Current Opportunities

!Applications for our 2019-20 schemes have now closed!

Composing For – call for 2019-20 Schemes

During 2019-20 Psappha will be running four “Composing for…” schemes. All will be solo schemes – for freebass accordion (also called chromatic button accordion), sitar, piano and cello. The closing date for applications is Friday 16 August 2019 at 23:59.

The schemes will support and develop 24 emerging composers who are interested in learning more about writing for the instruments included in this year’s programme.

Who is eligible?

This is a development opportunity for music creators who are at an early stage in their composing career. Applicants will have completed their first degree or equivalent and they will either have left higher education within the last five years or they will be studying at postgraduate level. They must be based in the UK for the duration of the scheme (applicants based outside the UK may apply so long as they will be based in the UK for the period of the scheme).

The programme is not open to undergraduate students or to composers who have been establishing their post higher education careers for longer than five years. Nor is it open to composers who have completed previous “Composing for…” schemes within the last two years (composers from Psappha’s 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 schemes for cimbalom, violin, cello, clarinet, trombone, percussion, flute, and piano are eligible to apply). MA and PhD students are eligible to apply. Those still studying for a first degree at the time of application are eligible to apply so long as their degree will have been completed and awarded by the time the scheme begins.*

We encourage applications from music creators from different musical genres and we seek to attract applications from candidates that reflect the diverse society in England and the UK.

*We recognise that parents who have taken time out to look after young children and / or people who have taken employment in a different sector may have left higher education more than five years ago. We are happy to consider applications from people to whom these circumstances apply – be clear in your application if this applies.

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to give the selected composers direct contact with four highly experienced musicians: freebass accordion player Miloš Milivojević; sitar player Jasdeep Singh Degun; Psappha’s pianist Ben Powell; and Psappha’s cellist Jennifer Langridge.

Composers on the freebass accordion and sitar schemes will learn about and research the traditions from which their instrument comes, and will write an idiomatic work that responds to those traditions. Composers who would like to focus on exploring extended techniques and advanced compositional ideas will be more suited to our other schemes (ie piano or cello).

Each composer will be supported to write a new, five-minute piece for one of: freebass accordion; sitar; piano; and cello.

All works will be filmed and sound recorded by Psappha. The films will be hosted on Psappha’s YouTube channel and the audio files on Psappha’s SoundCloud channel so they can be embedded in the composers’ websites or shared (click HERE to watch the films we have created through our previous “Composing for…” schemes).

The works created through the process will also be considered for inclusion in a future Psappha performance.

How will it work?

Up to 24 emerging composers will be selected to work with Psappha between September 2019 and May 2020. Each composer will receive three sessions with their musician plus a final rehearsal/recording session. The timeline is as follows:

Session 1 – Piano and Cello Schemes: the day will start with a group session for all the composers on your scheme (1 to 2 hrs). This will be followed by individual sessions for each composer where you will meet with your musician to discuss and test out initial ideas and concepts.
Freebass Accordion and Sitar Schemes: Session 1 will be a group session for all the composers on your scheme (5 hours including break). This will include demonstrations of the instrument, and the opportunity to ask questions and test ideas.

Session 1 will take place at Psappha’s Manchester base – St Michael’s, Ancoats – and must be attended in person.

Following this session composers will be required to submit initial ideas (including manuscripts where appropriate) two weeks prior to session 2.

Session 2 – each composer will have an individual session (40 mins each) with their musician to explore the work done between sessions. Composers on the piano and cello schemes may attend this session using Facetime / Skype etc if needs be, but we strongly recommend that you attend in person if possible (we pay a modest bursary that is intended to cover travel costs etc – please see below for details). Composers on the freebass accordion and sitar schemes must attend in person. The session will take place in St Michael’s, Ancoats.

Following this session composers will be required to submit final drafts of their work two weeks prior to session 3.

Session 3 – each composer will have an individual session (40 mins each) to work through the piece and receive feedback from the musician ahead of the submission of the final score. Again, we recommend that you attend this session in person but for composers on the piano and cello schemes only it can be attended by Skype if necessary. Composers on the freebass accordion and sitar schemes must attend in person. The session will take place at St Michael’s, Ancoats.

Following this session composers are required to submit final works in hard copy six weeks prior to the recording session.

For the final filming/recording session all composers are required to be present in Manchester for the full day. The filming/recording day will take place at St Michael’s, Ancoats. Please note that this is a recording day where the pieces will be recorded and filmed in sections; it is not a performance day. Session dates will be shared with successful applicants and participants will be asked to confirm their availability at the time when an offer to take part is made.

What is required from the composers?

  • A genuine commitment to the project.
  • To write a work that lasts a maximum of 5 minutes and to agree to participate in the sessions outlined above meeting the required deadlines.
  • Composers on the freebass accordion and sitar schemes must attend all sessions in person.

How to apply?

Applications are accepted via Psappha’s online application portal only (link below). The deadline to submit your application is Friday 16 August 2019 by 23:59. The application form will ask you to:

  • Select the scheme or schemes you are applying for;
  • Provide your full contact details (postal address, mobile phone, email address, website and SoundCloud links if applicable). Please note that we will communicate with you by email so do ensure that the email address you provide us with is correct and up to date.
  • Provide a concise summary of your composing experience, including a note of whether you are currently studying (at what stage) or whether you have left education within the last five years (max 300 words – please note that the online form is unforgiving – it will cut off any words beyond the 300 word limit).
  • Upload an example of your music ( as a PDF score or mp3 or ideally both) –please note the maximum file sizes, anything beyond this will be rejected by the system.
  • A brief description of how you believe this opportunity would support your development (max 300 words – again please note that material beyond the word limit will be cut).
  • When you press ‘Submit’ it might take a minute or so to register your application – please be patient!
  • You will then complete an equal opportunities form. This anonymous data will be used for monitoring purposes only and will not form part of the recruitment process for the scheme.

Please ensure that you submit your application in good time; the application portal will close at 23.59 on Friday 16 August 2019. When you have submitted your application, you will receive an acknowledgement email. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Psappha is happy to offer this development opportunity to composers for free, and each of the selected composers will receive a bursary of £325. We expect this to support your travel costs and other expenses associated with the scheme.

Psappha is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner. For more information about the PRSF and the support that it provides for music creators visit their website HERE