This autumn long-established BBC Radio Merseyside music programme PMS is presenting a series of commissions from local musicians which draw attention to empty spaces on Merseyside.
Fifteen original pieces of music, some from bands, others from studio artists, will be broadcast on the Popular Music Show at midnight on Sunday 1st November. Each is a response to a location in the Liverpool area which is empty, some quite naturally others by dereliction and neglect. The Project, Music For Empty Spaces, has been six months in the making and is, according to Roger Hill the programme’s main presenter, “a response to the important issue of how the city treats its buildings and public places”.
Hill was involved in a project to bring events and community use to a city-centre office building and is aware of the property situation and the large amount of unused building space in the city centre. At the same time the development of other city spaces like Sefton Park Meadows and the Futurist Cinema on Lime Street have become major public issues. “Some of the artists have used their commission to address these issues”, says Hill, “but others are celebrating places in which they have a personal interest.”
A diversity of artists have been commissioned, from singer-song-writer Jo Bywater to studio artist Alex Germains and composer Jonathan Raisin. The musicians were invited to choose spaces which are empty but accessible, eg, a beach, or inaccessible, eg, closed buildings, or which are busy but can be imagined empty, or which are private, or which are abandoned and forgotten. Chosen spaces include the Futurist Cinema itself, a small patch of grass above the Queensway tunnel exit, Concert Square (in its quieter moments), the Atrium Space at LIPA, the Central Cafe on Brooks Alley and an imagined future Liverpool.
The music will be broadcast as a special feature on “PMS” on November 1st and will be accompanied by an accompanying section of the programme’s web-sitewww.pmsradio.co.uk, where pictures of the locations and information about the artists will be available. The tracks may also be made downloadable or streamed so that people can enjoy them in appropriate locations. Although the pieces have so far been commissions anyone still wishing to submit music for the project can contact the programme.
“This is both a showcase of the creativity of Liverpool musicians and a chance to bring to public attention a set of issues which are important to all of us” says Roger Hill.
PMS is the longest-running alternative music programme on local radio.
Contact for the project is via [email protected]