We’re thrilled to announce the six projects that have now been selected to be part of this year’s Composer-Curator programme. Each of the chosen artists will be supported to develop their public projects, which this year, will focus on bringing extraordinary new music and new ideas to communities in Hull and Sunderland.  

This year’s projects span a truly unique and diverse range of people, genres and performance contexts. These include a surreal musical experience along Hull’s Humber Street, a 12th century inspired choral and underground dance music mash-up in a Sunderland nightclub, performance training and workshops for young people in a mobile recording studio in Peel Street, Hull, and an underwater sound exploration of the River Wear.  

In line with our commitment to ensure that more people can access new music locally and to support the development of cultural communities across the UK, this year’s programme is presented in partnership with Back to Ours, Hull and Sunderland Culture. Our aim is to support the selected artists, composers and collectives who have a meaningful connection to these cities, to build more thriving, sustainable and inclusive communities for their work and new music in Hull and Sunderland.  

Given the new, local focus to this year’s Composer-Curator programme, we’re really excited to support these artists to realise their visions, maximise their local impact, experiment with new approaches and bring their  events and experiences to audiences in their home cities.  

You can find out more about the projects below.  

Sunderland: Selected Artists

Graeme Hopper

“My project is to produce and programme an annual experimental music and arts festival, called BOUNDARIES, which will be based in Sunderland City Centre. The festival aims to support and showcase the more overlooked, curious and original artists from all across the World. Im very keen to promote the fantastic local experimental artists we have in the region alongside National and International acclaimed performers. This first edition of the festival will begin a new exciting journey for Sunderland and the North East’s live music community. BOUNDARIES will champion imaginations and ideas from all backgrounds and cultures, the festival is built on open minds and welcoming temperaments.

Find out more about Graeme on his composer profile here

Ruth Hughes

“Sunderland’s sound is multifaceted and deeply connected to it’s history. Fast, pumping dance music, industrial warehouses and echoing fog horns. 

From Heaven is a series influenced by Sunderland’s recent history of underground dance music. Working with local artists and others from across the UK. Deconstructing this sonic landscape through performance, experimental score and collaboration, From Heaven will be curated with the intention of bringing together multiple genres in an experimental context. 12th century inspired early choral music, Sunderland’s post-industrial landscape and underground music culture will inform the project.” 

Find out more about Ruth on her composer profile here

David De La Haye

The estuaries of the Wear and Humber are ripe for underwater sound exploration. Surrounding docks, intertidal mudflats and freshwater zones offer space to reimagine historically industrialised areas through the lens of aquatic ecosystems to find a sense of climate justice. Through musical improvisation and interpretation the unheard sounds beneath the water surface will become augmented into our terrestrial reality, highlighting our own roles within the soundscape. Audio diffusion technology brings these immersive environments to the ears of local communities; what can we learn simply by listening?”

Find out more about David on his composer profile here

Hull: Selected Artists

Nigel Taylor

“I think the music scene in Hull has always been very diverse and different. We have seen a change from mainly rock and punk bands in the early 2000’s to a shift in hiphop and grime in 2021 but Hull has consistently made DIY music. We have seen successes like The House Martins, Roland Gift, Fat Boy Slim and Fila Brazilia pave the way for new artists to get National airplay like Life, Endoflevelbaddie and Chiedu Oraka. Hull has always been consistent and will continue to churn out its own stable of successful musicians. 

Our project is designed to engage and find new talent in the Peel Street area of Hull, give them the necessary performance training and deliver two live performances at Arlbemarle Music Centre and Peel Street Park. Beats Bus Records will host 4 workshops to work with young people to create a new and exciting piece of musical theatre.”  

Find out more about Nigel on his composer profile here

Sally Currie

“The city of Hull has a deafening undercurrent of amazing bands and music defined by not by genre or scenes but a great culture of mutual support and encouragement.

Fairy tales for the Modern Gentleman is a collaboration between The Dyr Sister, Bluebeany and GrimVisions. The Dyr Sister’s ethereal fairy tales have been sung for many years by violist and songwriter Sally Currie. More recently she formed a 3 piece string band consisting of viola, guitar, harp, MPC and some beautiful vocal harmonies. The surreal musical world of The Dyr Sister will be brought to life over a series of performances down Humber Street in autumn 2021. The performance will be a blend between a concert and an immersive experience playing with music, visual art and digital projection mapping.”

Find out more about Sally on her composer profile here

Stewart Baxter

Hull is a music city, creating its own unique soundtrack full of integrity and working class spirit, the music here is born from a need to express and escape, its raw and real and I love how it sounds.

I will be creating a new audio performance engaging and collaborating with community members who currently live in the area I grew up around Hessle Road and Anlaby Road. We will explore and capture sound relating to place and space, experimenting with analogue and digital manipulation to create soundscapes which will underpin music composition inspired by our own journeys. We will create a performance of the new works within a local community space engaging new audiences and offering a unique and immersive new music experience. The project will support and develop new artists to use sound in new ways as part of a series of collaborative workshops and performances.”

Find out more about Stewart on his composer profile here

Our Composer-Curator Partners

Supersonic Festival

Back to Ours, Hull

Sunderland Culture

Sound and Music gratefully acknowledges support from PRS Foundation as a Talent Development Partner:

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