COVID-19 Composer Awards - Meet the winners!

In April, Sound and Music repurposed the existing Francis Chagrin Award in order to respond to the needs of the composer community during this unprecedented emergency to create the COVID-19 Composer Awards. The awards support UK-based composers and music creators who have lost work due to the COVID-19 crisis to undertake creative or professional development. We're very excited to announce the winners of the first round of these awards below!

Louis Sterling

Louis Sterling, also known as Auxx, is a British recording artist currently signed to David August's 99Chants label. Raised in Bath, Somerset (UK), Louis first began as a descant at the cathedral, absorbing the ambient melodies of the city, until it eventually made its way into the foundation of his craft. It was only at 16 years old where Sterling's personal sketches would eventually make their way onto the BBC, receiving airtime on BBC Introducing and Mary-Anne Hobbs' 6 music recommends show.He has often drawn influence from his mixed heritage, leaning towards the knocks of the sound-system and UK club culture, howoever it has not deterred him from cultivating a plethora of emotionally driven LP's, from the off-kilter Harmonics Contrast LP (2015), to the commercially driven 23/09 on North American label URBNET back in 2017. However, in the light of his recent work, Louis has adopted an artistry that unveils emotional complexity - expressing a heavy hand of experiences, whilst deconstructing the barriers between electronic music and contemporary art on his 2019 L.P. Adisceda.

Louis said:

"From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank Sound and Music UK for awarding me and supporting my career as a recording artist. To be given such an opportunity; one that allows me to create, collaborate and perform with the most astounding individuals (even through the most difficult of times) is nothing but a blessing. Additionally, I would like to thank friends and family that have listened to, or somewhat supported my work, however conventional or abstract it may be. You are the ones that truly keep me going."

 @louis_sterlingx

Louissterlingx 

  Listen here

louissterling.bandcamp.com/

Nicola Chang

Nicola is a musician working across theatre, film and commercial media. She moved to London 5 years ago to pursue a career in music, and had worked across various roles in the industry before becoming a composer/sound designer. Alongside her creative work, she also occasionally plays for Six the Musical (West End) as Dep MD and is a former cast member of STOMP. She has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Shakespeare’s Globe as a percussionist, and has conducted the London Film Music Orchestra playing her soundtracks whilst accompanied by live film screenings.

Nicola said:

"It’s an incredible honour [to be selected for the award], and I feel very very privileged and fortunate. I’ve always wanted to manipulate and compose with live sound in my practice, as I typically use pre-recorded sound/samples and original compositions in my work. This award will support my venture into live sound manipulation and will be directed towards acquiring relevant software and hardware."

 @nicolatchang

nicolatchang

 Listen here

www.nicolatchang.com

gobscure

 

©lizroseridley

our sound-art includes international commissions such as have taken scissors to a few folks ties for our solo exhibition with alma zevi venice, 2018. rose carved in rain exhibition and solo show is supported by newbridge project gateshead and curious arts (thanks to a queer arts north) bursary and includes ink any body - an album of bisexual sound art. ships-ov-fool (online) is a commission for GIFT: Gateshead International Festival of Theatre 2020. this work was also supported by sage gateshead summer studio residency and sound&musics francis chagrin award.

gobscure said:

"we appreciate this is a time of huge uncertainty for everyone - short, medium and long-term, placing huge stress physically and mentally on all. we are genuinely so grateful to sound&music for allowing us to rethink how we work and learn new skills, especially as our disabilities make us 'particularly high risk'. this doesn't just benefit us, but helps us reach the communities we particularly try creating work for and with, thank you sound&music"

 Listen here

gobscure.wixsite.com/info

Nikki Sheth 

Nikki Sheth is a sound artist currently based in Birmingham, UK. She uses field recordings to produce site-specific soundscape works. Her practice involves extensive field recording trips, multi-channel soundscape composition, working collaboratively to produce multimedia installations and augmented reality soundwalks. Her installation works have been presented across the UK and Europe and her sound works have been performed internationally.

 

Nikki said:

"I feel so grateful and proud to have been selected for the Covid-19 Composers Award. Sound and Music’s support and encouragement in the production of new experimental music is hugely appreciated.
 
The grant will go towards purchasing the GRM Tools plug-ins and Ableton Live software which are two tools essential for my compositional practice going forward in my career. The purchase of Ableton Live will allow me to start to develop a live practice using field recordings collected over the past few years which is something I have wanted to do for a long time. GRM Tools have become an integral part of my compositional process and the purchase of these plug-ins would allow me to continue to compose works in progress and future works to a high standard with plug-ins I am accustomed to using."

