Anna Braithwaite

Composer/producer

Anna studied composition at Goldsmith's University with Jeremy Peyton-Jones, where she began to experiment with the use of verbatim text in her music. Her primary motivation is to write pieces that connect directly and viscerally with both performer and audience. The use of verbatim text, taken from interviews or workshops, facilitates this by lending both an unvarnished honesty and a vernacular language that can move and entertain in equal measure.

Anna was recently composer-in-residence at Quarterhouse, Folkestone. During her residency, she worked on a new commission (supported by Grants For The Arts, The Bliss Trust and UCA) for the Quarterhouse 'Festival of the Brain' 2016 with director Emma Bernard called ‘Brainsong’. Her choral piece for three choirs of people living with dementia and their carers based in East Kent, ‘Tea and Symphony’, also premiered at the 'Festival of the Brain' 2016 and is the subject of a BBC documentary about her work. 

In 2015, she was commissioned by Folkestone Artworks to create and perform a work for solo voice and tape to 'animate' a series of sculptures made for the Folkestone Triennial by Diane Dever and Jonathan Wright. Anna's site-specific piece for Doncaster's Quirky Choir, 'Look Up Doncaster', received its premiere at Doncaster Market, was performed live on BBC Sheffield and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 earlier this year. Anna was delighted to hear that her commission for the 2014 Folkestone Fringe entitled 'Cabin Cafe Cantata' was nominated for a British Composer Award. 

www.annabraithwaite.co.uk


Nick Blackburn

Director

Nick is a director and writer, working in Manchester and London, who trained with The Wooster Group and English National Opera. Collaborations include new works with composer Philip Venables on ‘Unleashed’ (Riverside Studios, Arcola), Timothy Thornton on ‘They heavily vanish...' (Kings Place) and writer Katherine Angel on ‘Unmastered' (Glasgow and Nottingham Centres for Contemporary Art). Nick provided the staging for the world premiere of Alice Goodman and Tarik O'Regan's choral work at Salisbury Cathedral for the anniversary of Magna Carta, ‘A Letter of Rights’. As well as a libretto for ‘Unleashed', Nick wrote and directed ‘Satellite’ (voiced by Amanda Lawrence) a new permanent exhibition for Science Museum, London with Finn Ross and Adam Young.

Nick has been working with performance artist David Hoyle for several years in the UK (including the Barbican, Contact in Manchester and the Brighton Festival) and mainland Europe. This includes two alternative cabaret seasons, ‘Future Perfect’ and 'Illustration', with costumes by fashion designer Rick Owens and guest artists including Richard Torry (Michael Clark Company, Leigh Bowery), Olivia Laing and Penny Arcade. 'Future Perfect' and the live-art crossover show 'I,Victim' have both toured to Bristol and Manchester. 


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Michael Betteridge

COMPOSER/PRODUCER

Michael studied at the University of Manchester (with Camden Reeves) and the Royal Northern College of Music (with Gary Carpenter and Adam Gorb), winning numerous prizes at both establishments. His output is eclectic, ranging from vast site-specific projects to intimate concert hall works, but all of his work is driven by a passion for giving audiences and performers unique and enriching experiences.

This year, as part of his residency on Sound and Music's 'Embedded' scheme with Hampshire Music Service, Michael has written a thirty minute cantata for two hundred young voices using verbatim text taken from conversations with primary school aged children in the Aldershot area. His newest site-specific work ‘Chip-Shop the musical’ is currently in production. 

2015 saw performances of three, very different, large-scale commissions. His first opera 'Thousand Furs' was performed in London (Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival, Kings Place), Aldeburgh (Britten Studio) and Manchester (IABF). The Financial Times described his score as 'inventive' in a five star review. 'Market Songs' was commissioned by the Salisbury International Arts Festival for over three hundred local amateur singers. This hour long a cappella piece was performed in the city's historical market and utilised unusual historical texts about the market and the words of current market traders. 'Look mum... no hands!' was commissioned by LSO Discovery for eighty beginner instrumentalists, London Symphony Orchestra and internationally renown violinist Nicola Benedetti. It was premiered in June 2015 at LSO St. Lukes.

www.michaelbetteridge.com


REBECCA ASKEW

Performer

 

Rebecca is a performer and songwriter, with a background in jazz and improvisation. After studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she ran a quintet for a number of years, performing her own compositions. 

