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New Venue in Town?


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from today's P&J -

PERFORMERS INVITED TO TAKE THE STAGE AT ABERDEEN ARTS AND MUSIC VENUE

KIRSTY URQUHART

09:00 - 15 May 2006

An Innovative new music venue due to open in Aberdeen this summer is seeking performers.

Musa art and music cafe will open in July as a cafe-restaurant, arts and music venue "unlike any other in the area".

The organisers have promised the upper floor of the 1880 building will be dedicated to "some of the most interesting and diverse art in the north-east".

Musa also intends to showcase a varied and eclectic mix of music with live musicians performing throughout the day, six days a week. The company behind the venture, Cultural Exchange (Aberdeen) Limited, is now looking for local performers who would like to be part of the scene.

A spokesman for Musa said: "We are interested in hearing from a wide range of local musicians or promoters who are seeking the opportunity to perform live in an exciting and atmospheric new venue.

"Music will play a key role in setting the ambience within the cafe and balcony art gallery during the day and we intend it to become a preferred venue for lovers of live music keen to hear something different."

They are keen to give musicians, who may not get the opportunity at other venues in the city, a chance to perform.

Piano players of all styles, solo acoustic artists, folk and ceilidh bands, jazz and blues, country and bluegrass, talented school bands and musicians, string quartets and harpists are all welcome.

Being a former chapel, the venue will especially suit piano or acoustic based sets. Classical guitarists, jazz, blues, folk, country-based musicians and musicians from Aberdeen's growing ethnic communities are also of particular interest to Musa.

The venue will be open from 8.30am to 11pm, giving musicians the chance to perform morning, afternoon or evening, and the varied times are expected to appeal to students, retired musicians and accomplished school groups and touring artists.

The venue will make its home at the historic former chapel building in Exchange Street.

The building was originally a Catholic Apostolic Church but was most recently used as a banana-ripening warehouse before falling into disrepair.

Its surviving features include coloured windows and ornate beams. Aberdeen City Heritage Trust is assisting with transformation which has taken months of work.

Those interested in performing at Musa are asked to contact sheilaMusa@btinternet.com

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Hmm' date=' not entirely sure there's a demand for this. I could be wrong but having a building open 14.5 hours a day just doesn't seem worthwhile, the venues aberdeen already has don't fill up during the day, I don't know why they think this will be any different.[/quote']

Exactly what I was thinking. People don't have much time for to go and watch music during the day. Not while they're working.

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Unless it's subsidised to the hilt with public cash' date=' which wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.[/quote']

It's a private enterprise.

It is a cafe restaurant and art gallery, the music during the day will be ambient music, complementing the eating and drinking activities and is "frequent" not "continuous".

Real live sets - audience focussed on stage - will also be once or twice a week.

It has a lot of potential.

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Unless it's subsidised to the hilt with public cash' date=' which wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.[/quote']

Just a little hint of a 'chip on shouder' there?

If anyone is interested in funding for venues and organisations and wishes to read some very interesting appraisals then you may want to dig into the Scottish Arts Council website. I, with my diplomatic and devils advocate hat on, am merely pointiing over the fence at something that was pointed out to me and could certainly raise a few questions... Nope I am not giving you any more than that just go do some detective work but dig deep!

o_O

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Aberdeen is chock full of similar venues though, they're always opening new cafes with added culture. How many places does a city like Aberdeen need so folk can drink coffee and listen to music? They might want to aim it at students and retired (or unemployed) musicians but how many of us actually spend a day hanging around in His Majesty's cafe, go to the Art Gallery's coffee shop or The Lemon Tree's Thursday Live? There simply isn't the market for it.

There seems to have been a real push to increase the cultural side of the city recently, I'm sure that although it's important, the council could be putting the money towards other things. Nice idea but Aberdeen is over saturated with similar venues already.

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Just a little hint of a 'chip on shouder' there?

Yeah' date=' I think so. I don't believe in the concept of commercial things being funded from the public purse, especially where it doesn't fill a gap in the market. It's been argued about to death, though.

It's definitely nice to see that it's a private venture - if it succeeds, I dare say there will be more opportunities for both the public and private sector of the arts.

