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26th April - 6th May 2024

Islington Mill. Working Class Movement Library. Salford


We are really excited to announce the next Samarbeta Music residency program,  multi-instrumentalist songwriter Ray Aggs.


During Ray's residency they will create an album and live performance of new folk songs. They will develop a sonic identity using traditional songwriting techniques, fiddle, guitar, banjo, bones and other hand percussion, as well as incorporating elements of dance music, electronic drum machines and synthesisers. Using simple recording techniques, sampling and sequencing, Ray will create and reclaim a new type of exploded folk song.


During their time in Salford they will run a series of workshops for local people of colour (musicians and non-musicians) to learn about improvised guitar techniques and generative songwriting sessions. They will meditate on the nature of aural tradition, share ideas around ‘roots’ music, appropriation, belonging, identity and the black diaspora. The workshops will draw upon black counterculture and the afro-futurist imagination to deconstruct concepts of purity and authenticity. More information about how to participate is coming soon. 


As part of the residency Ray will deliver an artist talk and discussion on Decolonising Folk Music at the Working Class Movement Library.  Their aim is to deconstruct othering language such as ‘world music’ and expand our idea of folk music beyond nationalistic and reductive concepts of origin and ownership. To open up a dialogue and ask; What does ‘folk’ mean to you? Where does tradition begin? Who owns a song? How can songwriting help us practise listening and build community? 


Through this residency in Greater Manchester Ray hopes to create a network of black and brown artists across the UK interested in similar ideas, stories and sounds. They are fascinated by how aural traditions create a sense of belonging and place and will use the time to research local folk songs and stories and bring these to group listening sessions. Ray will have access to the archives in the Working Class Movement Library and Salford Museum and Art Gallery to use to investigate the local stories and inspire the story telling.

Fresh off the back of their residency will be an exclusive set at Sounds from the Other City premiering the music they’ve created during their time with us in Salford. Performing under the name R.AGGS, Ray will be joining a jam packed bill alongside performances from Welsh icon Gruff Rhys, alt-jazz rising star Muva of Earth and underground hiphop gem Kinkai. Tickets are on sale now. 



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