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Esther Swift composer, harp, voice / Jeff Guntren tenor saxophone / Rich McVeigh trombone / Elfair Dyer, Rebecca Mills, Angelina Warburton harps / Jonathan Martindale violin / Lucy Nolan viola / Peggy Nolan cello / Richard Jones piano / Jim Molyneux accordion, percussion

Salon Perdu

For the 2018 Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission, Scottish composer and harpist Esther Swift presents a suite of word-settings using the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy.

Carol Ann Duffy, originally Scottish-born and current poet laureate, has lived in Manchester for over 20 years. She writes honestly and sensitively about female oppression, gender discrimination and violence. Esther’s interest in her contribution to the arts, and especially the voice she gives to women, has inspired her to deconstruct the works, focusing more on their mood and rhythm of speech, and create new texts using the same themes that inform much of Carol Ann’s work.

The music is built around Esther’s regular harp quartet Clouds and calls on her contemporary classical, folk, jazz and poetry backgrounds, and features many of Manchester’s notable improvisers.

*Please note this is an unreserved seated event

Exciting addition:

Post show panel free for Irwin Mitchell mjf originals– Esther Swift: Light Gatherer ticket holders

In March this year, the PRS Foundation launched Keychange, a groundbreaking initiative to motivate change in music festivals across Europe and the US by encouraging them to work towards 50/50 gender-balanced programmes by 2022. With dozens of signed-up partners and widespread international profile already achieved, Keychange gathers increasing momentum. This panel explores its progress alongside sector peers, asking:

  • how are we doing so far? Progress and success stories that have been made over the past year;
  • how Keychange could impact new commissioned works as well as festival programmes;
  • how is music faring compared to other artforms?
  • how are we doing in the north compared to other areas?
  • are there parallel issues in the music journalism/DJ-ing/management sectors to examine?


Vanessa Reed (Chief Executive, PRS Foundation) – chair

Esther Swift (harpist, composer)

Debra Richards (Match & Fuse, Swiss Vibes, DJ, Reviewer)

Harkirit Boparai (Programmer, Basement Jazz Club (York), and Jazz Promotion Network Board Member)

Nigel Slee (Creative Director, Jazz North)

Full acknowledgement is given to the title, author, Picador, including the following copyright notice: Copyright © Carol Ann Duffy, 1999, 2002, 2005


20.00 - 22.00

£15 advance / £16.50 door