Portfolio 2013-14

Portfolio composer scheme

Sound and Music’s Portfolio scheme provides a key development opportunity for composers to create new work with and for some of the UK’s leading ensembles and presenters of new music. Portfolio enables them to develop their portfolio of compositions and gain vital artistic and practical insight and experience in working with professional ensembles and presenting organisations, and delivering new work to public audiences.

Following the successful of the first round or Portfolio partnerships we are pleased to announce the following composers who shall be working with our new partners:

  • Egidija Medeksaite, Eugene Birman and Michael Cryne with Ruthless Jabiru
  • Seth Bennett, Rachel Musson, Shelly Knotts, Julie Kjaer, Shaun Blezard and Anton Hunter with Steve Beresford at Wooda
  • Eloise Gynn, Lee Westwood and Clay Gold with MUSARC
  • Beatrice Dillon and Matthias Kispert with Wet Sounds

Ruthless Jabiru 

Comprised entirely of professional Australian musicians based in the UK, the orchestra is committed to showcasing the best of Australia’s Expatriate musical talent. Tipped to become a forerunner in the city’s chamber orchestral scene, Ruthless Jabiru has received recognition from international programmers, producers, arts industry executives, Australian diplomats, and the cultural sector of Buckingham Palace.

Egidija Medeksaite

Egidija Medekšaite (b. 1979) studied composition with Rytis Mažulis at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, graduating in 2007. In 2003 she took part in the Programme of Composition and Music Technology in Tampere (Finland). In 2004 she attended master classes across Europe, where she studied with Jonathan Harvey, Philippe Manoury and Martin Matalon. In 2006 she studied at the Stuttgart Academy of Music with Marco Stroppa and Caspar J. Walter. Medekšaite participates in various interdisciplinary projects, writes music for dance performances and movies, her music is constantly performed in contemporary music festivals in Lithuania and abroad. Currently Medekšaite is studying PhD in composition at Durham University, supervised by Richard Rinjvos and Sam Hayden. Medekšaite composes mostly chamber music, often combining acoustic and electronic sound. One of the most important underlying principles in her work is strict organization of all parameters of music, based on some predefined patterns (progressions of pitches or durations, different numerological prodecures, etc). However, Medekšaite’s music sounds more as a meditative flow than mathematically built structures. 


Eugene Birman

Eugene Birman

Eugene Birman (b. 1987 - Daugavpils, Latvia,) first prize winner of the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “Lavagnino 2007” andrecipient of the 2013 Young Composers Award from Tenso - the European network for professional chamber choirs, has written for a variety of genres, ensembles and performers, with performances across the United States, Europe, and Asia. His music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and orchestras such as the Latvian Radio Choir, Eric Ericsons Kammarkör,Juilliard Symphony, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and the Milan Conservatory, as well as by soloists Maurizio Ben Omar, Iris Oja, and numerous others. Eugene Birman’s musical language is a sonic extension of the ubiquity of the environment, where silence is paramount both as a moderating force and a source of tension. A former student of John Adams, Samuel Adler, Luis Bacalov, David Conte, Azio Corghi, and Christopher Rouse, Eugene Birman graduated with an M.M. degree fromthe Juilliard School and a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University.

Eugene Birman has since been chosen as a 2015 New Voice. To see his profile click here. To learn more about the New Voices click here

Michael Cryne

Michael Cryne

Michael lives and work in London as a composer and music director, and is currently pursuing doctoral study under the supervision of Dr. Mark Bowden at Royal Holloway, University of London, having previously studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Music for the concert platform includes works for solo instruments through to full orchestra, from purely acoustic music through to electro-acoustic work and work for electronics alone.  Recent compositional work for the concert hall includes Prism for String Quartet (Winner of the 2012 Molinari String Quartet International Composition Prize) and Hearing Voices for Solo Cello and Electronics. As a music director and composer for the theatre, his portfolio includes full music-theatre works as well as incidental music for several productions.  He has an ongoing relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company and frequently acts as a visiting music director and music supervisor.


 is a research, teaching and performance platform based at The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, that grew out of an inquiry into sound as a paradigm in modern culture and the relationship between music, performance and architecture. At Musarc’s heart is a choral ensemble that performs a broad, often challenging repertoire of traditional, contemporary, and newly commissioned works exploring uncharted territory in music and performance. The ensemble consists of an eccentric group of amateurs and professionals from different backgrounds – teachers, students, architects, musicians, designers, typographers, artists, researchers – who all share a passion for singing and a curiosity in experiment.

Eloise Gynn

Born in Cornwall, Eloise Nancie Gynn graduated in 2008 from Cardiff University with a Masters in Composition with distinction. She studied under Anthony Powers, Judith Weir and Arlene Sierra; and elsewhere with Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews, Magnus Lindberg, James Macmillan, Alasdair Nicholson and Sally Beamish.

Eloise’s music has been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Hebrides Ensemble, Schubert Ensemble, Dr. K Sextet and the Britten-Pears Composers Ensemble, and at festivals such as Aldeburgh 2010, and the St. Magnus Festival 2011. 

