Songwriters wanted to compose songs about history and real-life events in Milton Keynes

They will tell the stories of local people, places and communities
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The city’s Living Archive project is calling for songwriters to put local memories to music.

As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations this year, the project is looking for people who come MK who are interested in creating songs to tell the stories of residents, places and communities.

"We want to connect with songwriters from all backgrounds who are interested in documentary songwriting and in making work which responds to the stories and lives recorded in our archive,” said a spokesperson.

Living Archive MK is looking for songwriters from Milton KeynesLiving Archive MK is looking for songwriters from Milton Keynes
Living Archive MK is looking for songwriters from Milton Keynes

Since its foundation, Living Archive MK has been committed to sharing the stories of local people in creative ways; songs and music have always been a rich and important part of that mix.

The Living Archive Band, which was formed to create music for Living Archive’s community documentary plays, began life in 1976 and over 100 songs have been written by local musicians for the project over the years.

The plan is to select some of the new songs to be developed further for performance at a 40th Anniversary concert in October.

All the shortlisted songwriters will be invited to attend an initial workshop on Saturday April 27.

"At the workshops, songwriters will be given edited materials from our archive (photos, film, recorded interviews, transcripts etc) along with a brief for a song we would like them to create,” said the spokesperson.

“We would like each songwriter to create a song based on the material provided. This might be, for example, a song about Albert Bernard, one of the UK’s first black police officers, who worked on the Lakes Estate, or Nas Khan, who empowers local women by giving them employment in her restaurant kitchen in Wolverton. Or it might be about an event, like the MK Black Lives Matter protest, or personal memories of working in a supermarket during the Covid 19 pandemic.”

A commission fee of £300 and a mentoring session will be provided for those songwriters who are chosen to develop their songs for the performance.

You can find out more here.

The project in partnership with The Stables and made possible by funding from Milton Keynes Community Foundation.

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