In 2003 she formed a duo with singer Jeremy Avis, using live-looping to perform their compositions. Performances include the Montreal Jazz Festival tour in 2005; Tongue-Tied in 2007, the first ever live-looped opera directed by Emma Bernard and commissioned by ROH2; Goalmouth in 2010 at The Sage Gateshead, directed by Luca Silvestrini. In 2014, they produced a new version of Goalmouth co-mmissioned by the UNHCR at Dzaleka refugee camp, involving performers from Burundi, Rwanda, DRC and Malawi.

She is a regular soloist with the Voice Project in Norwich. She has recently performed new work by a wide selection of contemporary composers including Orlando Gough, Gwiliym Simcock, Arve Henrikson, Jan Bang, Nik Bartsch, Karen Wimhurst, Jon Baker, Kerry Andrew, Simon Allen and Paul Clark. 

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KAT BROWNING

Clarinettist

Never content to be just one thing, Manchester-based woodwind player and tutor Kat Browning thrives in a variety of environments. Her career spans several genres and art-forms, with particular ties to Theatre and story-telling; she has many woodwind instruments in her arsenal, including clarinets, saxophones, flute and fipple instruments such as recorders and penny whistle. During term-time she enjoys passing on her knowledge as a private tutor, as Head of Woodwind at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Runcorn, as well as a co-leader for Wider Opps in the Greater Manchester Area.

Kat’s work on Clarinet and Bass clarinet has seen her play both as soloist (Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsodie for clarinet and Orchestra, March 2013), orchestra and small ensemble member. As a multi-instrumentalist, she has played in everything from big bands to small jazz combos, and informal folk sessions.

Recently, with the kind help of the North Wales Sickle Foundation, Kat has commissioned a concertino for Bass Clarinet and small jazz orchestra from International composer Nicholas Conn (@NickConnMusic), with a view to premiering and recording the piece in Summer 2017 at the Manchester Jazz Festival. With this piece, Kat hopes to promote the bass clarinet as a more soloistic instrument, whilst at the same time pushing a new voice into the jazz idiom, where currently it stands as more of a novelty.

For more information, follow Kat on twitter @katmusswoodwind, Instagram @katmuss88 or on www.facebook.com/kbrowning.music if you want to keep up to date with future projects and performances!


TIM COLEMAN

PERFORMER

Timothy is a freelance tenor living in Oxford.  He grew up in Aberdeen and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Merton College, Oxford from 2009-2012.  From 2012-15 he was a lay-clerk with the Choir of New College, Oxford, and from 2015-16 a Fellow with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.  Solo engagements include Bach's St John Passion and Magnificat with the Choir of New College, Oxford, Pärt's Passio with Merton College Choir, and Maxwell Davies' The Solstice of Light with The Stonehaven Chorus.  Opera roles include Dr S, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, and Linfea, La Calisto (both with New Chamber Opera).  Timothy is also a theatre and opera director; his most recent project was Britten's The Turn of the Screw with Faded Ink Productions.


MOLLY LOPRESTI

Percussionist

Molly Lopresti is a London based percussionist. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2012 Molly reached the televised percussion final of the BBC Young Musician of The Year. In the same year she was a speaker / performer at a TEDx conference at Warwick Arts Centre.

Last year Molly was the percussionist for the production of Yarico, produced by Jodie Kidd and performed in The London Theatre Workshop. Molly recently performed as part of a percussion quartet in the British premier of Earle Brown’s ‘Calder Piece’ at Tate Modern in London. The ensemble then performed live on ‘In Tune’ for BBC Radio 3. In April this year Molly performed with the band 'Bring Me The Horizon' at a sold out show in the Royal Albert Hall. She has recently performed on the national tour of the show 'Wild'.