mjf originals - new music commission

Alex Noble

Sound and Music news
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Kenny Clayton
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mjf originals: new commissions for new times

mjf originals is manchester jazz festival’s new work commissioning scheme for northern artists to create jazz-related new music. Since our very first commission in 2000, mjf originals has produced 25 major works, each premiered at one of our annual festivals.

This year we’re taking a fresh approach to tackle the challenges and opportunities of creating new work in different times – and we are inviting your ideas. We’re linking up our other talent development initiatives, mjf hothouse and mjf soundcheck so that artists at different levels have more opportunities to learn from one another.

The values for the scheme are still the same: artist-led, high-quality, ground-breaking, northern-focussed, and championing artists from all backgrounds.

What are we looking for?

Work that:

  • engages casual festival audiences in a surprising or inclusive music-making process or experience in the public realm
  • could be created and experienced online, for hosting on mjf’s website and social media channels, for example, as well as in a physical space
  • could be performed at any time of year
  • whose devising/development takes place over a long period, and could involve audiences in that process
  • involves spending developmental time with people or in places
  • needn’t last for the duration of a full concert – the resulting musical experience could be anything from 5 minutes to 5 hours…
  • explores new ways of creating new music in our time
  • considers how an audience might experience it differently.
Open to receiving pitches between £500 – £13000. We make our decisions based on the quality of the idea, and reserve the right to allocate funds to projects based on the quality and ambition of the idea, relevance to Manchester audiences and complimenting our festival 2022 programme. We want the commisions to be responsive to artists’ ideas, so please apply with an idea and budget that reflects the needs of your project.

We’re especially interested in work by or for artists from diverse backgrounds, unusual collaborations, music for a specific time or place, work fusing other artforms and new ideas that push the boundaries of jazz.

We are committed to providing opportunities for new live work to be presented in the physical space in front of a live audience, either during the festival itself or during the year. But we’d like you to be creative in embracing all the current and ongoing challenges that this brings. We also encourage ideas that embrace new technologies, either in the creative process or the resulting delivery.

Get an idea for our most recent commissions here

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