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Meet our new Sound Pioneers!

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Our new Sound Pioneers project enters its most exciting stage yet as we reveal the names of the six selected composers who will create original multi-channel audio works during paid residencies at the University of Huddersfield and the University of Hull this summer.

Open to early-career women and gender-minority composers, the scheme offers the successful six access to state-of-the-art facilities that include Huddersfield’s 48-channel/66-loudspeaker HISS system and Hull’s Ambisonic Studio. To further aid their development, they’ll also benefit from specialist mentoring and coaching support and enjoy a high-profile performance opportunity for each new work.

As might be expected for a residency of this kind, competition was tough, with nearly 70 applications received from composers across the UK and from a range of backgrounds ranging from self-taught to academic. A panel of representatives from YSWN, the University of Huddersfield’s Centre For Research in New Music, University of Hull, hcmf// and Brighter Sound shortlisted applicants before making the final selection. Composers were chosen not only for the quality of their existing music but for their ideas and potential to develop artistically when working in a multichannel setting.

YSWN co-director Abi Bliss says: “The standard and variety of applications for Sound Pioneers was fantastic and it was a difficult job narrowing the list down to six composers. Thanks to the partners who worked with YSWN to make the project possible, these composers will have a unique creative and development opportunity, exploring some amazing-sounding audio facilities. We can’t wait to hear what they come up with.”

The three composers selected for Huddersfield receive their first introduction to the facilities during the Electric Spring festival, with the residencies following this July, while the Hull composers will make a start this spring, with summer residencies. All the works will be completed and ready for performance this autumn – watch this space for news of how you can hear them.

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

Huddersfield residencies

Nwando Ebizie

Photo: Dimitri Djuric

Nwando Ebizie
Nwando Ebizie is a multidisciplinary artist and curator whose work converges around immersive installation, performance art personas, experimental theatre, neuroscience, music and African diasporic ritual. Carving out her own particular strand of Afrofuturism, she combines research into the neuroscience of perception (inspired by her own neurodiversity) and an obsession with science fiction with a ritualistic live art practice.

Recent commissions include ‘The Birth of Venus’ for Juice Vocal Ensemble, premiered at Kings Place and sound design for Midnight Movie at the Royal Court. She has curated happenings for Wellcome Collection and released records supported by Gilles Peterson. Awards include the Steve Reid Innovation Award and the Oram Award.

She has performed in Tokyo (Bonobo), Rio de Janeiro (Tempo Festival), Berlin (Chalet), Latvia (Baltais Fligelis Concert Hall) and Zurich (Blok) as well as across the UK from Home MCR to Barbican and Southbank Centre. Her first solo exhibition took the form of a ritual immersive tech landscape and was presented as part of Home MCR’s Push festival before being commissioned by Brighton Festival and Lighthouse then being invited to London Borough of Culture.

Her current large-scale project is an immersive opera happening based on the life of a 12th century nun, co-curated with multi-sensory organisation BitterSuite and supported by Tete a Tete, Mahogany Opera and Opera North.

Rachael Gibson

Rachael Gibson
Rachael Gibson has recently completed an MMus in Creative Practice at Goldsmiths, University of London and holds a BA (Hons) in Music/ Popular Music from the University of Liverpool.

Rachael has become increasingly interested in exploring music as a multi-sensory experience centred around the concept of ‘touch’ and interaction between composers, performers, their instruments and audiences in different ways. A part of her practice focuses on how electronics can play with our expectations of the relationship between sound and interaction, highlighting the way we interact with each other and objects both positively and negatively.

Recently, she has been a participant in the Both Sides Now ‘Electric Storm’ residency, run by Brighter Sound and Delia Derbyshire Day and she is currently working on a collaborative project alongside the Bio-Engineer Professor Rachel Williams to create music inspired by her research as part of the PRiSM 8 cubed series, run by the RNCM and the University of Liverpool.

Lottie Sadd

Lottie Sadd
Lottie Sadd is an artist/composer and pianist based in Leeds, UK. She works primarily in immersive audio-visual installation art, combining her skills in both electronic and acoustic composition with sculpture.

