Composers announced for Pathways Programme

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Congratulations to Georgie Buchanan, Gemma Nash, Blasio Kavuma, Jason Yarde and Samantha Fernando - the five composers selected to take part in our Pathways programme. 

Launched in spring 2016, Pathways forms one strand of Sound and Music's Active Encouragement work that seeks to test and explore how to address the inequalities of opportunity for composers to develop their talent in the new music sector. 

The programme specifically invited UK artists who either have disabilities or are from backgrounds other than White British to join a bespoke residency programme which will begin with a 6 month programme of coaching and mentoring before going into a relationship with a residency partner, chosen in close consultation with the composers, to create one or more new works. 

Read more about about the first phase of the programme in Richard Whitelaw's (Director of Programmes) latest blog post>>

Meet the composers

Georgie Buchanan

Georgie Buchanan

Georgie Buchanan is a vocalist, sound explorer and social artist based in Leeds. 

She explores voice as a collective act, a sensation and a transformative process in the belief that the voice is powerful enough to change our understandings of body, gender, disability, border politics and community. 

She works across the mediums of traditional folk singing, absurdist story spinning, choral composition, percussive and improvised dance, puppetry, street theatre, and immersive and sensory performance. 

In recent works she has embodied the scented songs of a jar of pesto, conversed with giant hippos and covered blindfolded audiences in jelly.  She dreams of one day gaining an inter-species understanding of the songs and dialects of humpback whales.




Gemma Nash

Image of Gemma Nash

Gemma is a sound artist with an interest in the connections between medicine, disability and ethics.  

Most of her works are sound installations that bring ‘the human condition’ to the fore. She uses ranges of creative methods to produce her work, such as custom instruments, field recordings and sensors.  Her work incorporates spoken narratives and sounds from an array of unusual sources. She often uses harsh clinical noises within her pieces to create elegant but fragmented compositions, inviting us to re-imagine physical and mental difference as a valued form of human variation.  

She is also a Community Co-Investigator for the award winning Around the Toilet research project.


Blasio Kavuma

Image of Blasio Kavuma

Blasio is a composer and curator based in London. His passion for composition began during his undergraduate degree studying under John Habron, leading to further studies at Bristol University under Michael Ellison and John Pickard. 

He is now an active collaborator over diverse platforms, including film, visual art and performance art. He is passionate about widening the audience of contemporary music and empowering composers to invent new ways of doing this. 

Working to share his music in the context of community building, Blasio develops projects that integrate a range of artistic traditions, and creates new contexts in which contemporary classical music is heard. 




Jason Yarde

Image of Jason Yarde

Composer, arranger, producer and saxophonist Yarde casts a wide musical net having worked with Louis Moholo to 4hero, Plan B to Britten Sinfonia, Keziah Jones to Kronos Quartet, Wretch 32 to Wonderbrass and Jonzi-D to Jack Dejohnette.

Personal projects range from the Bluebox Diaries (fx’d solo), McCormack & Yarde Duo to the larger ACOUTASTiC BOMBASTiC.

Awards include a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, a Paul Hamlyn Award and the inaugural BASCA for Contemporary Jazz with his BBC Proms compositional début.

He’s written for Hugh Masekela and the LSO and produced award winning albums for Soweto Kinch, Gwilym Simcock, Denys Baptiste and Empirical. 





Samantha Fernando 

Image of Samantha Fernando

Samantha (b.1984) is a composer based in Surrey.

Her music ranges from solo to orchestral works and she has a keen interest in cross-arts collaborations. She has worked with numerous ensembles including the London Sinfonietta, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Silbersee Vocal Ensemble and the Riot Ensemble.

Her music has been performed at festivals in the UK and abroad ranging from Gaudeamus Festival (2016), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (2015) and Aldeburgh Music Britten Weekend (2014). In 2013, she was awarded an RPS Composition Prize and was commissioned to write a new work for the Philharmonia Orchestra as part of the Music of Today series. Her solo flute work, Kinesphere, is available on NMC.

Samantha’s saxophone quartet was recently featured on BBC Radio 3. Samantha is a Lecturer in Composition at Royal Holloway, University of London.


Image credit: Marianne Chua

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