New round of Help Musicians UK’s Fusion Fund supports 8 projects across England

Help Musicians UK (HMUK) announces the new round of its Fusion Fund England, which supports 8 new multi-disciplinary projects, similar to the previous rounds in Scotland and Northern Ireland with an eclectic mix of ideas, artists and collaborators. Read on to find out more about the projects we’ve funded and details of the next round of applications in Wales.

As the title suggests, HMUK’s Fusion Fund melds music with other art forms and disciplines. The Fusion Fund offers £2,000 – £5,000 for professional musicians to undertake UK-based projects that involve exciting collaborations that create work across artforms, creative sectors and other disciplines. Applications must be music-focused and projects should include contributions from at least one non-music discipline, for example storytellers, lighting designers, choreographers, technologists, scientists, gaming designers, theatre directors, visual artists, and even unusual spaces.

Fusion Fund England is this year awarded to a number of artists including:

  • Vula Viel, who will be working closely with Cymatics expert Emma Critchley to further develop complex rhythms with water, culminating in both new music and new visuals for their live show.
  • Sound artist, beatboxer, composer, producer and performer Jason Singhwho will undertake research and development for a new children’s theatre show ‘Four Dads’ alongside fellow musician Arun Ghosh and digital artist Fabric Lenny.
  • Alternative singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Liza Bec, who will be working with visual artists Catalina Velasquez Gonzalez, David Ryder Prangley and Dan Tombs to create an audio-visual representation of her experiences with reflex epilepsy.
  • Eve Harrison will be using her fund to create a dance-led series of innovative shows

Eve Harrison said, “It is wonderful to be able to spend time intensively working with choreographer Ruth Jones and Manchester’s finest musicians to delve deeper into the rich potential of a music and movement collaboration. Thank you Help Musicians UK for investing in us.”

Help Musicians UK’s Claire Gevaux, Director of Programme, said:

“We have been inspired by the quality and innovative ideas seen in the applications to the Fusion Fund. There have already been some successful results from funded collaborations so far, showing the impact that this type of funding can make. Fusion Fund and Transmission Fund were set up as a direct response to musicians telling us it was getting harder to resource development and learning opportunities. We are looking forward to receiving new applications from Wales and seeing how all the funded projects develop in the future.”

Panellists for this round included, saxophonist and composer - Cath Roberts, multi-instrumentalist and composer - Laura Cannell, visual artist, musician and Creative Associate for Heart and Soul - Richard Phoenix, Artistic Director, Opera up Close - Robin Norton-Hale and Artist Development Associate Projects Manager at LSO, Natalia Franklin Pierce who says:

”HMUK’s Fusion Fund offers musicians and composers support in the crucial stages of collaboration across disciplines. It could be the seed needed for artists to create something truly unique and exciting, a fund to encourage artists to take themselves out of their comfort zone, with time and risk-taking. Sadly, this is all too often seen as a luxury many artists can rarely afford so funds like this to support artists are vital for many creative musicians today.”

See below for a full list of recipients and details of their exciting multi-disciplinary projects.

‘Variables’

Gestalt (Abi Wade and Joel Wells) with a range of composers, musicians, artists and venues.

Gestalt will create a series of works exploring inspiration and the interaction between different faculties; be that photography, film, dance, architecture or mixed-media. They will be collaborating with a wide range of artists, musicians and composers including Simon James, ToyDrum (of Unkle), Hinako Omori and ‘Echo Choir’. This collective work will culminate in a showcase at a National Trust site of modernist architecture.

‘Five Solo Pieces and Five Accompanying Texts’

Ben Gaunt various collaborators and musicians

The essence of the project is aiming to turn the compositional process on its head. Ben will use an alternative process where the composers asks the player what they'd like him to write, using a questionnaire, empowering the player with creative control. Ben will be working with musicians such as vocalist Héloïse Werner and flautist Carla Rees and non-musicians such as playwright Tyrrell Jones and poet Rachel Davies.

‘Moving the particles around’

Vula Viel with Emma Critchley, cymatics and visual expert Graham England Industrial Designer

Primarily a percussion led outfit, Vula Viel will experiment with asymmetrical rhythmic patterns inspired by Western African tribal music. The patterns send out tensions and release further patterns to the molecules around it. Like a pebble in a lake, the effects travel outwards to the audience members, moving them and communicating the groove to them. As a result, she intends to create a visual depiction of rhythm through water and A.V during their live performances.

‘Innervate’

Liza Bec Working with artists, Catalina Velasquez Gonzalez (Graphic design), Dan Tombs (Audiovisuals) and David Ryder Prangley (Photography)

Liza Bec’s project, ‘Innervate’ aims to give audiences an audio-visual portrayal of her reflex epilepsy condition. Liza will closely work with the charity Epilepsy Action, a partnership through which she hopes to broadcast and publicise the results of her 3 improvisational sessions. These sessions will incorporate the disadvantages of neurological conditions, which she is keen to highlight are more common in musicians. The project will end in a culmination of graphical and musical interpretation of neurological illnesses.

 ‘Music and Movement’ R&D

Eve Harrison with choreographer, Ruth Jones

Eve will partner with choreographer, Ruth Jones in creating a dance-led series of innovative shows in ‘Music and Movement’. The project will explore themes of conformity, or reluctance of, through Ruth’s innovative way of dance. By taking movement as a starting point for compositional gesture and using musical gestures to create movement as the foundation of their work, the artists will find how to express subtle and human moments of ‘in between’.

‘Four Dads’ R&D

Jason Singh with musician Arun Ghosh, writer and maker Stuart Silver and digital artist Fabric Lenny.

Jason and his collaborators will devise a performance for 5-8-year olds and their families in ‘Four Dads’.  It will include a genre busting mix of live beat boxing, images, ambisonic sound, words, electronica, jazz, hip-hop and Indian classical/folk music. They endeavour to create a performance that will exist in a magical, dreamlike world of sound, words and projections.

‘Birdsong Murmurations’

Merit Ariane with multimedia artist Jessie Rodger and writer Octavia Bright

In her work ‘Birdsong Murmurations’, Merit aims to bring the subtlety, imagination and mythology of birds and their songs into a brand new immersive performance. The performance will inhabit an imaginary space between dusk to dawn, starting with the birds’ dusk chorus and culminating in the intense exuberance of the dawn chorus. The aim is to create an immersive, boundary-crossing performance through sound, projections, light and text, inspired by birdsong from around the world.

‘Kite Ballet’, technology development, composition and performance R&D

Zachary De Santos with Matthew Taylor, members Drake Music Collaborate and the L-Katz Kite Team

Zachary will modify precision kites into musical instruments as a ballet of visual and musical performance. Zachary is a lifelong musician and kite enthusiast and aims to fuse the two in his project, ‘Building a KoS-Synth, publishing materials and developing our augmented kite-ballet community’. The project will be inclusive in inviting kite teams from different spaces in a kite festival of the future, the sonic results will then be transposed to a church space concert.

Fusion Fund is now open for applicants based in Wales, with the first-round deadline on the 22 July and we will be running some skype advice sessions to support applications, on various dates in June. This will be a chance for you to run your idea past a member of our team. Click here for more details!

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