Invisible Folk is a ‘not for profit’ organisation bringing musical traditions to a contemporary audience and producing innovative new works in partnership with heritage organisations. We have worked with The Higgins Museum (Bedford) on three projects to date. On each occasion we identified something in their programme and designed a contribution that introduced music into it. In each case the museum’s contribution was a letter of support. We designed, resourced, cast and managed the projects, secured funding (all Arts Council), composed music and commissioned films. All were brought in on time and on budget.
These previous projects have been a high quality and been met with success and enjoyment by the public. They have also provided important archive material toward the local social history collection at The Higgins.
Lydia Saul, Keeper of Social History The Higgins (Bedford)
Jon Bickley is a poet and songwriter, a film director and playwright.
Steve Yarwood is an historian, a producer, administrator and a project manager.
From Bunyan to Brickworks
We made a 15 minute film based around an interview with the former Managing Director of Hanson Building Products who were owners of Stewartby Brickworks (Bedford) at the time of its closure. David Szymanski is the son of a Polish immigrant and was able to tell the story of how his father came to Bedford after World War II to work alongside other immigrants in the Brickworks. We also commissioned musicians to perform pieces that reflected the life and times of the Brickworks. The film ran as part of the ‘From Bunyan to Brickworks’ exhibition for six months and was seen by over 28,000 people.
Under The Same Sky
The Higgins planned an exhibition bringing together paintings of weather and landscape with a display of the history of meteorology in the local area. Our contribution was for Jon Bickley to write and perform a collection of songs and music for the film and for Steve Yarwood to produce a film of the Bedfordshire countryside. In situ the film ‘Into The Woods’ perfectly complemented the paintings on display.
Our most recent work has been a research and development project looking at the history of lacemaking in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. The lacemakers used to sing songs while they were working. The words to some of these ‘Tells’ have survived and we have commissioned Catherine Earnshaw, Gemma Khawaja and Jon Bickley to give them new musical settings. As part of this project Jon Bickley also wrote a short play. This work was carried out under lockdown measure in the Covid 19 pandemic.
The music commissioned for the Lacemaking project can be found here
If you want to talk to Invisible Folk about a project please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org