Oluzayo Music Festival: Call for Project Proposals / Compositions

Sam Corcoran

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NewMusicSA (South African new-music advocacy organisation and ISCM section) and ZAM Zentrum für Aktuelle Musik (a German platform for adventurous musics) are inviting project proposals for a concert of innovative transcultural music with one of the world’s leading ensembles for contemporary music, Ensemble Modern (and possible guest soloists).

We are seeking proposals for works for chamber ensemble of up to 18 musicians (smaller ensembles are encouraged) with a duration of roughly 10-20 minutes (exceptions possible).

The selected composers will each receive a commission to compose a work to be premiered by Ensemble Modern (Germany) on 31 May 2023 in Cologne, Germany.

// Concerts & Context

The concert will open the Oluzayo – African Music Futures Festival – curated by Thomas Gläßer, Joseph Kamaru, Lukas Ligeti, Nonku Phiri, and Ignacio Priego –, a unique festival in the orbit of the European Conference on African Studies, hosted by the University of Cologne.

It is planned to repeat the concert as part of a festival – soon to be announced – in Johannesburg, South Africa, in late November or early December 2023.

// Criteria

The composers/works should relate to Africa and/or African music traditions in some way.
In order to be eligible for selection, composers must fulfill at least ONE of the following criteria:

  1. be a citizen or resident of a country in Africa south of the Sahara (i.e. all African countries and adjacent island nations are eligible except Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco);
  2. propose a work that has a concrete and tangible connection to African music traditions, and/or responds in some noticeable way to African music theories or practices.

Project proposals should explain how one or both of these criteria is/are being fulfilled.
There are no other prerequisites or limitations for eligibility. There is no submission fee.

// Instrumentation & Notation

Ensemble Modern: 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 horn, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, 2 pianos/keyboards, 2 percussion, 2 violins, 1 viola, 2 celli, 1 contrabass, 1 sound designer/engineer. Proposals not utilizing the full ensemble are expressly encouraged.

Notations can be unconventional, but pieces must be realizable within the constraints of the modest rehearsal time (ca 3-4 days for the complete program). Live electronics and/or African musical instruments, played by the composer or others, can be included –  in that case the proposal must explain how these additional forces will be financed and performed.

// Timeline

Deadline for proposal submissions: Friday, 23 Sep 2022, 23:59 Central European Time
Selected composers informed: Monday 3 October 2022

For more details on how to apply, head to: https://mailchi.mp/d5f624d67e7e/oluzayo-music-festival-call-for-compostions

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