Drake Music proudly presents three new artist commissions that were created during 2014/15 as part of #DM20, our 20th anniversary celebrations. After putting out a really simple brief we chose these pieces by Sophie Partridge, Ben Sellers & Joe Rushbrook as great examples of the work we do and the people we do it with. As part of the brief all pieces had to be designed so they were accessible online.
Drake Music would like to say thank you to everyone involved in supporting the artists, the work and our organisation and for making the commissions happen.
A creative practitioner, Sophie Partridge has performed in the Paralympic Opening Ceremony in her ‘iconic pink hoody’ and up a tower in The Limbless Knight with Graeae, at Greenwich & Dockland’s International Festival. At last year’s Liberty Festival, she could be spotted both as Priscilla Parrot & Mr. Worth the Ability Officer, with Natural Diversions. She is also a founder member of the Big Lounge Collective.
Sophie is currently performing and developing a one-woman piece with puppets, Song of Semmersuaq. Song of Semmersuaq is the mythical song and storytelling of a 7ft tall Chief’s daughter from a tribe who live in a world of snow.
For #DM20, Drake Music commissioned Sophie to record a 5-minute segment of ‘song’ using her voice and synthesised sound, working with DM Artistic Associate John Kelly. This was then integrated into the full piece for its performance at DaDaFest International 2014 in Liverpool, and Liberty Festival in London 2015.
Ben Sellers is a workshop leader, multi-instrumentalist, composer and Associate Musician with Drake Music. His practice focuses on composition and improvisation, often using technology, and often in SEN/D settings. He has recently worked on projects with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Museum of London and WOMAD Festival.
For #DM20, Ben worked with people who are deaf or have hearing loss, in a workshop setting, to create Word, a semi-improvised composition based on the myriad ways people ‘hear’ music, including visually and through vibrations. Read more about Ben’s working process on his DM Blog.
Word was written & performed by: Mikko Karhu; MC Geezer; Sorcha Hannon and DJ Inigo with Ricco Postawa-Husar; Rosa Burton; Roxy Bee Chernin; Rosie Quick; Sean McConnell and Kaye Wong
Workshop facilitation & additional marimba: Jenni Parkinson
Filming & video production: Ivan Riches
Production & Arrangement: Ben Sellers
With thanks to thesubpac.com for use of Subpac S1.
Joe Rushbrook is a talented and knowledgeable musician who has always wanted to record his songs. For a long time only those close to him knew of Joe’s musical potential and passion, but Joe has a folder full of lyrics he has written, many of which give a poetic insight into a life lived with physical and communication difficulties. Joe’s speech is difficult to understand but under the right circumstances he sings clearly and expressively. Joe also plays the guitar.
For his #DM20 commission, Joe recorded one of his many songs. The song Joe selected was written some years ago when he was living in Hertfordshire. Deciding he wanted to a funny song about old age, the first line came to him and a few hours later the song was written.
Joe was assisted by Drake Music to produce the song and over a painstaking two-day process, Joe recorded his track. The finished piece is, in Joe’s own words… “about some of the elderly people I have met over the years with loads of untruths thrown in for your amusement. Enjoy…”