 Listen here

 nikkisheth5036

 https://nikkisheth.myportfolio.com/

 

Jasmin Kent Rodgman

British-Malaysian Artist & Composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman brings together the contemporary classical, electronics and sound art worlds to create powerful soundscapes and musical identities. A constant collaborator across various art forms including dance, word, film and VR, her music often explores otherness, memory and plays with a sense of narrative.

A driving force behind where and how her work is experienced, Jasmin creates bold new platforms for her music including visual artwork, site-specific installations and multidisciplinary festival productions. As Artist & Producer, she often experiments with unique set-ups such as audiowalks, interactive installations, underground nights, moving image, 360° film and more.

Jasmin said:

"The COVID-19 Composer Awards has helped me improve my home studio set up with much needed software and hardware that will allow me to better integrate my electronic soundscapes into my composition and live electronics into future performances. These are uncertain and constantly shifting times, so I’m extremely grateful for the support from Sound and Music and excited to get going on upcoming projects! Watch this space!"

 @JasminRodgman

JKRodgman

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 jasminkentrodgman

 

Alistair Zaldua

Alistair Zaldua is a composer of contemporary, experimental, and improvised music and has written work for chamber, orchestral, solo forces and live electronics. Most recently, his work has focused on collaboration including with other musicians and improvisers, dancers, poets, and video artists. This has led to his involvement as artistic director of the Free Range Orchestra which is an interdisciplinary collective of improvisers (in Canterbury, Kent). He currently performs work for organ and live electronics in duet with Lauren Redhead, and violin as part of Trio CZW, which is an improvsation trio with Paul Cheneour (flutes) and Maureen Wolloshin (oboe).

Alistair said: 

"I am extremely pleased to have been selected for this grant as it will directly support me during a period of professional development in the form of online courses in acoustics and computer programming (MaxMSP). By doing this research I hope to fill gaps in my knowledge and practice, and to use these skills directly in my compositions, improvisation and performance as a violinist using live electronics, and in my work as a performer of live electronics. Many thanks to Sound and Music for giving me the opportunity to develop my work in this way!"

 @audlaza69

 Listen here

 Watch here

 zaardmarks

http://www.alistair-zaldua.de

Roshi Nasehi

Roshi Nasehi is a Welsh-born musician and sound artist of Iranian parentage with a strong track record in performance, recording, collaboration, public art and social intervention projects. Her records have received significant airplay including BBC Radio 3, 6Music and RTE, plus critical acclaim from The Independent, Wire, Quietus, and others. Mixmag also twice awarded her experimental record of the month, describing her as "one of the most singular voices working at the moment". Commissions include The Verb, the Southbank WOW festival, Shivanova, Music In Detention, and a major Sound and Music/British Council sound installation project in Kuwait in 2014

Roshi said: 

"I am delighted to receive this award which helps me realise a solo performance piece Ramalamma Ding Dong. The piece was inspired by a phrase a stranger repeated at me after hearing me briefly speak Farsi to my family on a train. The piece experiments with standup and sound art and I will use the money to buy an interface and complete a home studio as I can't access my usual space, my colleague Graham Dowdall's studio, while safely observing lockdown. It's especially helpful to have a set-up at home because I am also homeschooling my rambunctious, autistic small child so I really value this support from Sound and Music."

 Listen here

 Watch here

www.roshi.biz

Jenny Moore

Jenny Moore is a composer, singer, drummer and performance artist. She founded the alternative feminist choir F*Choir, composing and arranging for the diverse group of singers using non-gendered voice parts, graphic scores, no auditions to create highly energetic, rhythmic and political music. She also plays in the dance-punk trio Charismatic Megafauna and leads Jenny Moore's Mystic Business, a psychosexual choral percussive ensemble exploring the collective voice. Her work has been performed by the National Girls Youth Choir, Musarc choral collective, and she has featured on BBC Late Junction collaboration sessions as well as DIY and live art venues internationally. 

Jenny said: 

"I'm thrilled to be offered this award at such a time of great need not just for composers and musicians but for so many communities and sectors. It's been a wild and uncertain time to be an artist and a human. Being selected for the grant will allow me to skill up in areas of recording, mixing and digitally scoring my work, making it more accessible to my collaborators during lockdown but also for those performers who have additional physical needs or other restrictions in their movement or travel. Staying connected to my musical community is key for creativity and I'm excited to learn new ways to do this!"

