We are excited to be working with the eight composers and creative artists who will be our New Voices 2021.

New Voices is Sound and Music's major artist development programme, lasting 18 months with an annual intake. Spanning a broad range of genres and practice, all eight New Voices want to make changes to, and effect development within, their work. We are hugely excited they have joined the programme and look forward to working alongside them on this next step in their creative practice.

The New Voices 2021 composers are: Ben Nobuto, Chisara Agor, Gwen Siôn, illyr, Jennifer Wrigley, Jaka Škapin, Rylan Gleave and Yohan Kebede. Read more about each of the artists below.


Ben Nobuto

Ben is a British/Japanese composer, pianist and producer from Kent. With a style described as ‘postmodern’ by Nonclassical, his music explores themes of attention and fragmentation, often drawing from internet culture and popular idioms in a playful, ironic and surreal manner.

Visit Ben's profile
Read Ben's Q&A

Chisara Agor

Chisara's art contains recurring themes of ever-shifting environments and constantly (r)evolving juxtapositions of experience. From society, to politics, to how we find joy, Chisara's work is as much about the world around them as it is their own personal interpretation of it.

Visit Chisara's profile
Read Chisara's Q&A

Gwen Sion

Gwen is an experimental composer, pianist and multidisciplinary artist. Her work is primarily sound-based although she often incorporates elements of sculpture, moving image, photography and text to create multi-sensory installations.

Visit Gwen's profile
Read Gwen's Q&A


Tylor is a British/Bajan, queer + working class artist creating under the pseudonym illyr.  They are a self-taught singer, songwriter and record producer, and released their first music EP with coverage from Pitchfork and a live-streamed performance through Dazed + NTSRadio. They also make films, choreograph + are a performance artist.

Visit illyr's profile
Read illyr's Q&A


Jennifer is highly respected globally not only as a world class fiddler but as an ambassador for traditional Orkney music.  She is internationally recognised as one of the leading fiddle players and composers to come out of Scotland in recent years; influencing and inspiring players all around the world.

Visit Jennifer's profile
Read Jennifer's Q&A


Jaka Škapin is a Slovenian artist, producer and musician based in London. His musical background is firmly rooted in the choral and jazz traditions, while his practice revolves around the use of collaborative improvisation as a practice of artistic self-expression and creative connection with others.

Visit Jaka's profile
Read Jaka's Q&A


Rylan is a Leith-based composer and vocalist whose musical practice involves mending the unfeigned gaps in his classical study with the healings of imaginative neuro-/gender-divergent kinship. Re-emerging as a composer/performer, his recent work has explored the instrumental qualities of his late-breaking trans-masc voice through queer autoethnography, and autistic-specific notation.

Visit Rylan's profile
Read Rylan's Q&A


Yohan is a self-taught pianist/keyboardist from north-west London. He has spent the past 4 years touring & recording extensively, most notably as 1/8 of KOKOROKO, in addition to various other collaborations including Yussef Dayes, Lex Amor & ELIZA.

Visit Yohan's profile
Read Yohan's Q&A

The panellists

Sound and Music would like to thank our New Voices panel for the work they put into the process of shortlisting 18 candidates from 253 applicants to the programme.

The panel consisted of Sound and Music Co-Head of Artist Development Will Dutta alongside Lee Gamble, Nabihah Iqbal, Marcus Joseph, Daniel Kidane and Amble Skuse.

In line with our Fair Access Principles, we want to have an open and transparent selection process and this year, as in previous rounds, we have rotated the external selection panellists to refresh and renew the process.

Read more about this year's panellists

Seed Award 2021

All applicants for New Voices who have been shortlisted to the final stage of the application process are eligible for the Seed Award. The Seed Award composers for 2021 are Hayley Suviste, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, Guoda Dirzyte, Sian O’Gorman, Phoebe Coco, Tony Onuchukwu, Lewis Daniel and Laurie Mompelat.

These composers received a targeted package of support including:

  • £100 contribution to support the research and development of a particular project
  • coaching session with an accredited coach
  • Two strategic thinking sessions with our team

Read more about the Seed Award

Thanks to our funders

See also

Collage of composer-curator projects

Composer-Curator is a composer-led and curated national touring programme which supports outstanding live and digital music projects and events.

Find out more about Composer-Curator and how to apply

A white blonde woman workshopping a piece with an ensemble

Adopt a Music Creator is a unique scheme that pairs composers with leisure time music ensembles and groups to collaborate on the creation of a new piece.

Explore Adopt a Music Creator and how to apply

Profile pictures of the New Voices 2022 cohort

Romarna Campbell, Jelly Cleaver, Holysseus Fly, Sonia Allori, Lou Barnell, Lucy Duncombe, and Nneka Cummins.

Meet the New Voices 2022