In Memory of Lucy Hale (2021)


Today we are paying tribute to Lucy Hale. We are so very sad and devastated by the terrible news that Lucy died yesterday, Monday 11 January 2021.

Lucy is a young white disabled woman with dark hair. Her

It seems almost impossible to find the words to do Lucy justice and to convey our deep sadness and shock to her family, her friends, to all the people she loved and who loved her.

Lucy was such a kind person, very bright and with a dry sense of humour. She was a talented, brilliant and versatile Disabled composer, liked and respected immediately by everyone she came into contact with. Over the last five years Lucy became an integral part of the Drake Music family and the news of her death is just heart-breaking.

We first met Lucy in 2016, when we commissioned her to compose a piece for the DM Resonate showcase. She created a beautiful composition ‘In the Wind’ which was performed by musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the showcase at the ICA, London in March 2017.

Daryl Beeton, DM Collective Lead remembers: “I had the joy of working with Lucy since her first commission at Drake Music in 2016 ‘Into the Wind’. I remember during the showcase of that work she humbly put all the credit and success onto the performers saying: without them this piece would still just be dots and lines on a screen.”

Composer Lucy Hale photographed with Daryl Beeton and friends/family

This was the start of a very special, fruitful and exciting collaborative working relationship and friendship between Lucy and Drake Music.

Lucy worked as a trainee Associate Musician on two of Drake Music’s ‘Go Compose’ projects in Liverpool, in collaboration with our partners Sound and Music. She worked with two groups of young Neurodivergent musicians, helping them to develop their compositional practice. Lucy led a particularly memorable session on chance composition, bringing in exciting graphic scores from the Royal Northern College of Music archives for the young people to respond to.

Lucy is a young white woman using a powerchair. She is talking to a group of young musicians, she wears a lemon yellow top.

In these sessions, some of Lucy’s own pieces were played by cellist Georgina Aasgaard and discussed by the group. Lucy’s work was complex and perhaps challenging to younger ears, but she found a way to make her process and style accessible to young people at the very beginning of their musical journey. As part of this project, she helped Fusion, a group of young female musicians, to develop a piece of self-penned music for Imperial War Museum North’s Remembrance Day commemoration.

A smiling group of young women and Drake Music team

Last year, Lucy was commissioned by Manchester Histories Festival and Drake Music to compose a piece responding to the 50th Anniversary of the Disabled Persons Act and its architect, Alf Morris. She wrote a series of miniatures for cello and three of these were debuted online at the Manchester Histories DigiFest in June 2020. The piece, entitled ‘Warnings, Falling On Ears That Refused to Hear’ was performed by cellist and DM Associate Musician Georgina Aasgaard and can be viewed below.

Abigail Ward, Creative Facilitator for Drake Music said “I loved working with Lucy and was in awe of her talents. Her compositions were heart-stopping, fathoms deep in scope and truly original. She was great with young people and had a wicked sense of humour, which I will really miss.”

In 2019, Lucy joined the Planted Symphony creative team to compose the score for an outdoor, site-responsive performance piece which was due to tour in the summer of 2020. Due to the pandemic the tour was postponed, and Lucy and her fellow artists were in the middle of re-imagining, re-creating and adapting Planted Symphony for performance this summer.

Later this year Lucy was planning to begin her PhD at the Royal Northern College of Music, in partnership with Drake Music and PRiSM. She won Collaborative Doctoral Award funding to investigate disability and accessibility through the composition of new works for accessible musical instruments.

Carien Meijer, Chief Executive of Drake Music said “working with Lucy was a true pleasure, her spirit and musicality shone through everything she did. She accomplished a huge amount already, but had so much more ahead. A true talent has been lost. The world of music is poorer today.”

We will miss Lucy desperately and we are keeping Lucy and her family, friends, colleagues and all she was close to in our thoughts. Now more than ever those ‘dots and lines’ Lucy referred to in relation to ‘In the Wind’ will take on more meaning, as we remember and celebrate the work of this great composer, disability advocate and beautiful human being.

Drake Music-commissioned composer Lucy Hale talks about her work

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