2020/21 Emergent Commission Call Out, in partnership with Saffron

Young musician performing live on iPad at Drake Music gig

We have 3 exciting opportunities for early-career Deaf, Neurodivergent and/or Disabled musicians to create a new piece of music responding to the theme of ‘Risk’, involving the use of music technology in their creation.

The Emergent Commissions

The Emergent Commissions are part of DM Collective, Drake Music’s artistic programme, offering accessible opportunities for Disabled artists. The Emergent programme is for early-career musicians. It is funded by Help Musicians UK and PRS Foundation. These commissions enable emerging musicians to work in new ways and reach new audiences.

For the 2020/21 commissions we are working in partnership with Saffron.

We are seeking proposals from Disabled musicians to create new work relating to the theme of ‘Risk’. All styles and genres are welcome.

Commission benefits:

  • £750 commission fee
  • Mentoring by a Disabled musician who is part of DM Collective
  • Support from the wider Drake Music team
  • Live performance opportunity (in person/online)

Who can apply?

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The commissions are open to emerging musicians who identify as Deaf, Neurodivergent or Disabled.

We use ‘Musician’ as a global term to cover any artists who create original music/sound. This includes all ways of making music and all genres. The term ‘emerging’ is also used in an inclusive way. We relate it to experience, not age, including musicians who are early-career or who are changing direction/trying something new.

For example, you may be fresh out of uni and ready to make your mark on the music scene. Perhaps you have made music for a while, but never applied for a professional commission before. Or maybe your previous musical practice is now inaccessible to you, so you are developing a new approach or playing a different instrument.

Commission Theme


We are asking for proposals that respond to the idea of ‘risk’. You can respond however you wish; it can be funny, thought-provoking, bold or abstract. We encourage you to explore ways of engaging with the theme as the subject of the piece, or in how you create or present it. Be creative and have fun with it.

The awarded commissionees will then meet the DM team and their mentors, develop their ideas into a full piece over 3 months and be part of a celebratory event (format tbc).

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Commissioning Process

The new piece of music will be:

  • 3-5 minutes in length
  • A creative response to the concept/word ‘Risk’
  • Produced or created using music technology.
    (Note: This can be everything from apps, loops and GarageBand, through to advanced music software or bespoke instruments. We use tech to open up access to music and we would like to see how you use it in your work as an access and/or creative tool.)


  • Deadline for Proposals – 5pm, 15th November 2020
  • Commissions announced – End of November 2020
  • Commission induction Day – TBC, before Christmas
  • Creation period – January – March 2021
  • Commission completed and submitted – March 2021
  • Commission Showcasing – TBC March/April 2021

How to apply

The Commission Panel will be looking to support emerging Deaf and/or Disabled musicians who demonstrate a real desire to create new music, or who have recognised potential.

Apply using one of the following formats:

  • In writing (500 words per section)
  • Video clip (3 minutes per section)
  • Audio clip (3 minutes per section)

Please tell us:

  • A bit about yourself
  • Why you are applying for this commission
  • How you will respond to the theme
  • What type or style of music you want to create

Please also send:

  • 1 example of any previous work

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Support and Access

Drake Music will provide a mentor and additional support from the wider DM team. Access support will be provided, in discussion with the successful applicants.

If you require Drake Music to make any reasonable adjustments to the proposal process, please do get in touch to discuss.

Email miryamsolomon@drakemusic.org or call the Drake Music office on 020 7739 5444. Please be aware that Miryam works part time.

Send Proposals to:

Email: MiryamSolomon@drakemusic.org
Deadline: Midnight, 15th November 2020

Three musicians, one woman and two men


Image: Drake Music logo, showing large letters DM in black on white background

Drake Music

We work where music, disability and technology meet to do exciting things. We are a Disabled-led music organisation and we work with Disabled people of all ages, from professional musicians to school children having their first instrumental lessons.

We research and develop new accessible musical instruments and technologies to create more ways to make music. Our DM Collective artistic development programme supports Disabled musicians to progress their work. We deliver music projects in schools and we offer training and consultancy for teachers, music hubs and other organisations.

Saffron logo


Founded in Bristol, UK in 2015 by Laura Lewis-Paul, Saffron operates as a social enterprise that primarily offers training in music production, sound engineering and DJing, as well as running an artist development program and record label.

The music tech industry is currently composed of just 5% women. Saffron’s aim is to in-crease that figure, advancing gender equality in the sector by creating a safe space for women, female-identifying and non-binary people (womxn) to learn and build confidence. We want womxn to reclaim traditionally male-dominated music tech spaces and become visible role models for other womxn.

Saffron website



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