Seeking Wild Voices to look into the future beyond our post-pandemic world

An image of Michael Betteridge, a white male composer with dark hair and a beard, and mandla, a black person with short black hair in a watermelon shirt.

Can you help co-create a new vocal work capturing experiences of the past 2 years in song?

We’re looking for people to join our project Covid Song Cycle: Wild Voices, in partnership with Contact, composer Michael Betteridge, writer and performer, mandla and creative producer Holly Hunter.

What does our collective future look like post-Covid? What stories do we have from our times during the height of the pandemic? What’s changed, for better, for worse? How do we see and navigate the world moving forward?This free 7-week pilot project, hosted at Contact, will engage with trans, non-binary and queer people, aged 18-35 in Greater Manchester, in creative writing and music workshops, as we look to the future in our post-pandemic world and explore how our collective experience has impacted on different communities.

Through a guided workshop program, you’ll collaborate closely with artists Michael Betteridge and mandla, and with other people taking part in the project. You don’t need to have any previous experience of music, song or spoken word, just a willingness to take part using any ideas you have to help create a new piece of music.

We are expecting to welcome people who sing and perform regularly, people who have no experience of singing and performance, as well as people with differing and changing voices: we welcome you to come and play, experiment and explore your voices with us!


Tuesday 6th Sep – this first workshop is an open Taster session – come along to find out more, and then decide whether you’d like to continue for the rest of the project

Tuesday 13th Sep
Tuesday 4th Oct
Tuesday 11th Oct
Tuesday 18th Oct
Tuesday 1st Nov
Tuesday 8th Nov

To take part in this project, please click here to complete the following short Google Form by Monday 22nd August. Your data will be held securely by Contact, and shared with producer Holly Hunter and composer Michael Betteridge, and referenced only in relation to your participation in this project.

If you have any queries about the project, please email: [email protected]


Covid Song Cycle is a pilot project by composer Michael Betteridge, producer Holly Hunter and co-producer Contact. Working with four different communities from across the North of England, we will co-create new vocal work capturing experiences of the past 2 years in song.

Wild Voices is in partnership with Contact, composer Michael Betteridge, creative producer Holly Hunter and Submerge.


Michael Betteridge

Described as ‘inventive’ (The Financial Times) and ‘bold’ and ‘colourful’ (The Times) Michael is a composer with an eclectic output creating work that challenges and inspires audiences and performers alike. Predominantly working with voice in its many forms he has created work for the likes of Alþýðuóperan (Folk Opera Iceland), Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Cheltenham Music Festival, Den Jyske Opera, London Symphony Orchestra, Nicola Benedetti, Opera North, Psappha, and Welsh National Opera. His music has also featured on BBC Radio 3 and 4. He is artistic director of Manchester’s open access low voiced LGBTQ+ choir The Sunday Boys.

A white man with a beard leads a choir in a church, smiling


mandla is a Zimbabwean-born writer and performer. mandla’s work draws on the artist’s intersectional existence. Using words as a medium, the artist is heavily concerned with communicating the many sensations associated with being a person.

mandla uses names in place of pronouns, this is because mandla is agender and gendered pronouns do not exist in mandla’s first language, isiNdebele.

mandla is obsessed with words and uses their power both written and performed to carve out a mandla-shaped space in the world.