Woman using a digital audio workstation

News · Opportunities

Announcing our new project Sound Pioneers


Six women* composers will have the chance to steer their music into the future thanks to the latest YSWN initiative, Sound Pioneers. The newly announced professional development project will support a set of unique creative residencies using music technology facilities at the University of Huddersfield and University of Hull.

The project is delivered by Yorkshire Sound Women Network working in partnership with the University of Huddersfield, University of Hull and hcmf//. Sound Pioneers is supported by the PRS Foundation’s Open Fund for Organisations and Brighter Sound’s Both Sides Now programme.

The project will support six emerging/early career women composers based in any region of the UK, working with those whose work has not yet been widely performed in a professional context, as well as composers of acoustic music who would like to pursue future work with electronics.

This project will provide valuable paid development opportunities for women composers, benefitting them by offering:

• Access to high quality music studio facilities at either the University of Huddersfield or the University of Hull, through a five-day music residency for each composer – offering space to engage and experiment with new equipment, to influence and develop their practice as music creators
• Specialist coaching and mentoring support, in compositional techniques, using the studios and marketing/promotion, with a view to composers establishing future performance opportunities with festivals and venues
• A high-profile performance opportunity for new work created during each residency.

In Huddersfield, the project will offer an opportunity to compose a new work to be presented on the 48-channel/66-loudspeaker Huddersfield Immersive Sound System (HISS). The selected composers will participate in an initial workshop on presenting work for electronics on large multichannel loudspeaker systems. Participants will learn about the HISS setup and speaker configuration, and will learn and practise loudspeaker diffusion techniques and strategies. The selected composers will have opportunities to work in the multichannel studios at the University of Huddersfield during the summer of 2020 (equivalent to five days per composer), including the 25.4-channel SPIRAL studio.

In Hull, composers will be invited to write new work using the Ambisonic Studio, a 3D surround-sound studio with 4-8-4 array, Barefoot stereo monitoring and fully adjustable lift. Composers will receive induction and coaching support on using the studios from academic staff and will each undertake a creative residency during the summer of 2020 (equivalent to five days each). New works produced during the residencies will be presented by the University of Hull’s HEARO collective in 2020.

An Open Call for composers will be issued late 2019 – watch this space!

*Sound Pioneers will be open to women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people.