Ryoko raising music profile.
AHUDDERSFIELD-BASED sound artist and musician has won backing from the Arts Council of England to connect music-making in the town with international artists.
Ryoko Akama regularly performs in the UK and worldwide and her project called ame (pronounced am-ay) is a new art hub based in Huddersfield which supports experimental music and the arts, providing concerts, installations, educational projects and artist-inresidence programmes. The organisation will produce and commission new works from some of the world's most innovative composers and sound artists while collaborating with local venues and organisations to develop the grass roots music community and audience in the town.
Akama, who lives in Almondbury and has made Huddersfield her home for the past six years, said: "We are able to open the door to welcome anyone who would like to know more about new music and sound art.
"Our aim is to produce challenging and exciting events that might interest audiences of any age."
The ame organisation will be based in the Media Centre on Northumberland Street and the enthusiasm and inspiration of Ryoko and a small team of organisers and enablers has already attracted the support of the University of Huddersfield.
The name ame stands for art/ music/experimental and in the Japanese language the word ame can mean either rain (a humorous reference to the West Yorkshire climate) or a treat for audience and participants alike.
Composer and performer Stephen Chase said: "There's lots of really cool stuff happening in Huddersfield, outside of the big cities. Ame is a very good example of this - they encourage people locally to be involved in stuff which is out of the ordinary and get an enthusiastic response every time."
Ame team member Beatrix Ward-Fernandez added: "Bringing different and more contemporary forms of art to people living in the area opens horizons, creates possibilities and enriches lives.
"Being based locally makes art and creativity a reality for many people who might never have thought of art as being a part of their lives."
The latest events include an ongoing series of workshops in local primary schools, a short series of female run improvisation workshops, concerts and artists residency in 2018.