Commission Winners Announced


This summer, as part of our Connect & Collaborate London programme funded by the City Bridge Trust, we announced four brand new commission opportunities for London based Deaf and/or Disabled musicians.

The theme of the commissions is creating or composing a new piece of music inspired by/using Assistive Music Technology.

We want to shine a light on the wealth of fantastic music technology out there which is breaking down the barriers disabled artists face when making music.

All commissions are in partnership with a leading London arts organisation, each with a different focus and style to bring the work of talented disabled musicians to a wide audience.

We are now delighted to announce the winners of the four commissions:

  1. The first commission ‘Compose’, in partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, has been awarded to Lucy Hale. Lucy is a composer currently studying for a degree at the Royal Northern College of Music.Her compositions have been played in public concerts in London and Manchester. She has also written music for dance and film and has had works recorded by Juice Vocal Ensemble and members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Portrait of musician Lucy HaleAs part of this commission, Lucy will compose a new piece of music for up to 5 players, which will then be performed and recorded by members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Foyle Future Firsts Development programme.

    Lucy commented: “When I was awarded this commission I was completely over the moon! It’s such a fantastic opportunity to work with Drake Music and the London Philharmonic, and I’m really looking forward to having a piece performed by musicians of such high calibre.”

    To hear some of Lucy’s work, please visit her SoundCloud page.

  2. The Vocal Commission, in partnership with Upswing, has been awarded to Cina Aissa. The commission will create a new piece of work using the voice as a key artistic driver in response to the process of Upswing’s latest project working with older people in care homes together with circus artists, residents, their families and care home staff.Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director, Upswing commented:

    “We are pleased to be able to work with Cina. The combination of her talent as a composer and her skills as a facilitator have made her a perfect match to create a high quality vocal commission in partnership with the staff and residents she will meet during her time at Silk Court Care Home. It will help us create a score that will capture in an evocative way some of the impact of or residency within the home.”

    Musician Cina pictured performing with guitar and microphone

    Cina added:

    “I was delighted to be appointed to such an important position as I had been interested in dementia for a while and was ready to get up close and work in this field, so I look forward to working with this lovely group.”

    Cina is a self-taught musician who enjoys working with community groups and putting people in touch with the joy of music-making.

  3. The Site Responsive Commission in partnership with Southbank Centre has been awarded to Club Soda. Club Soda organises some of London’s most popular learning disability arts events including Soda Beat, the capital’s first regular integrated live music event for musicians with learning disabilities.Club Soda musicians pose for camera

    For this commission, Club Soda members will create a new piece of work that will be inspired by stories from the 60’s about the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The Hall is currently closed for refurbishment and this commission is an invitation to look back on the impact that the building has had over the past 50 years.

    Oliver Tipper from Club Soda explained: “The musicians we support are all exceptionally creative and this project will help them grow as artists and music makers. When we told some of the main participants their response was overwhelmingly positive and excited, saying things like: ‘Amazing! Can’t wait to get started’, ‘I’m speechless’, ‘Lovely, rock ‘n’ roll!’ and ‘You’re kidding? I can’t believe it’.”

  4. The Emerge Commission for young and emerging musicians aged 16-30, in partnership with WAC Arts, was awarded to Andreas Lopez-Muro Alfaya Y Frias.Musician Andreas in studio

    Andreas is a guitar and piano player, specialising in grime, metal and jazz. He is currently studying games programming at Goldsmiths, University of London.

    The commission will include support and mentoring by an experienced Drake Music Associate Musician and support from the wider Drake Music team to create a new piece of work. The style of music is open and a free choice, as long as it has been inspired by or is created using music technology.

    Andreas is looking forward to working on this commission and joyfully said: “When I found out I got the Emerge commission, it felt like Christmas came early for me this year.”

    Listen to Andreas’ work here.

The commissions programme aims to act as driver and model for a more inclusive arts sector, whilst demonstrating high quality new work by talented artists using new technology.

Image: Daryl Beeton smiling at camera, in front of brightly painted wall with large cartoon eyes.Drake Music’s Connect & Collaborate Producer Daryl Beeton commented:
“These commissions will give artists the opportunity to work with world-renowned organisations, to stretch their artistic capabilities and to get their work heard by new audiences.”
All four commissions will be presented at a showcase event in March 2017.

Connect and Collaborate London is a programme aimed at developing artistic networks for disabled musicians based in London, supported by City Bridge Trust.

Drake Music is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.