To celebrate the selection of this year’s New Voices cohort, we caught up with all the selected artists and composers for a quick chat.
Here, we speak to New Voices 2020 composer Melanie Wilson.
Can you tell us about your musical influences?
The first artist to really light me up about what music, language and performance could be was Laurie Anderson, followed by Patti Smith. For voices, I look towards Luciano Berio, Meredith Monk, Elaine Mitchener, Jennifer Walshe and Holly Herndon, and for sheer presence of sound, Ben Frost.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m writing an electro chamber opera about the Birthstrike movement, a group of people choosing not to have children as a response to the climate emergency. I’ve been writing it this year with librettist Jess Latowicki, and developing the music partly through improvisation techniques with singers Melanie Pappenheim, Kate Huggett and Héloïse Werner.
What are you looking forward to most about New Voices?
I’m so much looking forward to being connected with and inspired by other people, be that through the mentoring and coaching or through contact with the other New Voices composers. Being part of a structure feels like such a gift at this moment, and a chance to let fearlessness shine.
Sound and Music gratefully acknowledges support from PRS Foundation as a Talent Development Partner: