On 3 November the Dora Stoutzker hall will host a unique concert celebrating the wealth and variety of Disabled composers from across Britain, who are making national and international names for themselves.
The outstanding Welsh pianist Siwan Rhys, who has been described as “the ideal interpreter, ever-fresh in her delivery” (International Piano Magazine), is a longstanding champion of contemporary composers and demonstrates her versatility and dedication to diversifying and championing under-appreciated composers from various walks of life.
The six composers featured have come to music from a variety of journeys and shows the diversity of aesthetics and ideas which fascinate and inspire the composers. The Welsh composer, Sarah Lianne Lewis, is bold and imaginative writing music which blurs boundaries between acoustic and electronic sound, exploring a smorgasbord of themes, colours, and textures which makes her music a constant surprise and endlessly fascinating. Sarah Lianne Lewis’s new work letting the light in is full of magical colours and in its lilting manner is both extremely familiar and beautifully alien.
Sonia Allori is one of Scotland’s most unique voices, who draws a wide variety of influences managing to bring moments of profound sincerity or wit and humour. Sonia’s music often incorporates acoustic and electronic elements, including digital instruments like iPads or the Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI). Random eddies (in the space time continuum) imagines a series of journeys taken in the mind while safely in your own living room. The journeys are realised through interplay between piano, electronic wind instrument, soundscape and the odd audio sample from the NASA space agency website!
The composer and performer Jo-Anne Cox has made a name for herself with her unique exploration of her instrument (cello), and through unique collaborations produces performances which are alluring and fascinating and draws audiences in. Her approach to composing and performing highlights her curious mind, and her holistically positive slant to music making. Inspired by the Welsh landscape, Galwad y Mynydd is a beautiful exploratory work which is full or raw natural power and beauty.
leon clowes is a wholly fascinating and thoughtful creative artist, who draws on his own experiences and engages with others in a humanistic way which makes his musical voice incredibly endearing and positive for the ears. Anni, Gini, Joni is a heartfelt nod to three figures who shaped leon’s musical development, and personal growth as an individual. The works have a beautiful humanism which will move listeners deeply.
Elinor Rowlands is a multi-disciplinary artist who utilises a variety of material and creations which makes her work captivating and powerful, whatever the medium. The exploration of lived experience and unique utilisation of texture and colour makes Elinor a fascinating artistic voice. Secrets in the Centrefold sees Elinor musing and exploring of a true event which took place in Norway where a village disappeared as a result of an earthquake. The work explores the feelings of loss and the emotional processing of such a massive but predominantly unknown part of history.
Sorcha Pringle has a fascinating and playful approach to her music making which reflects her life in an imaginative and thought-provoking manner. Sorcha’s ideas are insightful and show a composer with a wealth of creative promise. Sorcha’s wit and imagination are on full display in Diminished Credibility which sees a fascinating discourse between a text-to-speech voice and the piano.
The recital has been made possible thanks to support from the PRS Foundation’s Beyond Borders fund, which has brought together Drake Music Scotland, Tŷ Cerdd Music Centre Wales, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and NMC Recordings to work with these outstanding Disabled composers.
The recital of the premieres in the Dora Stoutzker Hall at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama will follow three days of recording at Tŷ Cerdd's studio in Wales Millennium Centre, and the project will culminate in the release of a compilation album of Disabled composers on NMC Recordings in 2024.