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Festival’s ‘frozen’ music debut set for warm reception

Press release   •   Oct 15, 2013 10:54 BST

A spectacular musical performance described as ‘like no other’ is being put together as part of this month’s Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival, and will be performed in its entirety during the festival on Friday 25 October.

‘Frozen Music’, the work of acclaimed composer and musical director Michael Betteridge will feature the Rochdale Youth Wind Band, other musicians from Rochdale Music Service and local writers.  Staged at the new Number One Riverside on Smith Street, the performance will see the building transformed into a ‘musical object’ says Michael, with different spaces throughout the development being used:

“The title comes from the words of Goethe who described architecture as frozen music …this multi sensory experience is a reaction to this fantastic new building and has been put together especially for the festival.”

The unusual event, which is free to attend, will open with a fanfare and include poetry readings, live musical pieces, and a silent disco, utilising mini-recording studios in pods over two floors.  Music will be performed in various locations, and without giving too much away, Michael says the evening will conclude with a breath-taking finale:

“We’re doing something quite daring and ambitious here, certainly not your usual musical show! I have done similar things to this before, but not on this scale, so it’s very exciting.”

Michael specialises in collaborative music and community projects, and his previous imaginative endeavours include a choral piece for a car park in Peckham and a musical on the Manchester Metrolink!  He has worked for organizations including the London Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. 

No booking is required for the event on Friday 25 October, and it’s free to attend. The performance starts at 5pm and you are welcome to drop in and out throughout the evening.

Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival runs from 25 to 27 October with an inspiring schedule of events covering drama, dance, music, theatre, films and visual arts. The festival will also include a series of live performances and family friendly activities, all linked to literature and philosophy.  Over 40 shows are on the line-up which also includes Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, Dragons’ Den winner Mark Champkins, former Coronation Street star Kevin Kennedy and poet Simon Armitage.

The festival is due to the generosity of Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, and originally met in Rochdale Library. They left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature, and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

More details from

The event is organised by Rochdale Borough Council, funded by the Maskew Bequest and the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts Award.

Rochdale Council - A council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.

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