Ascendant Commission Creative Workshops

Over recent weeks we have brought our two new Ascendant Commissionees together online to get to know each other better and open up some new creative ideas.

Miss Jacqui is a young black woman with a spiral curl afro, signkid is a young black man with a big smile and a khaki bomber jacket

The two musicians will be working collaboratively on their final pieces and – as yet – haven’t met in person due to coronavirus restrictions. We knew that this would pose unique challenges, so we decided to work with our Artists in Residence to deliver creative workshops which could break the ice for Miss Jacqui and Signkid, offer a way to stretch and grow their creative processes and also be fun.


Elinor Rowlands led the first session which involved music and visual art, described by Elinor as “a ND/autistic led workshop introducing both musicians to new and powerful ways to find the Spark, away from the Neurotypical way of doing things.” Elinor asked questions of the two artists and responded in painting to their answers, leading them on a journey through new ways to find inspiration.

Painting: A vibrant textured blue leads down from the top right corner into a swirling mass of yellow, rich purple and pink at the centre.
Elinor’s painting, created in collaboration with Miss Jacqui and Signkid.


The second session was inspired by the work of Sonia Allori and was all about Translation, taking the inspiration from Elinor’s session and using Dada methodology to create lyrics together. One section involved collaborating on a song initially composed by AI via the These Lyrics Do Not Exist engine, rewriting alternative lines to finally create a human/computer composition with a degree of chance and accident thrown in for good measure.


Gareth Cutter led the third workshop, taking inspiration from the lyrics the two musicians had created. Gareth described it as: Together, we’re going to look at how artists have used frequencies, vibrations and textures in creative ways to amplify the meaning behind their lyrics, as a way of inspiring our own process. 

Gareth asked us to consider songs which had moved us, either physically or emotionally. He then led us through from lyrics to considerations of sound and textures achievable through Digital Audio Workstations.

The playlist from the session makes a great starting point and will hopefully inspire you to think about what music has moved you:

Gareth chose Peace Piece, saying the sound feels to him like hands folding on top of one another, over and over. Signkid chose Changes by Tupac and Fight The Power by Public Enemy, signing that both had a big positive impact for him personally. Miss Jacqui chose Tadow by Masego and Breakup to Breakthrough, talking about the inspiration of the layering used in the first track and the vocal production on Breakup to Breakthrough, which was created in a 2 hour collab challenge via Songlab.

After the session Gareth commented:
“I loved learning more about SignKid and Miss Jacqui’s musical inspirations and processes; to see their passionate and evocative lyrics taking shape, and to think about the musical vibrations and frequencies that will animate them in distinctive ways. It was a meeting of technology and emotion, and it inspired me to revisit my own material with a new focus and adventurousness.”

Thank you to Signkid and Miss Jacqui for their enthusiasm and energy for this creative play process and thanks to all our AiRs for their inspiration!

We can’t wait to hear what comes next, keep an eye out for the results of the Ascendant Commissions in 2021.

The Ascendant Commissions are part of DM Collective and are funded by PRS Foundation and Help Musicians UK.


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