 @aftonsam

jennymooresmysticbusiness

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 aftonsam

http://www.jennymoore.co/

 

Bethany Roberts

Bethany M. Roberts is a singer, composer, teacher, writer and instrumentalist. She has been based in Bristol since 2011, having studied Music at the University of Bristol and graduated with an MA, specialising in Contemporary Musicology. She founded Hands of the Heron, a female-led songwriters' collective, and performs with Ben Osborn, Waldo’s Gift and other emerging acts. She produces soundscapes for House of Figs, a project with acclaimed poet Beth Calverley. An enthusiastic teacher, she coaches adults in singing, songwriting and music theory, and is planning to expand her practice to teach production skills to womxn and adult beginners.

Bethany said: 

"I'm really grateful to Sound and Music for this opportunity, and the motivation it's giving me to develop skills and instincts as a producer."I'd usually spend the summer on the road, playing gigs at festivals every weekend; instead, I'm taking this time to learn about different recording methods, understand mixing techniques, and work on projects that were begun before and during lockdown. I'm taking a break from teaching online to focus on remote lessons with producer Nick Dover (Canyon Sound), and I'm excited to share knowledge with my own students in the future."

 Listen here

 bethany.m.roberts

 

Stephanie Walker

Stephanie is a singer, composer, songwriter and musician. She also tours as a session musician. Stephanie completed a commission to write a song for Big Sing and lead songwriting workshops. Stephanie and her twin sister are Talk Like Tigers, a rising evocative synth pop duo and who've just released their new single, Protection. Later this year, they'll embark on a support tour performing at venues including Shepherds Bush Empire and perform at festivals including Standon Calling. Talk Like Tigers sound is dreamy alt pop and support comes from BBC Introducing and 6 Music. They've performed at iconic venues and festivals including Glastonbury.

Stephanie said: 

"I feel so grateful to receive this grant! It will allow me to complete one to one online training in music software which will enable me to become a better producer and change the way I perform live. I'm soo excited to get started!" 

 @TalkLikeTigers

 Listen here

 Watch here

 TalkLikeTigers

Talk Like Tigers

www.talkliketigers.com/

 

Dominie Hooper

Dominie Hooper is a singer,composer and theatre musician. With a background in folk music and physical theatre, Dominie’s approach to music-making seeks to explore relationships between sound, space and story-telling. Performance credits include HUG, Mmm-Hmmm, and Undersong with song-theatre composer Verity Standen, and The Toad Knew with James Thiérée. Dominie is a member of international folk ensemble Band Of Burns, a collaboration that celebrates and re-imagines the works of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns. She has performed extensively throughout the UK, at festivals incl. Glastonbury, Latitude, and Celtic Connections, and live on BBC Radio 3 and Radio Scotland.

Dominie said: 

“I am extremely grateful to have received this award. The support and encouragement I feel from Sound and Music has propelled me onwards with this work, and I can’t wait to compose for The Sunday Boys and start this new project. Thank you for giving me the confidence to keep going!”

 @dominiehoopermusic

 Listen here

 dominiehoopermusic

dominiehoopermusic

www.dominiehooper.com


James Green

 

James is a Sound Artist, based in Aberdeen, whose practice revolves around field recordings and installations, highlighting our urban environments. Using audio and visual elements he tries to bring together fragmented elements of social spaces and engagements in an attempt to better understand our most immediate surroundings.

James said: 

"It feels really encouraging to receive this award. As I am sure is the case for everyone, having to adapt to the current situation has been a challenge but this will give me a focus and some inspiration for the months to come. With the award, I plan to join a course on C++ for musicians, which will allow me to apply for more ambitious projects in the future and have the ability to collaborate with more people."

 Listen here

 Watch here

 jamesisgreen

https://jamesgreensa.com/

 

Anna Braithwaite

©Fleur Charlesworth

A classically trained singer, cabaret artist and composer, Anna Braithwaite's work is distinctly theatrical in nature, thought- provoking, humourous and unexpected.

Anna said: 

"My experience lies predominantly in creating music for live events. Lockdown conditions have made it more important than ever to have an online presence which demonstrates my readiness for creating digital work and acts as a much-needed platform for the unveiling of new projects. The generous funding from Sound and Music will allow me to spend time reflecting on my practice, working with a coach to make plans for the future and to build a website which not only curates my past work but is an authentic reflection of me as an artist. Thank you Sound and Music for always being there when we need you."

 @AnnaMerriel

 Listen here

 @annabraithwaitemusic

annabraithwaitemusic

www.annabraithwaite.co.uk

Thank you

These Awards have been made possible thanks to the generous support of our donors. We'd like to say special thanks to the following:

Richard Steele
Andrew Hamilton
John Snijders
Harriet Wybor
Susan Feder
Sound and Music Trustees

If you’d like to join them, please consider setting up a monthly donation to support our work. Every penny goes towards helping composers continue to experiment, create and innovate in these uncertain times.

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