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Amplify project boosts YSWN’s network

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Three unique artistic projects are currently spreading the reach of YSWN-affiliated groups across Yorkshire – and even further afield. Organised under the umbrella YSWN Amplify and funded by an Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant, the projects enable members of groups in Calderdale, Huddersfield and Sheffield to increase their music technology skills and develop artistically, while engaging new local participants and audiences.

At the same time, the funding also strengthens YSWN’s core, contributing towards development, fundraising and marketing that will sustain our future as a Community Interest Company, raise our profile and build industry partnerships. With a freelance Development Manager engaged for the next 12 months, we aim to win funding that makes possible more free workshops and events like our Level Up! days and our WIRED youth project.

Created and delivered by each group, the three bespoke projects respond to different needs and aims identified locally:

With one of their members having recently relocated 500 miles away to Orkney, Sheffield’s SONA tackle the question of how artistic creation can bridge distances. Their project is already in progress with the three core members undertaking a week-long residency in Orkney.

SONA Landmass residency

SONA co-founders Deborah, Amy and Lucy on their Orkney residency

As well as a piece of site-specific work, Landmass, that reacts to the singular environment of The Northern Isles, the trio will research and test methods and technologies that allow members to work remotely on sound creation and composition across their wider networks.

Calderdale Sound Women Network’s project The Valley is mapping women and non-binary people’s engagement in music-making across Calderdale. Anyone fitting the above is invited to get involved by filling in a survey to let the group know how they make music, where they make it and what CSWN could offer them. You can find the survey here.

The project aims to build connections and encourage collaboration by exploring what ‘the valley’ means to different people who live there, with possible themes including nature, conservation, industrialisation, gentrification and the floods of recent years. A series of collaborative improvisation/composition workshops will be held, leading to an open call for compositions and a final performance.

Huddersfield YSWN Makers will reach out to local women interested in DJing through a series of DJ workshops. The project aims to harness DJing as both a gateway to music technology and a tool for individual expression and plans to build collaborative relationships between diverse and under-represented communities in Kirklees, culminating in a final sharing gig.

The YSWN Amplify programme is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and is delivered by YSWN, SONA, Calderdale Sound Women Network and YSWN Huddersfield Makers.