The Arts Foundation choral fellowship came at a strange time. Choirs had been really affected by the covid pandemic and at the time I received the award, there was no singing happening at all! This meant that I could focus on writing some new work that could take place once choirs were up and running again.
I have been working with up-and-coming choir ‘Echo’ and conductor Sarah Latto to record a set of pieces all about the night (an obsession of mine as an insomniac whose brain comes unhelpfully alive at night time!). I spent the time before Christmas researching and sourcing text (from the Song of Songs to contemporary text by Inua Ellams and Gillian Hunter) and am now in the middle of writing and recording the album. The first set of pieces were recorded in March 2022 and the second set of pieces will be recorded at the end of this year. Plans are in the early stages about how to perform the work too – I’m thinking about this with a director colleague to develop an unorthodox live performance, which although that will require some support and fundraising.
It is amazing to have a chance to delve into a passion project like this and am so grateful for the opportunity this award has given me. I feel like I have really advanced my composing practice and, fingers crossed, when the final record is ready, it might raise my profile as a choral composer too!