This year she has written Genesis for the first Cheltenham Music Festival Composer Academy, andEchoes, which was premiered by the Hebrides Ensemble at the 2013 Bath International Music Festival, and Anahata, premiered by the LSO at the Barbican and conducted by Nicholas Collon. Anahata was commissioned through the LSO Discovery Panufnik scheme, which she first joined in 2010, writingSakura which has now been recorded and released on LSO Live; ‘The Panufnik Legacies’.


Clay Gold

Clay Gold is a British sound recording artist from Canterbury, Kent. He has a strong interest in social cybernetics and his recorded,performance and installation work considers the collection, processing, application, destruction and preservation of information, within and without the constraints of the human mind. Clay Gold's multi-channel sound pieces use location recording, synthesis, Foley, worldizing and poetry to form part of an exploration into actively collected, suppressed and promoted opinion; or censorship and propaganda.

His piece 'The Opposite of Wilderness' will be included as part of GV Arts 'Noise and whispers' exhibition of sound art in London throughout November and December. He is very excited to be collaborating with MUSARC on a piece which is currently entitled 'BIAS'.


Lee Westwood 

Lee Westwood is both a composer and a guitarist. His music draws influences from a wide field of cultures and traditions, including Modern Jazz, Folk from across Europe and the Americas, and the past 150 years of Contemporary Classical Music. Over the years Lee has shared the stage with countless guitar and folk legends, and has toured his music extensively throughout the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Germany, Poland, Spain, Cyprus and Hungary, often accompanied by Altus flautist Philippe Barnes. He has performed live on countless radio shows throughout Europe, and has appeared on Spanish national television (Cuatrosfera). Lee has released 3 solo albums to date, and a book of music for solo guitar. As a collaborator Lee enjoys a heavy recording and touring schedule with both new Folk/Hip Hop group Dizraeli & The Small Gods and the experimental trio Le Juki.


Lee Westwoord has since been chosen as a 2015 New Voice. To see his profile click here. To learn more about the New Voices, click here

Wet Sounds

 is an underwater listening experience touring Britain’s swimming pools run by Newtoy. It presents listening sessions to a floating and diving audience in the water. The participants are fully immersed in sound, free to move weightlessly around in the sound space. The sound, detailed and clear, is perceived by the bones and creates an incredibly intimate and immersive listening experience. Wet Sounds often uses two sound systems, one outside and one inside the water, each playing different content and heard separately except while floating on the surface. www.wetsounds.co.uk

Beatrice Dillon

Beatrice Dillon is a London-based composer and performer. She's currently working on an album of tuned percussion and electronics with Rupert Clervaux and recently compiled mixes for Blowing Up The Workshop and The Trilogy Tapes. In 2013 she joined John Coxon, Charles Hayward and others to perform and record with instruments made from destroyed guns by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes at Lisson Gallery. Dillon was commissioned to compose music for ADA at Palais de Tokyo summer 2013, Conrad Shawcross' light-sculpture inspired by Ada Lovelace's vision of computer-generated music. Dillon's score was written for harpsichords and electronics with Rupert Clervaux, to be released by The Vinyl Factory. Dillon has written two film soundtracks for video-artist Claire Hooper (Baloise Prize, Jarman Award nominee), adapted for live performance at ICA London 2012 and IFF Rotterdam 2014. She will be performing at MONA Tasmania in January 2014 alongside Holly Herndon and Mira Calix. 

Matthias Kispert

Matthias is an artist and electronic music composer and performer working in London. His work encompasses sound, video, audio-visual live performance, improvisation, installation and interventions in public space. As a member of artist collective D-Fuse, he is responsible for the sound aspect and involved in the conceptual development of much of the group’s work. He regularly collaborates or performs with a range of artists including Quayola, United Visual Artists, Bart Hess, Steve Beresford and Blanca Regina. His work and collaborations have been shown at MU, STRP, Sonic Acts (Netherlands), Get It Louder, HK Arts Centre, I/O Gallery (China), Moscow Architecture Biennale (Russia), LEV (Spain), USC, TriBeCa Film Festival and Eyebeam (US), Royal Festival Hall, onedotzero, AV Festival, ISEA (UK), EMAF (Germany), Itaú Cultural, FILE, Multiplicidade (Brazil), among others. He is a lecturer in Sound Art at the University of Arts London.

Wooda Improvisation residency at with Steve Beresford 

The following six improvisers will spend two residential weekends on the Cornish coast at Wooda, an organic farm, where they will have the opportunity to develop their improvisational skills and creative language in a series of mentored workshops with Steve Beresford, internationally known as a free improviser on piano and electronics, before performing in both Cornwall and at Mopomoso, held at The Vortex, London.

