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A new artist development programme, Sound Generator supports early career artists and the work they present. A panel of judges, including leading figures across contemporary music, chose six artists at the forefront of sound and music.

Each artist is in the first 5-10 years of their career and will develop bold new ideas. These range from sonic sculptures to opera exploring racism against Chinese communities. DJ/turntablism to a multi-sensory installation inspired by our environment. 

MEET THE SOUND GENERATOR 2021 ARTISTS:

Natalie Sharp is a disabled artist at the forefront of what The Quietus described as ’New Weird Britain’: “a new wave of underground musicians, creating immersive worlds for their audiences to participate in.”

Her Sound Generator idea is rooted in her home of Cumbria. Near the sinking sand and nuclear power station at Sellafield, the sea bubbles up, discharging spume a mix of decomposed algae and plankton. Taking cues from what our bio-landscapes spit out, Natalie will develop a deep multi-sensory installation inspired by seafoam and mycelium networks through the lens of Intersectional Environmentalism.

“Rooted in Natalie’s home territory, this feels like a very connected and impactful vision” Toby Donnelly, Sound Generator judge and partner, ATC

Jordan Edge works at the intersection of experience design, sound art and fictional worlds. They present non-human narratives through material forms of expression. Awards include the Seoul Award of Excellence and The Auxiliary Emerging Sonic Artist Award.

Their Sound Generator idea presents alternative progressive multi-disciplinary futures, genderless worlds, interspecies communication and the architectures of possibility within non-human listening. This is materialised through sonic narrative, sculpture and CGI. They aim to provide different realities to a diverse audience through sound and exploration into non human communication.

“I was totally hypnotised by Jordan’s work. I haven’t been in a gallery space for a year but this work absolutely transported me.” Maxie Gedge, Sound Generator judge and Keychange/PRS Foundation. 

Alex Ho is an award-winning British-Chinese composer based in London and co-director of Tangram, an artist collective catalysing transnational imagination and celebrating the vitality of Chinese cultures.

Alex will use Sound Generator to develop his creative process working with London’s Chinese communities. Through collaboration he will learn how to tell their stories creatively and sensitively. The aim being to create a new work that responds to their experiences of the last year, shedding light on the discrimination they face on a daily basis. His ambition is to create a multi-disciplinary new work that interweaves film and music with the audience participating by eating food from Chinatown to explore the sounds of communal eating and drinking.

“I love that his proposal engages with the Chinese community and will in turn rely on their telling of their experience during the Covid pandemic.” Toby Donnelly, Sound Generator Judge and partner ATC

NikNak is devoted to developing her distinctive practice as a DJ & Turntablist, sound artist/composer, producer, tutor, sound engineer and radio presenter. She was the first black Turntablist to win the Oram Awards in 2020.

NikNak will R & D a piece of music/series of pieces of music with visuals to showcase Turntablism via a multichannel surround sound performance. The aim being to provide an insight into how surround sound can be used in performative ways outside of cinemas and installations, and show Turntablism in a new light outside of hip-hop.

“The technical skills gained from undertaking this proposal will support and develop Nicole’s work far beyond this one project” Jennifer Lucy Allan, Sound Generator judge and writer/journalist 

Lori E Allen and Deborah Wale are inter-disciplinary artists working in soundscape, performance, spoken word, experimental composition, illustration and printing. Their individual and collaborative works have been performed and exhibited at Tate South Tanks, Glasgow CCA and the Chisenhale Gallery.

Through Sound Generator they will explore forms of lockdown extant in civilised society: prison. The project will examine emotional containment in various forms, from addiction to rage, remorse to passion. They will compile text, letters, testimony, folklore and song as the basis for a soundtracked moving image work.

“This proposal struck me because of the rich concept, range of sources and the interdisciplinary intention all-round. The exploration of emotional containment is timely and has potential for deep engagement as well as wider social impact” Maxie Gedge, Sound Generator judge, Keychange/PRS Foundation

Chisara Agor is an inter-disciplinary artist whose work spans music, theatre, film and art. Her practice is grounded in her philosophical practice and creation of art work that reimagines and critiques worlds, while engaging local communities. Commissions include a sound piece for Gallery of Returning Treasures in Ghana presented as part of London Design Festival.

Her project will raise awareness of UK air pollution and the affect it has on people and the planet, while bringing attention to the intersections of class, race and politics. Sound Generator will give her the opportunity to develop ideas around where music, film, performance and activism can connect.

"I could instantly imagine an audience really loving this work, and it could resonate with a broad range of people. I also think she could benefit enormously as an artist by expanding into a bigger, installation-based project such as the one she proposed at this time in career, so am thrilled she is a recipient." Jennifer Lucy Allan, Sound Generator judge and writer/journalist

Sound Generator is funded by Arts Council England and PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund. Sound UK is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner supported by PPL

ABOUT SOUND GENERATOR:

What is it?

Sound Generator creates a space for artists to develop and test ambitious ideas. Supported by this scheme, artists will be able to try out new approaches, learn from others and develop their practice. Each artist is awarded £2000 each to research and develop their idea across 6 months (April to September 2021). This includes creating a short audio or video sample and proposal for its delivery.

Each artist will have access to the Sound Generator Network with support sessions from a range of exceptional mentors. These include leading creative, technical, communication and funding professionals. Plus programme directors across a range of organisations, together with the Sound UK team. The artists will also have regular opportunities to meet other Sound Generator artists online to share ideas and learn from each other.

Upon completion of the programme, Sound Generator artist ideas will be presented to industry partners across art forms and settings. Each year up to a third of Sound Generator project ideas will become Sound UK commissions, reaching a wide, national audience as part of our annual programme.

Who is it for?

Sound Generator is aimed at any UK artist pushing the boundaries of contemporary music. Working within, but not exclusively, jazz, sound, folk, classical and electronic music, plus all points in between. Project ideas could be indoors or outdoors, venue based or site specific, digital, installation or live, sound, music or multi-disciplinary. Artists may want to reach a new audience, work with the community or respond to the world we live in.

It is designed for creators with 5 – 10 years professional experience who want to develop bold new ideas that extend their practice and discipline. Awards will be made to artists representing the full cultural diversity of the UK, with 50% to female artists.

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Sound Generator Artists 2021

SOUND UK