If anyone is interested in funding for venues and organisations and wishes to read some very interesting appraisals then you may want to dig into the Scottish Arts Council website. I, with my diplomatic and devils advocate hat on, am merely pointiing over the fence at something that was pointed out to me and could certainly raise a few questions... Nope I am not giving you any more than that just go do some detective work but dig deep!

o_O

I'll take a look, I'm pretty interested in these things.

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Just a little hint of a 'chip on shouder' there?

If anyone is interested in funding for venues and organisations and wishes to read some very interesting appraisals then you may want to dig into the Scottish Arts Council website. I' date=' with my diplomatic and devils advocate hat on, am merely pointiing over the fence at something that was pointed out to me and could certainly raise a few questions... Nope I am not giving you any more than that just go do some detective work but dig deep!

o_O[/quote']

holy shit. how can a group of 750 artists produce only 3 events in a year when they're funded to the tune of about 180k by the arts council, lottery and local council? that's astounding. and i'm sure there's worse.

yet the ury players in stonehaven have tried to get funding from the lottery etc before and been refused, despite them putting on a panto every year and a few other (award winning) plays which are much loved by the community. and that's on a shoestring budget.

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Guest NULL

Aberdeen City Heritage Trust breathes further life into Guild Street area

23 February 2006 11:05

Work has started on the renovation and conversion of a beautiful former chapel building in Exchange Street, Aberdeen (just off Guild Street) with assistance of Aberdeen City Heritage Trust - breathing new life into an historic part of Aberdeen.

Local company, Cultural Exchange (Aberdeen) Limited are establishing an innovative caf/restaurant and arts venue - providing high quality food and drinks in a relaxed and atmospheric setting, with an upper floor dedicated to some of the most interesting and diverse art to be seen in the North-east.

The new venue will trade as MUSA Art and Music Cafe.

The building dates from December 1880 when it opened for use as a Catholic Apostolic Church. It is illustrated and described in historic church books held in the Aberdeen Central Library. It later became "Clapperton's Rooms".

More recently the building was used as a banana-ripening warehouse by a long established Aberdeen fruiterer.

Sadly the building has slowly deteriorated over the years, with roof, granite and windows in need of refurbishment; however it retains wonderful features in the coloured rose windows at each gable, large coloured dormer windows (sadly covered up for the last few decades) and ornate beams, finials and herringbone roof timbers.

When restored to its former glory, the building will represent an eye catching reminder of the areas history and make a statement to local residents and visitors alike of the continued regeneration of Aberdeen's historic areas and buildings.

Douglas Campbell, Project Officer for Aberdeen City Heritage Trust, said: "We are delighted to provide grant assistance towards the sympathetic restoration of this interesting former church building and to help bring it back into public use.

"The proposed development ensures that people will again be able to enjoy it's unique features and the lovely ambience of the interior. It is particularly pleasing to be involved in a project in the area between Guild Street and Union Street, an important historic part of Aberdeen which the Trust identified as one of its priority areas for investment."

Mike Richardson of Cultural Exchange (Aberdeen) Limited said: "The Trust and Council have been very supportive of our development and it is great to see the public and private sectors co-operate in bringing an exciting new business to this part of the city.

"We love this part of Aberdeen - with the dominant features of the Harbour, the mix of large office developments, beautiful architecture and historic old pubs and the hustle and bustle of the train and bus station.

"With the recent announcement of developments at Shiprow, the quality businesses that now occupy the Green and the potential for further major developments such as the Union Square shopping centre and the Tivoli - the area can develop into an exciting, bohemian area for great food, drinks, art and music that will rival anything to be found in other major cities in Scotland."

* Aberdeen City Heritage Trust was launched by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport in July 2004 and incorporated on 12 August 2004 as a company limited by guarantee. The Trust is funded by Aberdeen City Council and Historic Scotland and operates on a not for profit basis.

Grants are also available from the Trust for smaller scale historic repair and restoration where a building is a Listed Building or falls inside one of the City's 11 conservation areas. These could be residential properties or small businesses.

Aberdeen City Heritage Trust's vision is that Aberdeen's historic environment will be better understood, conserved, used and celebrated.

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