Posted on 6 August 2018

Media Release: 6th August, 2018

Musicians from across the North are being inspired by the surroundings of Sage Gateshead as they work on new projects at the music centre this summer, as part of Great Exhibition of the North.

Sixteen artists have taken up free residencies at this year’s Summer Studio, which runs from 6 to 26 August, with the chance to learn from industry experts.

Summer Studio is part of Sage Gateshead’s commitment to nurturing emerging artists. It is one of 40 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development partners.

For the next few weeks Sage Gateshead has opened its doors to musicians, singers and artists of all genres to create new work, develop their practice or prepare for a performance.

Residents also have the opportunity to shoot a video with Tyneside Cinema’s Northern Stars, be professionally photographed by Ian West and have one-to-one clinics with industry professionals. They include Julie Weir, Label Head at Music for Nations (Sony), Matthew Whitehouse, Arts and Culture Editor at i-D Magazine, Alison Weir, Manager at Prolifica Management, Suba Das, Associate Director at Curve Theatre and Joe Frankland, Senior Grants and Programmes Manager at PRS Foundation.

Newcastle-based electronic duo SQUARMS will be working on a new project.
They said: “Over the past three years we have been perfecting a series of ‘under the radar’ tracks and forging our own sound from experimental and improvisational roots.”

Fresh from a residency with Beth Orton, Manchester-based IORA, will be busy gearing up for her second single. She combines folk tones, a versatile voice and haunting arrangements and has been named ‘an artist to watch in 2018’ by BBC Radio 2.

Free experimental trio J Frisco will be rehearsing intensively for their next project, fresh from their showcase season with Jazz North Introduces.

Former Folkworks Summer Schools student Holly Clarke is a traditional singer who will be focusing on creating her new solo project.

Leeds-based NikNak will be developing the role and general perception of a DJ/turntablist. She is currently studying for an MA in Electronic and Computer Music.

North East traditional musicians Sam Partridge and Grace Smith will be unearthing old tunes from archive material as well as composing new work, using primarily English concertina and fiddle.

“We are so excited to be working on this project during our residency at Sage Gateshead before sharing it with audiences throughout the UK,” they said.

The final week also sees Brighter Sound bring The Hexagon Project to Sage Gateshead. The project is an audio adventure created by the next generation of young female composers, sound artists and musical innovators, featuring cutting-edge music technology and found sounds. It is led by four of the North’s most exciting electronic artists: Afrodeutsche, Caro C, Mandy Wigby, Vicky Clarke.

Other resident artists include virtuoso Sheffield-based clarinetist Jack McNeill; Australian jazz singer/songwriter Nishla, who is working on a debut recording; hypnotic electropop band and twin sisters Talk Like Tigers; cinematic rock band from Blackpool, Blanket; sonic explorer Fran Bundey and Newcastle and Glasgow based indie/folk singer-songwriter Zak Younger Banks (also a former Folkworks Summer School participant).

Summer Studio is produced by Sage Gateshead in association with NARC.magazine.

For more info visit


For further information please contact:
Emily Taylor, PR & Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead
E. T. 0191 443 4617 M. 07793 762879

Notes to editor:

Sage Gateshead an international music centre and renowned conference and event venue located in the North East of England. It is for artists, for audiences, for the North and for the long term.

Its concert programme incorporates all kinds of local, regional and international music and runs all year round. Music-making and learning activity takes place not only in the building but across the region.

As a charity, the support it receives helps to ensure everyone in the community can experience the joys of music.

About PRS for Music Foundation
PRS for Music Foundation is the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development across all genres. Since 2000 PRS for Music Foundation has given more than £29.5 million to over 6,300 new music initiatives by awarding grants and leading partnership programmes that support music sector development. Widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRS for Music Foundation supports an exceptional range of new music activity – from composer residencies and commissions to festivals and showcases in the UK and overseas. | @PRSFoundation

About Great Exhibition of the North 2018:

• For more information on Great Exhibition of the North click here:
• In October 2016, NewcastleGateshead was selected to host Great Exhibition of the North; NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) led the bid and is the lead delivery partner for the Exhibition, working closely with colleagues at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Sage Gateshead, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, The Great Run Company, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and a board chaired by Sir Gary Verity.
• City Delivery Partners including Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Gateshead College and Newcastle United Football Club are also providing vital support for Great Exhibition of the North.
• Towns and cities across the North of England are getting involved by being part of the ‘Inspired by’ programme of events, experiences and performances. People can submit details of their event at
• Great Exhibition of the North is encouraging schools to get involved, with content available on the website to both download teaching resources and upload their responses. Schools can do follow up work developed in the classroom by booking a tailored visit to the Exhibition during the final four weeks of the summer term.
• Great Exhibition of the North will provide a range of exciting volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups and businesses. A team of over 1,000 volunteers will welcome visitors to NewcastleGateshead, interpreting themes of exhibition, lead school groups and provide event support at special one-off occasions.
• On Tuesday 27 February the BBC announced a partnership to support Great Exhibition of the North.
• Great Exhibition of the North is supported by Premier Partners Virgin Trains, Accenture and CISCO.
• Funding has also been secured via Innovate UK, VisitEngland, Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851, the Sir James Knott Trust and Reece Foundation and by England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
• National Lottery players have supported the Great Exhibition of the North through £1.7m of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund; Big Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.
• Womble Bond Dickinson, Ward Hadaway, Siemens, Port of Tyne, Virgin Money, BT, Robertson and NewSubstance are proud partners of Great Exhibition of the North.Newcastle Airport, Greggs plc, Go North East, Tyne & Wear Metro and Northumbrian Water, Shout Digital, Stagecoach, PwC, Barbour Foundation, Northern Powergrid, HMS Calliope and Ubisoft are supporting partners.