News: Francis Chagrin Award: Composers Announced!

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Sound and Music

We're pleased to announce the seven composers selected for this term's Francis Chagrin Awards!The Francis Chagrin Award is for composers looking for that quick top-up to get them to the next step in creating new work. 

With three rounds a year, meet the latest artists who have benefitted from that extra bit of money to make their projects a reality.


Alex Mackay

Alex Mackay

Alex Mackay is a composer and multimedia artist based in Glasgow, making work across media including sound/music, image and performance for a wide range of contexts, including recorded media, installation, live performance as well as collaborative work in the fields of visual art, dance and film. He has recently worked with companies such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Red Note, Magnetic North and Touch.

He is one half of experimental dance and music unit The Cloud of Unknowing, plays electric  guitar and keyboards for Mogwai's live shows, and studied composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

#NewMusic   #Experimental   #ContemporaryComposition   #SoundArt   #FieldRecording



"I am delighted to be receiving a Francis Chagrin Award for 2016/17. It provides me with assistance in acquiring technical equipment that will be an integral to a new piece of work that I am creating; it is vital in enabling me to proceed with developing the work at this point, which would be difficult without this assistance at this point, which I am very grateful for.

I am using the money to purchase hydrophones (microphones that record underwater sound) which will be used in a new multimedia work, responding to current political discourse on climate change by documenting areas in Scotland under threat from climate change hazards through field recordings and creative responses in these areas using text from transcripts of parliamentary debates on the topic."


 Emily Levy

Emily Levy

Emily Levy is a singer and composer with musical influences that include medieval, classical, folk and jazz.  Emily works closely with voice and is interested in blurring boundaries between both stylistic genres and electro acoustic writing. Recent Commissions: ‘A Mix Tape for Gus’, BBC Radio 4, ‘In Paradisum’ Marian Consort, ‘How Sweetly You Burn’ Voice Trio, ‘Unending Sky’ Oxford Youth Choirs, Cross Art Form collaborations with dance, theatre and film, and Solo Album: ‘Lost and Found’ 

Future projects include a recording with improvising pianist Matthew Bourne and a new piece for the Thallein Ensemble in Brussels.

#CrossGenre   #Vocal   #Lyrical



"I'm really grateful to the Chagrin Awards for supporting this project and happy to be a part of the exciting projects that Sound and Music are involved in.

The funding from the Francis Chagrin Award will help pay an accompanist fee's for a new commission by myself and writer Rommi Smith for baritone, Roderick Williams. Having the pianist in rehearsals and being a part of the devising stage will be a really important element of the new work."


Harry Whalley

Harry Whalley

Harry Whalley’s musical output is varied, ranging from large scale Orchestral works, to using experimental EEG brain control, and writing for Jazz and Chamber Ensembles. His music has been performed around the world and featured on BBC Radio 3. At the start of 2016 Harry became the first composer in residence at St. Vincent’s Chapel, Edinburgh and in October he will be travelling to the Banff centre in Alberta Canada to undertake a Residential Fellowship. Harry was awarded an AHRC funded PhD in 2014 from the university of Edinburgh and is a previous winner of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival Competition.


“I am delighted to be selected, it will help me with additional time with performers during the writing process. The freedom it has given me, I hope, will be reflected in the music that I am writing for this project. 

I am using the money for extra rehearsal time for a site specific piece- without it, finding the exact resonances that clarinettist Pete Furniss can produce within St Vincent’s Chapel would have been impossible."


Iris Garrelfs

Iris Garrelfs

Iris Garrelfs works on the cusp of music, art and sociology. She is interested in modes of listening as a way of connecting to the world, exploring interrelatedness, patterns and interaction through improvised performances, mixed media projects, and recordings.

Her work has been included in major institutions worldwide, for example Tate Britain, National Gallery, Visiones Sonores Mexico, MC Gallery New York, Museum of Modern Art Celje (Slovenia). Recent release includes Breathing Through Wires on Pan Y Rosas Discos. 

Elsewhere she is the commissioning editor of the online journal Reflections on Process in Sound and the co-curator and co-director of Sprawl.

#Voice   #Experimental   #FoundSound   #SiteSpecific   #Improvisation   #Installation




"I am delighted to receive the Francis Chagrin Award and very much appreciate that Sound and Music understands the needs of experimental composers. In my case, the use of technology is integral to the composition process and the award will allow me to purchase a Rode shotgun microphone for working with found sounds.
The Francis Chagrin Award will enable me to purchase a Rode shotgun microphone."


Jez Riley French

Jez Riley French

JrF is a composer and artist particularly associated with the development of extended recording techniques, field recording, photography (including its use in photographic scores) and specialist microphone design. His work has been installed and presented in various ways around the world inc. in galleries such as Tate Modern and Tate Britain. He also lectures and leads workshops on field recording and various aspects of sound art and culture.

#FieldRecording   #PhotographicScores   #Experimental   #SoundArt




"Thanks! Pleased to get this award and use it to assist in the project.

The award will be put towards the costs of printing and shipping a new photographic score booklet for a performance in Iceland by Nordic Affect."


Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson 

Liz Johnson studied for a PhD in composition at Birmingham Conservatoire with Philip Cashian. Her music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Sky-burial for voice and string quartet recently won the IAWM Search for New Music 2016 Gideon Prize. Johnson’s third quartet Intricate Web was selected by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for the opening of Kings Place. A double CD of Johnson’s chamber works and songs will be released in Spring 2017, featuring Sky-burial and a newly commissioned clarinet quintet Sea-Change for multiple clarinets and string quartet on the Mètier Contemporary label, performed by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet.

#Lyrical   #InspiredbyArt   #ContemporaryClassical



Liz Johnson

"I'm delighted to have received this Francis Chagrin Award which will enable me to realise the first part of an ambitious new piece, and which will help lead to further collaborations with other musicians. Having the validation of organisations such as Sound and Music really helps.

Triptych I is a new work for unaccompanied Baroque violin drawing on the language and gestures of Baroque improvisation within a contemporary context. The composition process has been documented in a short film tracking the collaboration between Baroque specialist Lucy Russell and myself, and the new piece will receive its premiere in October 2016."


Pablo Sanz

Pablo Sanz

Pablo Sanz is a Spanish-born artist, composer and sound recordist based in the UK. He makes site-specific projects, multichannel installations, immersive live performances, headphone pieces and publications. His creative practice is engaged with the exploration of aesthetic and spatial aspects of sonic perception, working primarily with environmental sound as raw material, extended listening technologies and architectural physical space. Thresholds of human perception and the interrelations between non-humans, matter and the phenomenal world are essential in his practice. His work has been presented internationally in a variety of contexts. He participated in artist-in-residency programs in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain and Brazil. He made radio commissions for Radio Reina Sofía Museum (Madrid), ACSR (Brussels), FON Air (UK) and has releases on Very Quiet Records and Sonic Terrain among others.

#Environmental   #Spatiality   #Immersion   #Perception   #FieldRecording





"I am very grateful to be receiving a Francis Chagrin Award.

The award will help me to offset costs of Ambisonics spatialisation software used in an ongoing series of immersive sonic-spatial works based on environmental recordings made in the Central Brazilian Amazon last year. Furthermore, getting access to this technology will signify an interesting development in my artistic research on spatial composition and have an impact on future projects."

Francis Chagrin was the founder of the Society for the Promotion of New Music (SPNM). During his career he composed symphonies, songs, chamber music, and over 200 film scores. His music is collected in Sound and Music’s British Music Collection.

The Chagrin Fund is accepting applications!

The next deadline is: Noon, 28th November 2016

Find out more, here!


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