In Motion 2024 Q&A: Owen Shiers (Cynefin)

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Sound and Music’s In Motion programme brings together a diverse group of composers, each with a unique voice and vision. This Q&A series offers a glimpse into their creative worlds, revealing their musical influences, current projects, and aspirations for the future.

Here, we speak to In Motion 2024 composer Owen Shiers (Cynefin).

Can you tell us about your musical influences?

My musical influences are very broad. I was raised in a very musical family. My Dad makes harps but is also a singer/songwriter so growing up I had a mix of Welsh traditional music and more contemporay acoustic pop like James Taylor, The Beatles etc. In my teenage years I got really into rock music, grew my hair and spent hours playing drums and guitar along to bands like SoundGarden and Tool. That muso obsessiveness branched out to jazz and funk and stuff like trip-hop before I started the journey of coming back to my roots. My fascination with traditional music came about after working for Realworld Studios and touring doing sound for all sorts of world music acts. I started piecing together the link between music and place and realising the importance of regional identity and incorporating that into my musical sources of inspiration.

What are you working on at the moment?

A second Cynefin album, due for release at the end of this year.

What are you looking forward to most about In Motion?

I’m really looking forward to receiving mentoring and coaching – and having the opportunity to go to people I admire for advice. I really value external input and feedback. It’s easy to get stuck in your own little comfort zone – especially as a solo artist, so outside perspectives are very welcome. Hopefully the peer-to-peer mentoring will play a part in this too.

I’m also looking forward to trying something new, in a style that I’ve not yet tried – and taking a few creative risks.

Sound and Music is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Network Partner supported by PPL.

In Motion is made possible with the generous support of Arts Council EnglandJerwood Developing Artists FundThe Garrick Charitable Trust, Creative Scotland National Lottery and PRS Foundation.

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