The Golden Lion Hotel

Friedrich Engels lived in Manchester for more than 20 years, during that time re­ceiving many visits from Karl Marx who was living in London. Engels led a double life as both man­ager of his father’s cotton factory and polit­ical rad­ical, and the harsh con­di­tions of workers in Mancunian in­dustry formed a key in­flu­ence on his ideas about so­ciety, which he first set down in The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844.

Golden Lion Hotel, Deansgate (1872)

Golden Lion Hotel, Deansgate (1872)

The Golden Lion Hotel and Restaurant was loc­ated on Deansgate and was a fa­vourite meeting place for Engels and fellow rad­ical thinkers. In the title of this piece, it rep­res­ents Manchester as a place for de­bate, rad­ical politics and the ex­change of ideas. Manchester’s pivotal role in the British Industrial Revolution led to its vital im­port­ance in the de­vel­op­ment of the trade unions move­ment, but as Engels’s pres­ence here shows, the legacy of these politics was in­ter­na­tional and it was at Chetham’s Library that much of the thought be­hind the Manifesto of the Communist Party took place. What began with the tech­no­lo­gical ad­vance that can be found in the hulking, in­nov­ative but un­doubtedly dan­gerous, steel ma­chinery now safely housed in the Museum of Science and Industry’s Power Hall be­came a cata­lyst for so­cial change that would af­fect the course of world his­tory for the cen­tury to come.

The Golden Lion Hotel, was written in re­sponse to a call for works re­sponding to the ex­hibits of the Power Hall at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry to be per­formed at the ‘Engines of Invention’ show­case of works by post­graduate com­posers at the University of Manchester. It re­ceived its first per­form­ance at that con­cert on 26 April 2010 at the hands of per­cus­sionist and com­poser Steve Pycroft.

  • Instrumentation

    • Percussion
    • Electronics
  • Details