Treephonia invites composers to apply for our inaugural Open Call 2022, an opportunity to write new works inspired by trees and our environment.
Treephonia: Live 2022 explores new relationships between humankind and nature. It offers the experience of close connections between music, musicians, and audiences in shared natural and social spaces.
Six UK-based composers will be chosen by a selection panel and commissioned to write new works inspired by trees.
These new works will be performed by the professional Treephonia Ensemble at the Treephonia: Live concert series in London in Autumn 2022.
In 2020, Treephonia was launched as an interactive website where users navigate a virtual Kensington Gardens and listen to new music inspired by trees.
17 composers from the Royal College of Music wrote works for 32 species of trees in Kensington Gardens. These individual works formed part of a larger ecosystem of musical interactions, reflecting the harmonious and symbiotic coexistence of the urban trees.
Treephonia aims to participate and engage with nature and inspire people to forge healthier and more sustainable relationships with their environment.
We wish to investigate deeply what trees mean to humans, to share these experiences and relationships through music, and to engage with art and its role in shaping our sustained existence for the future.
Trees are among the largest and oldest living organisms on Earth, revealing multitudes about the world and our place within it.
Observing from various perspectives and dimensions, we witness complexities, patterns, order, chaos, symbiosis, competition, reproduction, decay, endurance, and impermanence…
We see the past, present, and future manifested all at once in their roots, branches, layered trunks, and budding leaves and flowers.
Since antiquity, arboreal imagery has permeated art, literature, mythology, genealogy, religion, and science.
Trees are truly amazing beings, sustaining and nourishing all life around them.
In Treephonia 2020, composers explored the particular characteristics of various tree species. The specific trees of Kensington Gardens gave rise to unique soundworlds, textures, and forms, and invited composers to consider musical material in diverse ways.
For Treephonia: Live 2022, we wish to dig deeper and a pursue a greater discovery of the majesty of trees!
We are looking for composers with a passion for exploring the relationship between music, nature, and ecology. The theme of trees encompasses a multitude of disciplines and thought. As long as your work engages with trees or is inspired by an aspect of trees, we would love to hear from you.
We welcome all styles and genres, though pieces which take advantage of an outdoor/semi-outdoor performance environment will be particularly welcome.
We actively encourage applications from diverse, underrepresented, and/or marginalised backgrounds.
Previous Treephonia composers are eligible and welcome to apply.
Jonathan Cole — Composer, Head of Composition at the Royal College of Music
David Elliot — Chief Executive at Trees for Cities
You may choose to write for a maximum of 8 instruments (min 3)
• Bb Clarinet
• Saxophone (Either Soprano/Alto/Tenor)
• 2 Violins
• Double Bass
You do not have to use all the available forces. We encourage unique configurations of the ensemble that suits your proposal.
The piece should be between 4-8 minutes.
Scores will be required in order to communicate ideas to the musicians. However this does not need to be traditionally notated (i.e. we welcome graphic scores, free notation).
• Each composer receives a £500 commission fee.
• The composition will be performed by the professional Treephonia Ensemble.
• The composition will be professionally recorded and filmed live on site.
• The composer will be featured on the Treephonia website.
• The music will be published on the Treephonia website.
Licensing the work and moral rights
If the composer is selected to write a new work, the composer grants to Treephonia a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual licence to reproduce the work.
Treephonia will acknowledge the composer whenever rearranging or publishing the work or communicating the work to the public.
Applications open: 5 May 2022
Deadline for applications: 26 May 2022 (12.00pm)
Composers announced: 9 June 2022
Compositions due: 29 August 2022
Treephonia Live 2022 Open Call is free to enter.
In order to apply, you must:
1. Submit your name and email address
2. Submit documentation of two works (any instrumentation) written at any point in your life/career.
3. Upload your recordings online (Dropbox/Google Drive/Soundcloud/YouTube etc.) and link to a copy of the score (PDF format) if possible.
4. Write a short description/statement of the work you would like to create and how it relates to trees (concepts and themes detailing your vision in relation to the brief, including the instrumentation you would like to use). 200 words
5. One A4 page Bio/CV
For any questions about the brief, please reach out to Treephonia Creative Director Andrew Zhou via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking forward to hearing your work!