, as an allusion to the moving of lips and tongues that the excitement generated.
We hope you are looking forward to the final piece. As stage one draws to a close we would like to express our gratitude to REAlab and NWCDTP as sponsors which have enabled us to create and develop the project.
Over the duration of stage one, we have both learnt about the railways and Manchester, making and connecting with new audiences and the ways in which individuals can work together from different disciplines in a creative manner.

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