Showcase success for our Ascendant Artists


Text reads "Drake Music Presents Ascendants 2022". The Drake Music logo is central to the image, flanked by black and white headshots of Florence Anna Maunders, a white woman with dark hair wearing a ribbed, high neck jumper, and Calum Perrin, a white person with short hair wearing a light shirt and dark jacket.

On Wednesday 28th September, we were delighted to present a showcase of new work by members of this year’s Drake Music Collective. An enthusiastic audience joined us on Zoom to listen to commissions by this year’s Ascendant artists, Florence Anna Maunders and Calum Perrin. We were also treated to contributions from two of our Emergent artists: So Sha (aka @CrazyLittleAsian) and Andre Louis (aka Onj).

About the Drake Music Collective

The Drake Music Collective helps emerging, experienced and established Disabled artists to break into the music industry and build their career. Artists at all stages of their careers are involved, and this year we have welcomed Calum and Florence to the fold as our mid-career “Ascendant” artists. They were each awarded a £2000 commission to develop a new work based on the theme of “change”.

Calum Perrin

Calum’s work spans visual art, theatre, music and radio and explore themes of disability, sensory experience and domesticity. Their commission, Peper Harrow Part 1 – Iain’s Story, weaves together audio documentary and music in an evocative blend. This marks a change by combining two strands of their artistic practice.

Calum’s piece is centred around an audio interview, which is interpreted musically by an ensemble. We hear about the experiences of Iain, who was sent to Peper Harrow Therapeutic Community in the early 1970s as a young man with severe mental health difficulties. One audience member commented: “utterly transfixed – such a beautiful blend of voice and music, so sympathetic to the subject. Just stunning!”. The ensemble consisted of Charlotte Bartley (clarinet), Laura Armstrong (cello) and Sophie Sparkes (piano / co-composer).

Florence Anna Maunders

Florence’s work draws on her experiences as an electronic music producer, jazz pianist, and percussionist. Her music is full of vivid contrasts, pulsating grooves and hectic hyper-excitement. As a disabled, queer, neurodiverse woman she is aware of the power of labels to divide us into separate tribes, and most of her work deals directly or indirectly with attempts to bridge divides and to bring different styles, genres and groups together.

Florence’s commission, Harbingers of Change, takes inspiration from the imagery and interpretations of cards in a tarot deck which relate to the concept of change. Her set of instrumental pieces explores these concepts directly through musical processes. Ideas are stated, developed, improvised, transformed and renewed – nothing stays the same. At our sharing event we were treated to one movement, Eight of Cups, which the audience described as having “energy, chaos, and coalescence” and “energetic and buzzing”. The recording features the composer on drums, Amy Bryce on flutes and electronics, Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser on piano and Lara Jones on saxophone and electronics.

Find out more about our Ascendant artists

You can find out more about Calum and Flori’s work via their websites (linked below). We will also be presenting their commissions as part of an online sonic exhibition, alongside new work by our artists in residence. The exhibition is due to launch in early December 2022, and you can get news about the launch via our mailing list, or by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Contributions from our Emergent artists

We were also excited to share existing work by Andre Louis and a new single by So Sha. You can listen to these pieces via the links below, so we’ll let the pieces speak for themselves!

Thanks to our funders

The DM Collective has been made possible by the kind support of:

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