Back in October 2023, The Met and Bury Arts Museum and Sculpture Centre launched Rooms to Live by artists Derek Tyman and Andy Webster, a unique exhibition and innovative programme of events, including gigs and musicians’ residencies, starting on 11 November, running until 17 February 2024.

As part of the exhibition by Tyman and Webster we invited bands and musicians to apply to be part the project which includes 5x 4-5 day residencies, inviting bands/musicians to inhabit the recreated recording lounge and be inspired to create new music. We also included an £80 per residency to cover expenses.

In addition to the residencies, two bands/musicians would be selected to receive a full day’s rehearsal in The Met’s Loft space, as well as a recording studio package worth £500 each, including one day recording and one day mixing/mastering. The artists chosen to work with The Met were as follows:

Shoehorn (5 piece rock band from Bury, all aged between 14-16). They won Bury Music’s Battle of the Bands competition at The Met back in Feb. Went on to further represent Bury in the GM Music Education Hub’s Battle of the Bands comp at Manchester Academy 2 on 17 March and won the competition.

“The Rooms To Live Project has helped us work better as a team unit and understand stand each others creative ideas. We have had the opportunity to write more songs and perfect our pre-existing ones. We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity.”Jake Gaskell (Shoehorn)

A collaboration between Joan the Wad & Thought Universe. Joan the Wad is the moniker of singer, songwriter, and producer Sarah Grundy; a Rossendale based, neurodivergent, queer, middle aged, single mum of 3. Joan The Wad’s music is described as slightly wonky, genre-fluid psychedelic pop. Thought Universe is a solo project by Dr. Mark Pilkington, a Manchester based composer and performer of electroacoustic music. In the spirit of Captain Beefheart and Trout House Replica, these two solo artists were hand-picked to collaborate and experiment on their work together to create a fresh sound.

“The ‘Rooms to Live’ residency at Bury Art Museum was a brilliant experience to compose and perform music in a public space. Sarah (Joan the Wad) and I were excited to share the creative process with Museum visitors. The specially recreated space of the Captain Beefheart Trout Mask Replica studio was an inspiring environment to work in. Onto the next stage now, we are both looking forward to working together with staff at Bury Met. Theatre to rehearse and record the music.”Joan The Wad & Thought Universe

These artists were selected for the above additional support based on their commitment to the project, the quality of work produced during their residency and in the spirit of Captain Beefheart and Trout House Replica, their willingness and ability to experiment and collaborate.