Works Chosen for the 2023 ISCM WNMD

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The organisers of the 203 ISCM World New Music Days in South Africa, have released their selection of works which will be performed during the festival.

We are very pleased to announce that Soosan Lolavar has been selected from the ISCM British Section shortlist to represent Britain at the festival. This year’s festival takes place in Johannesburg and Cape Town from November 24th to December 3rd.

The International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) is an international network of members from around fifty countries, devoted to the promotion and presentation of new and contemporary music. Sound and Music represents the British Section of the ISCM and supports British composers to have work performed at the annual ISCM World Music Days Festival.

You can read about the full list of selected works on the the ISCM website here.

On being selected by the international jury, Soosan told Sound and Music:

“I’m extremely shocked and delighted to be chosen to represent Britain at this year’s ISCM in South Africa. I’m excited to meet all the other nominated composers and can’t wait to hear their work. Thank you to the UK and South African juries for believing giving me this opportunity and also to Laura Jurd for originally commissioning this piece for her album Stepping Back, Jumping In.”


Soosan describes her selected work, I Am the Spring, You Are the Earth, below:

I am the Spring, You are the Earth is a flexible work for improvising ensemble. Due to the fairly open nature of the score, it has thus far been performed in a number of different guises including a 13-piece ensemble of jazz performers, a string quartet, a string ensemble and now, in this latest iteration, in collaboration with traditional African musicians. This piece draws on elements from Iranian classical music. Specifically it explores the tuning of the “koron” a microtonal accidental characteristic of Iranian music. Alongside the open score and flexible notation, this produces a constantly evolving, organic world of sound which takes on a distinct form with every performance; bending, twisting and re-emerging in new ways in response to the performers who enact it. The final chord of the piece creates a unique and compelling soundworld through the juxtaposition of 2 perfect fifths and a neutral 3rd – an interval which is neither major nor minor, and which is central to Iranian music. This produces a highly resonant but also ambiguous sonic environment which reflects my British-Iranian heritage and ongoing research into the metaphors of hybridity and diaspora.”

Find out more about Sound and Music and the ISCM British Section here, including previous winners and shortlists.


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