Found in Ladywood 2010 / by Claire Farrell

Found in Ladywood

Ladywood, Birmingham, 2010

'We've just witnessed History'

A project by WERK in partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Artists - The Leo String Quartet (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) and Composer Duncan Chapman.

Written and produced by Claire Farrell WERK, Found in Ladywood was a site specific performance and community based project.

A contemporary urban performance within a working engine room of a fire station in Ladywood, a suburb of Birmingham on the 9th October 2010.

The Leo String Quartet (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) took their renowned classical repertoire out of traditional settings and into a working engine room of Ladywood Fire Station for an autumnal performance of Shostakovich Quartet No 8 and original site specific urban composition.

The score was created by Composer and Music Animateur Duncan Chapman and inspired by a series of walks with residents to record the sounds of their environment. The Composer notated the music working with Ladywood residents in a series of artistic workshops, which included collaboration with the Leo Quartet to produce the piece for the engine room performance.

Claire Farrell, WERK was inspired to write the project for the community by ‘Lost in Ladywood’ a 2007 project by artist Simon Whitehead, commissioned by MADE.
WERK engaged community members in Ladywood within all aspects of the project; within the creative process and cultural planning and production by providing opportunities for residents to learn new skills as part of the production team to produce a classical performance on their doorstep. The event was produced on a small budget, utilising resources that were accessible to the community with the aspiration that events could continue in the area post performance.

The engine room in Ladywood Fire Station had never been used in this way before; it provided a venue offer in terms of a unique performance space, providing great acoustics and a key location within the heart of the community.

Eight years on (2018) and the fire station engine room is still being used by the community as a performance space today..
Sponsored by Birmingham City Council Working Neighbourhood Fund, with special thanks to the West Midlands Fire Service and Birmingham Solihull Mental Health Trust Foundation for supporting the project.