Commissioned by Manchester City Council and produced by Brighter Sound, Found Sounds was a 5 day project for 15 young people culminating in “Found Sounds meets RAW” an open-mic event at Central Library. Participants were given the opportunity to experiment with samples from the sound archive held in Archives+ and to capture original “Found Sounds” throughout Central Library to create new compositions which will be added to the existing sound archive. 

“Found sound,” or sampling, is when a musician finds a recording or something that makes noise and adopts it into their music.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 1

14 young people arrive at Central Library ready to dedicate the next 5 days to Found Sounds. The opening presentation is given by Simon Lynch from Ableton to demonstrate the software they will be using, showcasing the Ableton Push interface.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Found Sound music project is in full swing at Manchester Central Library today.

SAMRAI‏ @deejaysamrai good vibes supporting @BrighterSound‘s Found Sounds project at @archivesplus today picked up a few @Ableton tricks

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Full concentration needed! The room is incredibly quiet as the participants get to grips with the new software. The group learn about making drums with G Kut and split into groups to work on their drum tracks.

Day 2

The student’s main task today is learning about bass and melody with artist Hamdi. The students are really interested in the sound archive and ask if it is possible to see where the sound archive collection is stored. Archivist Sarah Hobbs takes the group on a guided tour, answering their questions about the storage of and access to the sound archives.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#Foundsoundproject students take a tour down the Archive Plus strongrooms #mcrcentrallibrary #music

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Utilising the equipment available in the Henry Watson Music Library, students split into groups to work on their bass and melody.

Macs with music production software in the HenryWatsonMusicLibrary #foundsoundproject #centrallibrary @brightersound

Day 3

Students learn about arrangement and vocals with Saquib.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Arrangements – students learning how to structure their projects #foundsound #centrallibrary @BrighterSound

For smaller group work, the students utilise the carrels on the second floor as they spend time mastering Ableton to create new productions from the sound archive. Sounds are also collected around the library using zooms.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Experimenting with found sounds from the Central Library’s archives  #ElectronicMusic #CentralLibrary #ExploreMusic

Day 4

 Final day before performance day. The students learn about mixing and rendering with G Kut, before finishing and collecting their tracks, spending the time remaining rehearsing their performances.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Archives+ staff and the artists were really impressed with the level of commitment shown by the students, often in deep concentration during each of the sessions.

Mixing n Mastering #foundsoundproject #centrallibrary #brightersound #manchestermusicgeniuses

FOCUSED and DETERMINED!!  performance n open mic this Friday 24th Feb @ the central library @BrighterSound 

Day 5

Performance day today. The students had the opportunity for a Q&A session with the artists plus a feedback session before getting prepared for the afternoon performance.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Preparation for today’s performance @ Manchester Central Library from 2pm till 4pm . Come and show your support Almost there!! #foundsoundproject #centrallibrary #brightersound

Performance – Found Sounds meets RAW 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Over 200 young people attended the open mic live event at Central library as the finale to the successful week long project. The open mic performance led by lyricist Martin Visceral and DJ Jomo, opened with young artists from Contact’s RAW and Brighter Sounds, including a mini rap from the very young daughter of one of the open mic artists! With a definite buzz in the air it was time to listen to the Found Sounds which the students had been working on all week. It was very exciting to hear the sound archive manipulated to create incredible music, in fact Saquib said it was almost like creating a whole new way of making music using the sound archive. The students’ music productions were a definite hit with the audience, who joined in through dance, song and chants.

@platformMCR Really great young people’s music showcase #FoundSounds @archivesplus @BrighterSound at Manchester Central Lib today

 Thank you @BrighterSound @ContactMcr @TundeDotBPM @Ableton G-Kut for incredible finale! Who knew #archives could be so much fun!?

What happens next?

Thank you to Ableton software, their kind gift of free software for the Apple MACs in the Henry Watson Music Library  will ensure that future visitors to the music library will have access to the software used during the project.

At the end of the project 3 students signed up to volunteer in the music library to support the newly acquired Ableton software and another student, who became very interested in the archive collections, signed up to volunteer in Archives+. The new digital music workshops started 22 March 2017 and will run every Monday and Wednesday evening plus alternate Saturdays.

The tracks created during the project are available to listen to on Soundcloud via Brighter Sound’s playlist and will be a welcome addition to the Archives+ sound archive.

Check out the Found Sounds on Soundcloud here

2 new albums on Flickr:

Found Sounds images  

Found Sounds // RAW Rhythm & Words Open Mic images 



Found Sounds participant Morgan Harper-Jones, 20, has said,

“I love how we’re using the library as the base for our work and it’s so cool that the music we make will stay in the archives for other people to use in the future.”

“I can’t wait to showcase what I come up with this week at the Found Sounds // RAW event. It’ll be fantastic seeing how other Manchester performers improvise over the top of my music.”

Forget X-Factor! Iconic Manchester Building To Hold An Open Mic For Emerging Musicians

Becki Darlington ·BIMM Manchester oh please put on another one! this is such a good idea!

Blog written by Archives+