Artistic Directors Series: ESKA

We are delighted to announce an artistic residency with Mercury Prize-nominated singer and multi-instrumentalist ESKA, produced by Brighter Sound and held here at Band on the Wall.

Brighter Sound are looking for 15 talented emerging musicians, dancers, filmmakers, photographers, actors, performers and visual artists who embrace creativity and invention to take part in a four-day residency with ESKA from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 May. During the residency, entitled “Are You Here?”, participants will collaborate with her to create and record new music, performance and visuals that will be showcased at Band on the Wall on 28 May.

ESKA defies categorisation, blending soul, folk-pop, jazz, electronica and blues. Her twenty-year career has taken her around the world, collaborating with artists including Grace Jones, UNKLE and Tony Allen. In 2015, ESKA released her self-titled debut album to rave reviews, earning a Mercury Prize nomination.

ESKA explained what excited her about this opportunity:

“For us, art is not an end in itself … but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.” – Hugo Ball, founder of DADA, 1916.

This is art’s ‘call to arms’! The barometer of success of this process will be how we are able to challenge ourselves and our audience to think… and think again about the current times we are living in. Working across various art forms, I hope this will also be an opportunity for collaboration, to get a different perspective on the role and function of our art, to challenge notions of performance and the role of the audience in response to our creations. If you, like me, are struggling to grasp what’s going on in the world, here is a chance to make a response to that. Excited? So am I.”

“It’s the sort of opportunity that money can’t buy… that can give someone the boost they need for stepping on into the next generation of British music” – Bethan Morgan-Williams, previous residency participant.

Application Information

Applicants must be:

  • aged over 18
  • from or based in the UK
  • available to attend all session dates in person

This opportunity is open to any emerging musician, dancer, photographer, filmmaker, graffiti artist, fine artist, visual artist who embraces creativity and invention. You do not need to hold a qualification or a degree as selection will be based on your experience, quality of musicianship / work and the potential for this opportunity to impact on your career.

We anticipate a group of up to 10 musicians and 5 artists from other disciplines.

Application deadline: 11pm Sun 9 April. Successful applicants will be notified no later than Friday 28 April.

You can download the application questions so that you can prepare your answers, but applications must be submitted online.*

*We are committed to supporting and meeting the needs of people with learning difficulties or disabilities. If you require the application in a different format or have difficulty completing your application online, please call us to discuss alternative options on 0161 830 3899.

More info can be found at Brighter Sound.


Each participant will receive:

  • 1 x return rail fare to (or fuel expenses) to Manchester from your home location (if necessary), arriving on Thursday 25 May, departing on Monday 29 May, or after the final performance on Sunday 28 May if preferred.
  • Accommodation in Manchester (if required) for four nights, arriving Thursday 25 May and departing Monday 29 May.
  • £20 expenses per day.

For more information about this project please contact Brighter Sound on or call 0161 830 3899.


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Sunday | 28.05.17

ESKA – Are You Here?

Band on the Wall, Manchester