7 Dec 2009
The Sharp Project 
Mentioned in passing at the MOSI talk: during a debate along the lines of Tony Wilson's (major developments in British popular culture are based on a) 13 year cycle, Peter Saville suggested that Manchester's 'next big thing' would not be music-oriented, rather it would based around the digital and multimedia arts.

Saville went further and suggested that, for once, Manchester City Council (of which he is artistic director) had recognised this particular 'nbt' in advance and actually started to invest in the infrastructure necessary to support the oncoming 'revolution'.

The Sharp Project would appear to be a major, if somewhat under-publicised, initiative to build a hub for digital and creative businesses on the site of the old Manchester United sponsor Sharp Electronics (who pulled out of the city in 2006).

According to Sue Woodward OBE, New East Manchester’s Sharp Project Director & Creative Media Champion: "Many businesses within the creative and digital content production sectors are highly complementary to each other – the aim of the Sharp project is to provide an environment where such an ecosystem can thrive and grow."

The complex will provide production space and sound stages, a 4000 sqft green screen visual effects studio, catering and events facilities and affordable office space.

Further information can be found on the Midas website.



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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

The Durutti Column