Music charity Help Musicians has awarded grants to 11 professional musicians via the organisation’s Fusion Fund, which offers £2,000 – £5,000 for professional musicians to experiment, develop and test new work through collaboration with other artists of a non-musical discipline.
This follows an earlier funding round announced in May which supported an initial 11 applicants.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest cohort of applicants was encouraged to make use of remote, digital or online collaboration tools or performance spaces, such as Skype rehearsals or live-streamed performance.
Funded projects include an immersive multi-screen installation film that creates a digital ‘forest’, a six-part digital series drawing together the two worlds of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) and Experimental Music, and an audio-visual, durational performance which will explore sub-genres of queer identity, the black femme experience and neo-transgender narratives.
Awardee Laura Bowler, whose six-part series will bring together ASMR and Experimental music, said:
‘The Fusion Fund Support is enabling me to explore an idea I’ve been curious about for quite some time – where do the worlds of ASMR and experimental instrumental music meet? The project will also be my first venture into creating work for a digital platform, and to be doing this alongside Riot Ensemble is a huge privilege. To have this project supported at a time of such uncertainty is a huge relief, and I am incredibly grateful to Help Musicians.’
Awardee Paddy Austin, who aims to make an immersive multi-screen installation film, said:
‘Help Musicians Fusion Fund will help me start the project with Daisy Dickinson to make our proposed multimedia surround sound and video installation and to connect with venues left empty by Covid19. Without this support we wouldn’t be able to take the first steps to creating this new work.’
Paddy Austin / Snapped Ankles, an immersive multi-screen installation film, creating a digital ‘forest’ inhabited by the Snapped Ankles group, including films of individual musicians performing in the woods, visuals of nature and projection mapping.
Charlotte Barber / SHAR, a 14 day R&D to develop the skills needed to make a step-changing piece of audio-visual work “Grieve, Breathe, Smile Repeat” (GBSR). The work will explore the impact of Ambiguous Grief (AG) in partnership with expert, Nina Vaswani (Uni of Strathclyde).
Laura Bowler, an immersive visual and binaural fusion of ASMR & Instrumental music to be performed by Laura herself and Riot Ensemble (in isolation).
Marcus Dyer, an immersive visual-music installation resembling a large photo-booth. Using a 3D camera, what results is a depth image that becomes sonified, giving each visitor their individual music composition based on their image.
Clemmie Franks / Voice Trio, dynamic portrait of Hildegard through music, image, light, and movement. The music is complemented by psychedelic visual artist Innerstrings, who recreates Hildegard’s visions for a 21st century audience.
Ben Freeth / Mortiloqvist, a series of online events combining live musical performance and dance with live roleplaying, and further augmented by illustration and Digital Embroidery.
Riz Maslen, Benny and the Greycats will create and test new material to develop a contemporary, and surprising piece of British Asian musical theatre, inspired by the true migration story of a group of Anglo-Indian jazz musicians in the 1960s.
Harriet Riley, a short film with filmmaker Tom Jacob and theatre and circus practitioner Maia Ayling, reflecting the lockdown period, the isolation many artists have felt without performing, and its impact.
Koichu Samuels, an interactive audiovisual work bringing together electronic music and a video narrative on a web-based experience about sustainability and climate action.
Tahliah Simumba / TAAHLIAH, is an audio-visual, durational performance work which explores sub-genres of queer identity, the black femme experience and neo-transgender narratives.
Alicia Jane Turner, an intimate, immersive performance about climate change and the evolution of the ocean designed for audiences to experience at home in isolation.