I have long believed that as composers/creators of new music, we should be promoting each other's music more than our own. I have a theory that if we do this more, we improve the overall environment for new music, and foster a more positive approach to allow all of us to have our own, individual careers.
A sizeable amount of my time inside the RCS is now spent on developing composition opportunities, and the amount of these seems to be increasing year-on-year.
Here is a selection of the sort of things that I have been working on for our student composers: over the last few months:
- collaborations with our RCS Modern Ballet students to work on new choreography (and hopefully forming longer-lasting working partnerships)
- workshops and recordings of new works with Red Note and the Hebrides Ensemble
- a collaboration with Stirling University Art Collection and the Edinburgh Quartet, with performances of 8 new works during Refugee Week in June 2019
- collaborations with astronomers from the University of St Andrews, resulting in the performance of 6 new works by their new music group in May 2018
- the Kimie Prize, awarded to BMus 4 composer - Rylan Gleave - to write a new work for inclusive performances by a Live Music Now Scotland professional chamber ensemble
- a new (paid!), commissioned work for one of our composers, for the Nevis Ensemble, to be performed around Scotland in summer 2019
- a new work by a female composer for a new album, recorded and released by the fantastic Scottish Voices
- an education project for 2 composers to work with Sir James MacMillan in the lead- up to the Cumnock Tryst in 2019
- two new works for a collaborative dance performance (by Nora Marazaite and Fergus Hall) during the Cumnock Tryst 2019, performed by Mr McFall's Chamber
- a new work for the Scottish Clarinet Choir, by MMus composer Stuart Rynn
Outside of the RCS, I have also been involved in the Scottish Awards for New Music, which have taken place two years running, organised by New Music Scotland (of which I am currently co-chair). We hope to be able to run these again in the future (funding-dependent!), as they seem to have been a good way to raise the profile of new music in Scotland, and encourage many more performers/promoters from outside of the country to engage with Scottish-based artists and their work.