Informed by traditional Eastern aesthetics, her practice centres on drawing awareness to the art and/or beauty inherent within the processes of creation; themes of unfolding/evolving/becoming are integral in her works, as is the concept of place (understood as a convergence of space and time). Through these ideas, her works invite listeners to step outside the traditional object-centric art experience, and into these processes.

Lottie has exhibited works with CAVE (Centre for Audio Visual Experimentation) and East Street Arts, and has independently curated various performances of her works around Leeds. In 2017 she was awarded the Berkofsky Award for her installation Room for Thought (furniture music) (2016-17) becoming the first composer to have won the prize. She graduated with a Masters in Critical and Experimental Composition at the University of Leeds and aims to continue her practice with PhD study in the near future.

Hull residencies

Charlotte Bickley

Charlotte Bickley
Charlotte Bickley is a composer, sound artist and DJ based in Leeds. She is a founder and resident of two Leeds-based collectives, Brudenell Groove and Equaliser, the latter of which focuses on providing free-to-access DJ workshops for non-cis men, helping to highlight new talent in marginalised gender groups and offering access to an intimate, safer space to practice and learn.

As a composer/sound designer she has collaborated with visual artists on interactive sets and installations, such as 2017’s Arctic Bazaar project, in partnership with East Street Arts and &/Or Emporium, and light installations across UK festivals with local light artist Marcus Christensen.

Since completing a traineeship in theatre sound design at Leeds Playhouse in early 2019, she’s gone on to create the score and perform live in Joana Nastari’s award-winning play Fuck You Pay Me, which Dazed magazine called “a direct, nuanced, genius attack on the crippling stigma that surrounds sex work”. Under her alias CARLOS, she has released a cassette on DIY Manchester label Cong Burn, alongside playing live electronic sets.

Kin (Cultura Plasmic INC)

Kin (Cultura Plasmic INC)
Kin (Cultura Plasmic INC) works with sound, sensors, moving image and installation to explore the social and environmental aspects of digital technology, often using ecological imagery and metaphor to explore power and control within the digital landscape. She looks at distance in a networked world, the interaction between physical and virtual space, cultures of speed, the attention economy and how accelerationism affects our connection to Deep Time.

In 2016, her conductive ink work Dead Pigeons and Chandeliers featured in a New York exhibit on Politics and Power, and in 2017, she received the first international showcase of her audio-visual installation Watchtower (critiquing online surveillance) at the European Convention Centre in Luxembourg.

In 2019 she showcased an extended 5.1 version of Watchtower at CCA Glasgow with Cryptic (★★★★ The List), had a version of Living in an Inbox programmed for Strangelove Festival at The Photographers’ Gallery, Turner Contemporary, Fabrica and Folkestone’s Quarterhouse, and wrote/presented 30-min radio programme An Inward Outlook: Loneliness and the weather for Radiophrenia featuring sound art pieces ‘Brewing’ and ‘Shipping Forecast for Social Media Sentiment’. In 2020, Kin is featuring in ‘DIS_connect: disability, digital and (im)mobilisation’ at Autograph Gallery.

Hayley Suviste

Hayley Suviste
Hayley Suviste is a sound artist and composer based in Manchester. Hayley has recently completed a masters in Electroacoustic Composition at NOVARS sound research-centre (University of Manchester).

Her music focuses on the exploration of space, memory and narrative – transforming field recordings, oral histories and archival sounds into immersive compositions. Her output includes long-form multi-channel compositions, interactive soundwalks, installations, site-specific commissions, collaborative performances and works for fixed media & live electronics.

Hayley also works collaboratively around Manchester, having taken part in residencies with Delia Derbyshire Day, Push:Music, Both Sides Now (with Fatima Al Qadiri) and The Noise Orchestra. In these residencies she has worked alongside other emerging electronic musicians to create live-sets that fuse electroacoustic composition, modular synthesis, laptop music and visual art that have been performed at venues across Manchester.

She also co-runs The Manchester Ear, a soundwalk venture which aims to get communities involved with listening to the environment on excursions in and around Manchester.