Sound and Music's best moments of 2015....

2015 text
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Sound and Music

As 2015 draws to an end, the Sound and Music team reflect on their favourite moments from the past 365 days....

A note from Susanna Eastburn, Chief executive: 

What a year it has been for us. We’ve worked with over 80 composers and thousands of audiences in every region of Britain; we’ve seen our education programmes continue to expand and reach more children; we’ve remained at the forefront of necessary innovation and new thinking in the cultural sector...

I’ve been thinking a lot about the value that the music industry places on new music and the work of composers and have concluded that the answer is: Nowhere near enough. All music was new once upon a time; and much of the greatest music we now have was considered at its premiere to be difficult to listen to or shockingly unfamiliar. Without the work of composers, our great concert halls and festivals would be silent. Yet our second Composer Commissioning Survey revealed some depressing findings, with the average commission hovering around the £1,000 mark. This is awful, given the time, carefully acquired skill and talent it takes to create a new work.

On a more positive note: it has been so exciting this autumn to launch Minute of Listening across Bristol primary schools in partnership with Bristol Plays Music and to see the enthusiasm with which teachers and pupils have responded to it. Listening can be rather an undervalued sense, but I know every reader of this will agree how important it is, across every aspect of life. Have a wonderful festive season, and a very happy New Year.

Susanna 

Top moments from 2015 

Suanna Eastburn, Chief executive.... 

Spending 24 hours at the Sound and Music Summer School and hearing world premieres of 75 new pieces by all the young people who spent the week there!

 

 

 

Hannah Bujic, Creative Project leader....

Lots of amazing noises were heard in 2016. A few personal highlights: Jacob Thompson-Bell turned Somerset House into a living sound sculpture; I travelled to Mexico to hear electroacoustic happenings from around the globe; EXAUDI wove the work of four incredibly diverse Sound and Music Portfolio composers into a beautiful, thought-provoking programme of vocal music.

 

 

Victoria Johnson, Head of Digital, Marketing and Communications.... 

Everything Creative Data Club and hearing the kids at Fair Furlong Primary School sing when we visited to launch Minute of Listening across Bristol in November! 

 

 

 Natalia Franklin Pierce, Administrator... 

It is difficult to choose just one highlight from the year when there are many things that come to mind. However what’s been really rewarding for me has been working with the students at University of East London who collaborated with Shiva FesharekiJackie WalduckTim Murray-Browne and Matthias Kispert as part of Swimming With Music - a project run with Bigga FishWatching the students work together over the weeks with open-mindedness, support and a collaborative spirit has been an inspiring lesson that I think we can all learn from. Needless to say, it’s been lovely seeing the culmination of this project presented in Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Park (oh whilst Tom Daley practising his dives during soundchecks too!). 

 

Richard Whitelaw, Head of Programmes...

The Sound and Music highlight of the year for me was the return of Cut & Splice. I was so pleased with the way this worked out! Really fantastic to work with Joanna Bailie as curator and with Plus Minus Ensemble as house band for the two days. The thing was important to me on a personal level. I’ve programmed this event with the BBC for about 10 years and handing it over to artist led curation felt like the final piece in a personal mission to let go my own curatorial ambitions. I’m much happier without them, and I’m enjoying music much more now that its detached from any personal use value. Also, if I’m honest, Joanna simply did a much better job than I would have done. 


Kealy Cozens, Creative Project Leader... 

2015 has seen Creative Data Club blossom and move to a new venue so more people can attend and, as always, an amazing variety of speakers. We’ve also seen the inception of the first sound artist-in-residence at the Open Data Institute signalling interesting things for the data and art movement. We’ve also embarked on several new internal data adventures internally helping us to understand more about the people we work with across the nation. All in all, it’s been a busy but greatly rewarding year for Sound and Music with regards to my favourite topic, data, and I’m looking forward to an even more fruitful 2016!

 

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