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Trackbed is a composition and sound installation developed by electronic music duo Darkstar, in collaboration with Harthill Youth Centre in Wavertree.

This experimental work was presented as an interactive sound installation at Edge Hill Station during September 2017 and as a live music performance premiering at Edge Hill in Liverpool on 27 September 2017, before touring to the Barbican Centre in London.

The installation and final composition of Trackbed was the outcome of several residencies Darkstar had run at Harthill Youth Centre and Edge Hill, with the aim of encouraging young people to talk about the issues they face: from migration and Brexit, to music, family and community. With Darkstar’s support, the young people translated their thoughts, experiences and hopes for the future into lyrics, beats, poetry, song and samples, they also collected field recordings and conducted interviews with their peers and family members.

A short film by Cieron Magat was also commissioned alongside the project as part of the installation and live performance. The series of vignettes capture the vibrant cultural transformations taking place on the streets of Wavertree, Edge Hill and Toxteth, and include footage from a walking tour of the local area led by the young people.

The project was part of our young arts programme in conjunction with Different Trains 1947, an exploration of the UK and India’s shared history, a story that is also marked by the themes of migration, home and heritage.

The installation was launched with a special event on 5 September featuring a talk from Darkstar along with a Q+A featuring the duo and the staff of Harthill Community Centre.


Partners & Supporters 


Darkstar have been an influential force in the UK’s electronic scene since their early dancefloor releases on Hyperdub, including the influential dubstep production “Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer” in 2009. They went onto receive critical acclaim with their debut album North and the follow up News From Nowhere, their first for Warp records.

Following collaborations with the likes of Actress, Wild Beasts and Zomby they released their third album Foam Island, a politically engaged work centred on the loss of a utopian future in youth culture.

Darkstar have also collaborated with Empress Of (XL) and Gaika (Warp), choreographer Holly Blakey (Florence and The Machine / Young Fathers) and scored the Palm d’Or nominated short film Dreamlands.


Harthill Youth Centre is a hub of services and resources for the local community and beyond. It is about enabling individuals and groups to define their own community and decide their own identities.

Harthill Youth Centre works primarily to deliver informal education programmes with the 13-19 age range. This is done in a number of ways, utilising Youth Work / Informal Education methodologies and ethos. A large proportion of Harthill’s users can be categorised as ‘at risk’ from a raft of economic social and cultural factors.

Harthill works in partnership with SALT, Liverpool Rehearsal Spaces Project, Liverpool Targeted Youth Support Service, Liverpool Splice Project Liverpool Arabic Centre.


Director/Photographer based in London who has spent almost a decade documenting international youth culture and collaborating with a diverse range of young people internationally via various joint ventures and commissions. His work aims to celebrate youth culture In the UK and give voice to young people who are traditionally unengaged with established institutions focusing on themes of identity, representation and what it means to be British.


Northern plays a vital role in the north of England by connecting tens of thousands of people to work, leisure, education and more every day. Arriva Rail North Limited, became the new rail operator for Northern on 1 April 2016, marking the start of a nine-year franchise that will transform travel through a £1billion investment in the largest rail network outside London.

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