BBC 6 Music will be celebrating Libraries by broadcasting from the newly refurbished Manchester Central Library this November.

The popular duo Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie will broadcast live from the Library and on the back of his lifelong love affair with libraries and the driving force behind this series, Guy Garvey will take listeners on a celebratory tour of Manchester’s oldest library the Portico.

Radcliffe and Maconie will broadcast live from Manchester Central Library on Friday 14 November.

Special guests include: Chaos To Order Writer-In-Residence, Emma Jane Unsworth; Elbow front man and the driving force behind the project, Guy Garvey; Joy Division guitarist and New Order singer Bernard Sumner, who will be giving an insight into his new autobiography; and Manchester Music archivist Abigail Jones.

In the midst of curating their collaborative Chaos to Order residency at Manchester Central Library, Everything Everything’s Jeremy Pritchard will talk about challenging perceptions of libraries and testing the limits of what a 21st century super library can be.

This will be followed by a live session with the band. Everything Everything say: “As a band we see Manchester Central Library as the brain of the city; the place where a vast collection of often contradictory interpretations reside and are presented impartially.”

Welsh actor Celyn Jones will talk to Stuart and Mark about his latest role as Dylan Thomas in the poet’s biopic Set Fire To The Star, and will read a poem from Thomas’ work. The film marks the centenary of the Welsh icons birth with Jones set to feature alongside Lord of the Rings star, Elijah Wood.

On Sunday 16 November as Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour visits Manchester’s libraries and Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone (20:00 – 22:00) raids the music room of Manchester Central Library.

Guy visits the beautiful neo-gothic treasure trove that is John Rylands Library, the newly refurbished Manchester Central Library and the hidden gem that is the Portico Library. In each library the enthusiastic guide discovers some of Manchester’s most precious artefacts and invites listeners to learn about the city’s history with a great tour soundtrack.

Whilst Stuart will be speaking to artists performing at the library as part of Chaos to Order, a collaborative artistic residency curated by Everything Everything. Pianist Matthew Bourne and saxophone player Christophe de Bezenac explore the audio-visual possibilities of the libraries performance space.

Guy says: “The libraries we visit are beautiful buildings, they are parts of our history, they celebrate the things that Manchester has done first and they also remind us of our gloomier hours. They’re not just about old books they’re also important for our community today as places where people can meet, learn and share ideas.”

Radio 3 also gets in on the act as Suzy Klein presents The drivetime show In Tune Manchester’s Central Library.

Guests will include Sir Mark Elder, the Music Director of the city’s historic Halle Orchestra, 6 Music’s own Stuart Maconie, and Salford based actress Maxine Peake, who will be reading selections from the libraries Elizabeth Gaskell collection. as well as live music from violinist Lucy Russell and harpsichordist Peter Seymour who will play two of the Vivaldi violin sonatas that were discovered in the library in the 1970s.


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