MUSIC FOR THE ROAD
WRITTEN BY Hayley Flynn
The Mancunian Way is playing a song - be sure to take your headphones.
Somewhere along the Mancunian Way there’s a small piece of graffiti that reads ‘tup’ and nestled in the loop of the ‘p’ is a tiny hole. Take your headphones with you and you’ll be able to plug yourself into the wall and listen to a specially commissioned song.
Good art is effectively hidden within architecture all over the city, be it an accomplished mural in an office block or a priceless painting hanging in the backroom of a library, and this song by Manchester artist LoneLady (Julie Campbell) brings this catalogue of art lurking in wait of discovery beyond the visual.
The track is on loop for the life of the battery and is hermetically sealed within the Mancunian Way. Chances are as you read this it may well have lived out the life of the battery, having been installed since 18th June 2012 at the start of the RIBA Love Architecture festival.
Titled ‘Good Morning, Midnight’ and in association with The Manchester Modernist Society the music embedded into the base of the road serves as a sort of urban lullaby. The society themselves aim to inspire people about their built environment and this isn’t their first foray into audio installations having previously commissioned a musical telephone kiosk.
When the battery eventually runs out of steam then the piece will remain in place, serving as a sort of relic.
So take a stroll beside the concrete behemoth, out towards the slip-road to nowhere, and go and plug yourself in.
Update: the installation’s battery ran out on 23rd June 2012.