AiR Reflections – April 2020

A colourful abstract image in vibrant pinks, blues, yellows

Today we have the pleasure of sharing a window onto the experience of being an Artist in Residence (AiR) with Drake Music, during these extraordinary times.

In late February we appointed Gareth, Sonia and Elinor as Artists in Residence at Drake Music. This is part of The DM Collective, a new three-year Artist Development Programme that is run by, created for and developed with, Disabled musicians.

The three began their time as Artists in Residence at the start of March, which somehow now seems like aeons ago.

Since their first day meeting each other and our team in the DM Head Office at Rich Mix, all of our situations have changed rapidly.  Plans for our AiR programme have had to change and adapt rapidly to the new circumstances and the three artists are working together and with our team to find new ways of connecting remotely, and collaborating across distance.

The three reflections below give an insight into what that experience has been like for our Artists in Residence, as well as showing us something of their different creative processes.

Thank you to Gareth, Elinor and Sonia for sharing this documentation and being part of our DM team!


We begin with some images and sounds from Elinor Rowlands, a combination of spoken word samples and musical textures accompanied by richly hued images created using inks, alcohol inks, watercolours and pastels on paper (seen at the top of the post and below). Elinor says these are “made very intuitively to the work we do on residency – and our collaboration/sounding board processes”.

A bold manly abstract image full of movement, two pink roses in the centre


With warmth and humour Sonia has shared her experience in a blog and a new piece of music. An extract from the blog…

“During this first month of the residency we have been getting to know the organisation and our fellow artists. There are 3 of us and we each have very different approaches and artistic practices and it’s this and being given “creative challenges” to get us going that has made this more than a bit startling and a swift kick up the creative nethers. In a good way I hasten to add! We started off making new “hold music” for when folks phone into Drake Music…”

Read the full post

Listen to Sonia’s new piece:


And finally, hear a track from Gareth Cutter, created using synthesised violins, wind chimes, spoken word and more. Leading from thoughtful poetic observations into a slightly fuzzy new rendering of an excerpt of Joanna Newsom’s ‘This Side of the Blue’.

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