Drake Music Commission: Katy Rose Bennett – ‘Dissolution’


Content warning: This piece contains offensive language and themes of grief and mental health.

Katy Rose Bennett has been creating her earthy, intimate folk music for over 20 years, telling stories of love, despair, connection and community.

She empowers audiences to be emotionally open by sharing the strength in vulnerability, through the vessel of song. She has released 7 albums to critical acclaim. In recent years,

Katy has been expanding her musical palette, writing music for dance and theatre, and incorporating more experimental techniques into her practice. During her time as Artist in Residence at Drake Music, Katy has been developing her use of music technology, vocal sampling and sonic manipulation.

About ‘Dissolution’

‘Dissolution’ is a musical reflection on grief and loss. It is a piece in 5 parts, with each part representing a stage of the grieving process, as articulated by Kubler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In the piece,

Katy reflects on the grief experienced due to having a disabling, long-term health condition (Functional Neurological Disorder) and the resulting sense of loss of identity and potential. The piece is constructed entirely from samples of Katy’s voice, looped, layered and sonically manipulated using Ableton Live and Valhalla software.

Katy employs novel ways of generating melody – converting lyric texts into midi keyboard patterns mapped to vocal samples. Throughout the piece, she moves between the realms of the natural and manipulated voice. Whilst the piece explores some of the darkest elements of grief, Katy hopes the listener will have a sense of the journey of ‘Dissolution’, arriving at a place of acceptance and understanding.

Created and produced by Katy Rose Bennett
Mixed by Jim Cornick
Ableton advice and support from David McFarlane
Thanks to Drake Music Collective
Audio Description by Michael Achtman
Subtitles by Stagetext

Drake Music Collective is generously supported by:

PRS Foundation
Help Musicians UK
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
David Family Foundation
D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
Fenton Arts Trust
Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation
Idlewild Trust
Leche Trust