Floating Worlds

Date: Tuesday 01st January 2008 00:00

Venue: RNCM, Manchester

This exciting project, a collaboration between Manchester Camerata and the Royal Exchange Theatre, ran weekly throughout the Autumn term ’08, and provided an out-of-the-ordinary opportunity for young people aged 10-13 with High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome to take part in creative musical activities; something they would normally find it difficult to access due to their particular disability. The project gave these young people a safe environment in which to discover their artistic talents, and to develop friendships, some for the very first time.

Over the first few weeks the participants explored their emotional responses to many different colours, pieces of music and their own physicality. It was an exciting time of discussion as each individual assigned certain instruments with emotions, particular emotions to colours, and, before they knew it, had created mini personalities for an array of different instruments. The next stage was to try to use these instruments, with their new personalities, as the basis for creating characters. It&s not every day that you get asked ‘how fast would a violin walk?, but, thanks to the imaginations of our young group, we were able answer those kind of difficult questions! From this point the artistic process and story arc of the final performance was driven by these and other ideas of the young people to create a many-layered universe, with Gods of land and sea, the creation of life and destructive forces, and one person’s search for a friend. Floating Worlds was supported with funding from Youth Music.