News: CCE Experiment - Composer update

Compose. Create. Engage.
Compose. Create. Engage.
Produced by: 
Sound and Music in partnership with Pledge Music

At the beginning of the year we teamed up with PledgeMusic to launch a new crowdfunding campaign, compose.Create.Engage. with five of Britians most exciting contemporary composers.

Half way through the experriment we asked the composers to give us an update. Here is their experience so far, in their words.


Marc Yeats 

“It’s not over till the fat lady sings” – reflections on crowdfunding by Marc Yeats

'It’s not over till the fat lady sings. I know this.

I began this experimental crowdfunding campaign with PledgeMusic and Sound and Music called Compose Create Engage with huge enthusiasm. When asked why I’m taking part I answered:

“Freedom. Freedom to make things happen without going through our normal cultural gatekeepers whose decisions so often result in a ‘no’ to way too many amazing projects. Freedom to appeal directly to audiences and fans, and engage new people directly in what I’m doing and bring them on the journey with me so we can make stuff happen together. And of course the freedom to have a viable alternative to deliver projects in the future. Additionally I’m thrilled I can be a bit of a pioneer with this initiative and with the help of Sound and Music share with other composers the learning and experience that results so the that whole new-music community can benefit. And last but not least, an opportunity to make my own piano music recording project with Ian Pace happen”.

So that’s the motivation. It’s all fine and dandy and I still believe it!

Now, halfway through my campaign, it’s a good time to take stock and make an interim assessment of where we have got and what has been learned so far as well as my own assumptions around how it would proceed and develop.'

Read Marc's full blog here 

Marc's PledgeMusic campaign

For more info: Twitter // Web

Jacob Thompson Bell 

Some Questions about Funding: on running a PledgeMusic campaign, by Jacob Thompson-Bell 

Since February, I’ve been raising funds through a crowdfunding campaign with PledgeMusic. The campaign is supported through Sound and Music’s Compose. Create. Engage.’ initiative, which aims to assess how useful crowdfunding platforms can be for new and experimental music.

Sound and Music have asked me (and the other composers running campaigns through the initiative) to reflect on the experience so far…

My PledgeMusic campaign is in support of a project called Fresh Yorkshire Aires, which showcases graphic scores and visuals that are connected to sound by artists and composers in Yorkshire. The campaign is intended to support the development of four new graphic scores from Yorkshire artists and composers (including me), for exhibition in Leeds and Sheffield, featuring musical realisations by Matthew Bourne and Philip Thomas, playing as a piano duo. All of the showcased artists live in Yorkshire, and all of the new commissions are inspired directly by the region.

I initially became involved with ‘Compose. Create. Engage.’ because I wanted to find ways of raising funds that would highlight and strengthen the artistic intentions behind my work, as well as financing it. Crowdfunding through PledgeMusic has many benefits for my approach but it’s also raised some questions about how I conceive of audiences and make my work available.

So, I’ve found the process challenging, and I’m still a long way from success, but I remain hopeful I’ll be able to raise enough to deliver my project in the way I’ve imagined. I’m fortunate to have some financial support from Leeds College of Music, where both Matthew and I are lecturers. The PledgeMusic campaign is an opportunity to further extend and expand Fresh Yorkshire Aires. 

Read Jake's full blog here 

Jake's PledgeMusic campign

For more info: Twitter // Web



About Compose. Create. Engage. 

Designed to empower composers to realise projects outside the confines of traditional commissioning (which Sound and Music’s annual Composer Commissioning Survey reveals to be grossly inadequate and unsustainable for composers), as well as to develop and build their own network of supporters, “Compose. Create. Engage” will test whether a crowdfunding platform can be as useful to contemporary composers as it is for rock and pop acts. 

By partnering with PledgeMusic, these five pioneering composers will have access to 1.2 million PledgeMusic users, tapping into a community of enthusiastic and curious music lovers who might otherwise have had little contact with their particular styles. At the same time, the selected composers will introduce their existing audiences to the world of crowdfunding, to test whether this direct-to-fan communication and fundraising can be used to support the creation, recording and performance of new music outside the standard commissioning process. 

Find out more about CCE here 

You can support both Marc YeatsJacob Thompson Bell, Shaun Blezard helping them to achieve their goals, becoming apart of their story and apart of our experriment now over at PledgeMusic

Find out more about Marc's campaign & support him here

Find out more about Jacob's campaign & support him here

Find out more about Shaun's campaign & support him here 

All five composers are busy working on their campaigns and will be going 'live' over the next few months, so do keep up to date here and on twitter with #CCE 


This experiment is in partnership with:

Pledge Music

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