Seth Bennett

Seth Bennett is an improvising double bassist. Having begun his musical life at Sheffield Cathedral choir as a boy, he studied violin, piano and guitar, before concentrating on bass guitar. He spent his twenties touring Europe in various avant garde punk bands and studying Jazz, before taking up the double bass. He know combines study of the bass in improvised music with his work as a freelance, a career which spans work with folk singer Mary Hampton, Afro/punk Dadaists Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, the orchestra Sinfonia of Leeds, contemporary jazz with i.d.s.t., and his own projects, which include folk/contemporary/improvisors 7 hertz, his trio Nut Club and his co-led improvising big band, the Bennett Cole Orchestra. 

Shaun Blezard

Shaun Blezard is a Cumbrian based electronic improviser. He currently plays using tablet technology (iPad & iPhone) and is interested in pushing the boundaries of how they can be played as an instrument. Accelerometers and touch screen technology are opening a tactile world of sound which Shaun is exploring, especially as an improviser. Shaun plays solo under the Clutter name and in a variety of improvising bands – from Hugs Bison (iPad duo) to Kipple (6 piece free jazz/improv). He has played all over the UK and toured the US including high profile gigs at Liverpool Sound City, Manchester Jazz Festival, St Petersburg Festival of Noise and Lancaster Jazz Festival. Shaun is also a community musician and digital artist, helping people to explore their communities using improvisation, animation, film, sound art and has worked for companies such as Sound & Music, BBC & The National Trust.


Anton Hunter

Anton Hunter is a jazz guitarist living in Manchester, though for him jazz ranges from processing canvas sounds in performance-art trio Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern to ambient soundscapes and skronky riffs in his quartet HAQ as well as playing in – and occasionally writing for – the electronics-meets-brass of the Beats & Pieces Big Band. He can be found playing in a variety of settings with varying levels of improvisation, with musicians such as Mick Beck, Sam Andreae, Simon Prince, Rodrigo Constanzo, Cath Roberts, Phil Marks, David Birchall, Keith Jafrate and many more. Improvisation is at the core of everything he does and in 2007 he formed free-improvisation organisation The Noise Upstairs. Initially a meeting place and jam session for improvisers, it has grown to include events in Manchester and Sheffield, regular workshops on a range of subjects and a small record label. He co-runs Efpi Records, a contemporary jazz record label, who also run regular gigs in Manchester and have links across Scandinavia.

Rachel Musson

Rachel is a saxophonist, improviser and composer living in London, UK. She is involved with a variety of improvisation-based projects, one of which, a trio featuring Liam Noble and Mark Sanders has just released an album, Tatterdemalion, on Babel Label. Rachel is also working on a trio project with Danish saxophonist Julie Kjaer and cellist Hannah Marshall, and a duo with bassist Olie Brice. She is a member of clarinetist Alex Ward’s new quintet, a large improvising free jazz band, Atmospheric Disturbance, led by Eddie Prevost. She has also written for and recorded with her own band, Skein, which released a highly acclaimed album on F-IRE Records at the end of 2010. She was picked by BBC Jazz on Three to perform at Cheltenham Jazz Festival last year. She has performed with Alcyona Mick, Han Bennink, Liam Noble, Gail Brand, Eddie Prevost, Olie Brice, Federico Ughi, Mary Halvorson, John Russell, Adam Linson, Sebastian Rochford, among many others.

Shelly Knotts

Shelly Knotts is a Newcastle, UK, based composer, performer and improvisor of live electronic, live-coded and network music. She completed a Masters degree in Composition in 2012 at University of Birmingham and is currently studying for a PhD in Live Computer Music at Durham University. Her experimental and collaborative tendencies have seen her engage with diverse musical practices and styles ranging from electroacoustic tape music to live-coded dance music. She performs solo and as a member of various collaborations and presents her work across the UK and Europe. Affiliations have included BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre) 2007-2011 and sound art collective SOUNDkitchen 2010-2012. Her work has been published on Chordpunch record label, Absence of Wax netlabel and in Leonardo Music Journal. Recent projects include the 2011 PRSF commissioned commissioned project 'Interleave' - combining the tradition Jazz Quartet with experimental live-electronics, network music band BiLE (Birmingham Laptop Ensemble) and live coded generative audio-visual performance 'Valevari' with Alo Allik.



Julie Kjaer

Saxophonist and flautist Julie Kjær’s imaginative, edgy and thoughtfull playing gives her a unique voice on her instruments. She has toured internationally with Django Bates and his band StoRMChaser, and the Danish big-band “Blood Sweat Drum’n Bass” where she has played with amongst others: Dave Douglas, Arve Henriksen and Palle Mikkelborg. She plays with London Improvisers Orchestra and is a leader and sidewoman of several other English and Danish ensembles. Currently she is working on a new trio project with bass player John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble and on a project with the Danish-English sextet ‘Pierette Ensemble’, inhabiting ground between composition and free improv. J. Kassman-Todd, Jazzwise, writes: "Kjær’s playing reached Braxton-esque levels of surreal linguistic expression. This was a synthesis of dark Scandinavian folk with the Art Ensemble of Chicago." [ Dec 2009]




Watch electronic music composer Matthias Kispert's Dark Pool video here.

Matthias Kispert

Funded by:

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The London Community Foundation

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