Welcome to the Live Project Page for Crossing

Crossing is a composition and creative engagement project co-commissioned by Uppermill Summer Music Festival and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Follow this page to watch the project develop!

About the Project and Who’s Involved


The town of Uppermill, outside of Manchester, has a unique history in that the county border where it is located has moved over recent times. This project takes Borders as its theme. Through the project we will explore what borders mean, and how and when to cross them

Composer Gavin Wayte will produce a new piece of music for the Polaris Duo  – saxophone, harp and electronics – and over two days of workshops students at Ashton Sixth Form College will take up the theme and make their own musical responses.  All the music will be performed at the Polaris Duo concert on Sunday, 7th July at 3pm.

Concert Venue: Uppermill Methodist Church, 82 High St, Uppermill, Oldham OL3 6AX.

Gavin Wayte


Gavin is the composer and artistic lead for Crossing

Uppermill Summer Music Festival

Based in Uppermill, the festival started in 2012 and is passionate about sharing music with the local and wider communities.

Gillian Blair


Gillian is the saxophonist for the Polaris Duo

Elinor Nicholson


Elinor is the harpist of the Polaris Duo

Ashton Sixth Form College

Music Creatives

Music Students from Ashton Sixth Form College will be creating new work inspired by the themes of Crossing.


About the Crossing project (click image)

About the Crossing project


The town of Uppermill, outside of Manchester, has a unique history in that the county border where it is located has moved several times. This project takes Borders as its theme. We will explore what borders mean, and how and when to cross them. We are lucky that the river which flows through Uppermill, the Tame, a focal point of the town, crosses the county borders - and we will use this as an example in exploring how borders may be overcome.

Graphic Scores

Find out here about Crossing’s Graphic Score (click image)

Graphic Scores

and the graphic score for Crossing

Over the course of June, Gavin will be developing a graphic score for part of his composition for Crossing. This will be used by students from Ashton Sixth Form College, in collaboration with the Polaris Duo, in making their own music and sound installations for performance and exhibition at the concert.

Delivering the


The first step of the project will be to generate and discuss initial ideas inspired by Crossing’s themes. Then the ideas will be developed, tested and adapted to produce the finished composition.

Crossing at Division Bridge 

Field trip to Division Bridge, number 85 on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

The spot is an historic boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire and I wanted to experience for myself what it feels like to cross over the border.

The river Tame is also close by, and the roads, paths and waterways cross over each other similar to how the new county lines override the old ones.

Getting to grips with the modern county structure of Great Britain and how it emerged has been absorbing, as has spending time on the Ordnance Survey’s interactive map page, following the course of the Tame river from its origins above Delph in Saddleworth to the crossings at Division Bridge.

The grid reference SD 98099 03694 on the OS map page will take you to the exact place: https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk and the story of Britain’s counties can be found at the Association of British Counties page: https://abcounties.com

Graphic Scores
1950s onwards. New York – Europe – International.
…Earle Brown – “Syntagm III”. Cathy Berberian – “Stripsody”. Wadada Leo Smith – “Four Symphonies”. Jennifer Walshe – “THIS IS WHY PEOPLE O.D. ON PILLS”. Others…
Improvisation. Experimental performance. Breaking boundaries.
Visual Art – Performance Art – Sound Art.
Graphic Scores for Crossing
Video of the e-book
Crossing's Creative Workshops

Selected photos from the creative workshops at Ashton Sixth Form College. Students composed and performed their own music and made graphic scores over two days.

They played alongside the Polaris Duo plus members of college staff in a sharing of creative work on the final day.

An e-book showcasing the students’ work was produced. A video version can be seen below. The soundtrack is of the electronic music the students produced.

Download e-book

You can download a public edition of the e-book HERE.

'I am writing music I want to write'

'This is the first time I have played music with other people'

'I am thinking about music in a new way'