In 2017 the PRS Foundation wowed audiences with the New Music Biennial, a UK-wide celebration of new music with some of the best performers and composers around. Its residency programme gave local communities the opportunity to collaborate and experiment, creating new music.
The exciting initiative has brought folk legends Sam Lee and Eliza Carthy, classical composers Errollyn Wallen and Brian Irvine and beatbox/electronic artist Jason Singh to Hull. The artists have created new work alongside local community participants and other talented local musicians and composers, offering amazing opportunities – this is set to continue in 2018.
Local musicians and composers contributing to the new residencies include Em Whitfield Brooks, Sam Pirt, Cecil Jones, Gabrielle Awre, Mambo Jambo, Benjamin Newton, Gary Hammond, Tom Lawrence, Wes Finch and Andrew Melton so keep your eyes peeled.
Acclaimed composer and musician Hannah Peel, who played at Substance Live: The Future of the North earlier this month, has recently been working with a group of singers from Hull Freedom Chorus and Hull 2017 volunteers.
Her composer residency invites local singers to collaborate, creating a piece of music that will feature in Songs of Flight, a new body of work by PRS mentor and composer James Redwood.
James has been working with musicians and a team of composers across community groups in Hull to create this new body of work. Songs of Flight, built on the theme of bird migration, will be performed by massed voices, a range of participating music groups and the City of Hull Youth Symphony Orchestra on Fri 20 April at Hull City Hall next year.
The work will be presented in partnership with Hull Music Service (Music Hub) and the City of Hull Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Brian Irvine has been busy this December too. Working with a group of formerly homeless people at the Crossings in Hull, Brian has led the group in a recording session of a range of songs created together.
At the end of January, Brian returns to Hull for a project working with local schools to create a set of songs that will be shared in a private performance in March 2018.
Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, said: “Hull has a vibrant and creative scene and the PRS Foundation’s residency work, alongside its stunning New Music Biennial weekend in the summer, has created some amazing opportunities and memories for people in the city.
“The collaborative new work is not only a testament to the quality of composers and musicians in the UK, but also the talent in Hull.
“Working together, the project and musicians have created incredible new music paying homage to Hull’s history, heritage and culture.
“This project, continuing well into 2018, shows the ambition and drive to ensure a musical legacy for years to come.”
Creative professional development opportunities are available too. Local music leaders can enrol on a programme led by James Redwood. The series of training sessions offer local musicians and music leaders the chance to develop their practice creating music with groups. The sessions take place on Thu 18 January, Fri 23 February and Fri 23 March 2018. If you’d like to enrol or find out more get in touch.
Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation said: “When we were planning the New Music Biennial residencies with communities in Hull, we always hoped to support ongoing music-making opportunities after the official City of Culture celebrations had come to an end.
“Thanks to our collaboration with Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Hull City Council and the City of Culture team, it’s now exciting to see this plan come to fruition with fantastic composers like Brian Irvine, Hannah Peel and James Redwood coming back to Hull to compose music with local talent.
“I can’t wait to hear the music that emerges from these residencies which will be performed in Hull in the first half of next year.”