Celebrating International Women's Day

It’s International Women’s Day today, a day to come together and celebrate women’s continued achievements and progress towards equality. 

We’re proud to work with many exceptional people - women and men - here at sound – shout out to you all! 

We’re proud to champion the work of contemporary composers which includes many women composers. 

Find out more about some of the women composers we've had the privilege of working with recently:

Sally Beamish

Sally Beamish is a British composer and violist. Her works include chamber, vocal, choral and orchestral music. She has also worked in the field of music theatre, film and television, as well as composing for children and for her local community.

Her music embraces many influences, particularly jazz and Scottish traditional music. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow, and was recently made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. With composer Alasdair Nicolson, she co-directs the annual St. Magnus Composers’ Course in Orkney. 

sound is commissioning Sally in 2018 to write a new work for multiple violas to be premiered during soundfestival later this year.

Find out more:

Diana Burrell

Diana  Burrell is well known internationally both as a composer and lecturer, and has featured at concerts and university campuses worldwide. She has also written many works for young and amateur performers. She was formerly Artistic Director of Spitalfields Music (2006-2009).

sound is commissioning Diana in 2018 to write a new work for solo piano to be premiered later this year at soundfestival.

We spoke to Diana recently who told us: "I've never really thought of myself as a female composer with a specific slant on things on account of my gender. My view is that just as we expect novelists to create realistic and fully-rounded characters of both genders in their novels, so any good composer will touch on both the 'feminine' and the 'masculine' in their music otherwise a work is one-dimensional and pale and doesn't tell the whole story. The well-known male composers of the past produced music that covered the whole gamut of human experience - it's a bit of a cliché to talk of the 'masculine' 1st subject and the more feminine 2nd subject in a sonata form movement but it does touch on something fundamental, I think. We are all of us a mixture of male and female in any case and it is this that is important to me."

Find out more:

Pippa Murphy 

Pippa Murphy is a composer, sound designer, arranger, producer and musical director living in Scotland. She works with orchestras, ensembles, bands, artists, dancers, writers and performers in the UK and abroad.

Pippa has recently created A Pocket Of Wind Resistance with Karine Polwart, a studio adaptation of Polwart’s rave-reviewed ‘Wind Resistance’ show, which premiered at Edinburgh International Festival in 2016.

In 2017 Pippa delivered an inspirational sound recording project with primary school pupils in Aberdeenshire, She also appeared at soundfestival performing a new electo-acoustic work alongside other members of Scotland's collective of acousmatic composers, invisiblEARts.

Find out more:

Eleanor Alberga

Eleanor Alberga is a composer of international stature. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Alberga decided at the age of five to be a concert pianist, though five years later she was already composing works for the piano. Her work has been performed around the world, notably, her 2015 Last Night of the Proms opener ARISE ATHENA! was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Chorus and conducted by Marin Alsop, and was heard and seen by millions.

Eleanor led our 2017 Go Compose! composition course for young composers alongside composer John De Simone.

Find out more:

Gemma McGregor

Gemma McGregor is a composer from Orkney. In addition to writing contemporary choral and instrumental music, she has been part of many interdisciplinary performances and collaborations, has created sound-art and written music for film. 

Gemma graduated with a doctorate in music composition from the University of Aberdeen in July 2017. A recipient of the Ogston Postgraduate Scholarship, she has had commissions performed at the St. Magnus Festival, St. Asaph Festival and soundfestival. 

Bassoonist Lesley Wilson premiered a new work by Gemma, Strange Fish, in a solo recital during soundfestival 2017.

Find out more:

Errollyn Wallen

Errollyn Wallen - 'renaissance woman of contemporary British music' (The Observer) - is as respected a singer-songwriter of pop influenced songs as she is a composer of contemporary new music. Communication is at the centre of both worlds: engaging the audience, speaking directly to hearts and minds.

In 2017 sound commissioned Errollyn to write a short site-specific opera, The Engine Room, which was premiered in Fittie during the summer and had further performances during soundfestival. Errollyn also led our annual Composer's Day.

Find out more:

Janet Beat

Janet Beat is a Scottish composer, music educator and music writer. She is one of the pioneers in electronic music composition in the UK, her earliest ‘musique concrete’ pieces belong to the late 1950s. 

A new work by Janet, No Sun, No Moon, was premiered during soundfestival 2017 as part of a concert of music specially written for multiple bassoons.

Find out more:

Kerry Andrew

Kerry Andrew is a London-based composer, performer and writer. She has a PhD in Composition from the University of York and has won four British Composer Awards. As a composer, she specialises in experimental vocal and choral music, music-theatre and community music. She performs with the award-winning Juice Vocal Ensemble and with her alt-folk band You Are Wolf. A woman of many talents, Kerry's debut novel, Swansong, was published by Jonathan Cape in January 2018 and is available here.

In previous years, Kerry has led our Go Compose! composition course for young composers, and has performed at soundfestival with Juice Vocal Ensemble and most recently in 2017 with You Are Wolf.

Find out more: 

Rebecca Bruton

Rebecca Bruton is a composer, vocalist and violinist based in Calgary.  Her work occurs in the interstices between avant-pop, experimental chamber music, and noise. 

Rebecca was selected to participate in Quatuor Bozzini's Composer's Kitchen 2017, an international exchange project in partnership with Quatuor BozziniSound and Music and sound. Four emerging composers from the UK and Canada had the opportunity to work closely with Quatuor Bozzini and under the mentorship of two established composers. Rebecca's new work, All I dreamt; twice as much, was premiered at the opening concert of soundfestival 2017.

Find out more: 

Sarah Lianne Lewis

Sarah Lianne Lewis is a Welsh composer whose music often explores instrumental textures and the aural architecture of performance spaces.  

Sarah was also selected to participate in Composer's Kitchen 2017 and her new work, Blossoms in bloom are also falling blossoms, was premiered at the opening concert of soundfestival 2017.

Find out more:


Sonia Allori

Sonia is a Scottish/Italian composer, multi-instrumentalist, writer and music therapist based in Aviemore. After gaining a PhD in Composition and an MSc in Music Therapy (Nordoff-Robbins) she is now developing her practice as a composer and performer and has a part-time post researching specialist performance training for D/deaf performers at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

sound commissioned a new work from Sonia, Fall From Grace, which was premiered during soundfestival 2017 as part of a concert of music specially written for multiple bassoons.

Find out more:

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