The registration deadline has now passed and we are no longer accepting late registrants.
New Voices: an artist development programme for new ideas, new sounds and new music.
- Are you a composer or artist creating your own original music or sound?
- Are you looking to explore your creative ideas and take the next step in your career?
- Are you determined and excited to explore your artistic and personal development?
- Are you looking to produce new work for new audiences?
Then this could be the opportunity for you!
1. What is New Voices?
New Voices is our artist development programme that supports composers at pivotal stages of their careers to explore new ideas, new sounds and new music.
Each project is unique from composer to composer and year to year and that excites us.
Each year we support eight composers over 18 months with coaching, mentoring and a financial grant to create a new piece of work and share it with new audiences.
New Voices is a unique opportunity for composers to take essential time to explore and develop their work. Whether you live in an urban or rural environment, whether you trained at a conservatoire or are self-taught, whether you produce electronic or acoustic work, or whether you have many years’ experience or consider yourself ‘emerging’. We know there isn't one model that will or should fit everyone.
"Each stage of this project represented a step forward for me: the extended length of the programme enabled me to conduct preliminary research in greater depth than previously possible, uncovering new lines of inquiry to pursue in my work. Working with Plus-Minus Ensemble was a unique and extremely positive experience. This amounted to a significant learning opportunity the likes of which I have not previously had access to. "
2. What does being part of New Voices involve?
To be eligible to apply for New Voices you must:
- be over 18 years old
- not be in full or part-time education (in any subject)
- have been based in the UK for the last two years
- plan to remain resident in the UK for the 18-month duration of the programme
- provide two recordings of your works
- not have been on our New Voices, Embedded, Pathways or Portfolio programmes previously
- not be currently on one of our other Artist Development programmes (e.g., Composer Curator or Adopt a Music Creator)
Everyone who has registered for New Voices will be sent a link to the application form in July 2021.
We will ask you to let us know a bit about where you are with your work, why this is the right time for you to be part of New Voices and what kind of project you would like to develop and for who. We’ll also ask you to give us some examples of your work for the panel to listen to or watch.
You will be able to apply through a written form or video application – details will be sent to you when the application period opens. You’ll be asked about your access needs and if you need another format for your application.
All applications will be reviewed by a selection panel including experienced composers and industry professionals, alongside members of the Sound and Music team. Every year we ask different people to be part of this panel.
The panel will select 18 composers who will then be invited to come to an interview. From the interviews, eight composers will be selected to take part in New Voices 2021.
For New Voices 2021 we will be looking to allocate:
- six places on the programme to individuals who have less than 10 years’ non-continuous practice (i.e. including career breaks or time away from composing). This is not an age restriction – New Voices is open to composers of any age.
- two places will be available to composers at any stage in their career
- one place (minimum) to a D/deaf, disabled or neurodivergent composer
See our Fair Access Principles for our code of best practice for running successful, open and inclusive artist development programmes.
If you have accessibility needs and require additional support for applying please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can offer alternative application methods (e.g. via email), extensions for the application process, and can also offer financial support for anyone who needs to pay for additional access support, including at interview stage. We want to accommodate any access needs so please get in touch so we know how we can help.
Infrequently Asked Questions
In these sessions, we invite anyone who is thinking about applying to hear directly from the Sound and Music team about the process and to ask questions. We are running two sessions: the first is open to everyone while the second is specifically for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent composers.
*We understand there are many barriers to putting in an application and we want to make sure we can provide access support where we can.
There will be live captions provided in the meeting and via an external website accessible via a browser. A team member will act as a dedicated access support worker during the event for any access needs that arise during the event or if you need to speak to someone, and a follow-up email will be sent with a transcript of the event for reference. We can provide a BSL interpreter upon request.
Additionally, all composers who are shortlisted and reach interview stage will receive a Seed Award – a targeted package of support including coaching sessions and £100 contribution to support the research and development of a particular project.
For further information please see the eligibility and selection criteria below.
We understand planning for the future is incredibly challenging at the moment but Sound and Music is committed to supporting composers to develop, make and share work.
Our programmes, including New Voices, are designed to be flexible and are intended to support individuals to find new ways of thinking and working, both for now and for the future.
3. Programme overview
If you are selected for New Voices, you will be working with us for c.18 months. During this time, you will create a new piece of work and present that work to an audience (live and/or digital).
The programme is split into the following phases.
Discovery Phase – you will:
- be assigned a Creative Project Leader to work with at Sound and Music
- receive a bursary of £500 for this stage of the programme
- receive any additional access support (including financial) if you need this in order to participate in New Voices
- meet the other New Voices at an induction day (online or offline)
- start developing your project ideas for a live and/or digital projects
- begin coaching sessions with an accredited coach
- choose a mentor
- take part in residential and/or digital networking days with the other New Voices composers
Activity Phase – you will:
- start working practically on your project
- receive a bursary of £1,000 for this stage of the programme
- receive a production grant of up to £6,000
- decide who you want to reach with your work, how and why
- develop and present the final public event for your project
- take part in project evaluation
If you are interested in finding out more about coaching and mentoring view our Coaching and Mentoring Toolkit here >>
Participants on the New Voices programme will receive a £1,500 bursary and up to a £6,000 production budget to create a new work and share this with an audience.
Composers’ travel and expenses will also be covered for New Voices activity.
4. Dimensions Award
There will also be the opportunity to apply for further support to develop a specific digital element to your work. This opportunity will be open to New Voices to apply to once they have started work in the Discovery Phase. More details on this process will be provided at the start of the programme.
"My project simply would not have been possible without the New Voices programme. Perhaps most importantly, it allowed me to dream of, create, and realise a project that challenged me in so many new ways."
5. How to apply
Register first, apply later
The registration deadline has now passed and we are no longer accepting late registrants.
Please note that New Voices is designed as an artistic and professional development programme for individuals. It is not designed for working with groups or collectives. We welcome applications from individual members of groups or collectives, but you must apply as an individual.
6. How we make our final decisions
Selection to be part of the New Voices programme is, unavoidably, a competitive process, since we are committed to being open to anybody to apply. An independent and diverse panel of experienced experts will be involved in this process, they will listen to your work and read your application; and they will help Sound and Music to find a representative and talented group of individuals to work with and support.
We will make our final decisions based on the following:
We are looking for people who have original ideas and the ambition to create truly unique, high quality work, in whatever form.
As part of New Voices, you will need to be ready to undertake self-reflection and evaluation in order to make the most of your involvement. You’ll need to be able to reflect on your work, why you do it, who it is for and when you feel it has been successful. We can help you with this, but it must be something that you are interested in exploring.
Sound and Music is committed to making the New Voices cohort representative of wider society in terms of gender, ethnicity, disability and socio-economic background. Such a group that brings together a wider variety of backgrounds is hugely exciting for us artistically, as well as allowing us to commit to fairness and equality for all. Read our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy here.
If you have any questions or would like to get in touch about New Voices 2021, you can contact Fiona Allison, Creative Project Leader, Fiona.email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Alice Boyd, Georgia Denham, Tamsin Elliot, Cassandra Gurling, Elija Maja, Frazer Merrick, Shirley Tetteh and Melanie Wilson.
Lisa Busby, Mella Faye, Jamie Hamilton, Sharon Gal, Emily Levy, Marv Radio, Max Syedtollan and Otto Willberg.