sound is a new music incubator based in north-east Scotland encouraging new music creation and discovery. We run the annual soundfestival, as well as year-round activity supporting a wide range of composers, engaging with local communities and providing educational opportunities.

sound aims to give composers the opportunity to experiment, develop and create new works, and to have these works performed and heard. We encourage audiences of all ages and backgrounds to experience all kinds of new music and cross-art form experimentation. 

We are strongly influenced by our geographic location, covering both urban areas and remote rural communities, and respond to its specificities and gaps in provision. We often work closely with local arts and other community organisations to share ideas and deliver joint activity to the benefit of the local area. 

What we do:

Promotion and Production

We commission, co-commission and produce a number of new works each year, which are performed during soundfestival and at other times of the year. Some of these go on to tour in the UK and abroad. We have an ongoing relationship with Musiques Démesurées, a new music festival in France, and have also toured works to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and China, as well as closer to home in Edinburgh and London.

soundfestival takes place between late October-early November in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. The festival presents a broad range of new music including classical, jazz, electroacoustic, and sound art, showcasing the variety of innovative music being created today.

Throughout the year we work with other local festivals and organisations such as Techfest, Dancelive, Mayfest, the Barn, Aberdeen Art Gallery, the University of Aberdeen, Grampian Hospital Arts Trust and Aberdeen Performing Arts to present joint performances, some of which are cross-art form.

Over the years we have worked with and encouraged local music promoters to programme new music. A number of music clubs and other organisations now programme contemporary works as part of their year-round programmes, which we help publicise.

Nurture Talent

sound provides opportunities for emerging and established composers and musicians through our soundcreators programme which offers supported commissioning opportunities, workshops, short residencies and a 3-year Composer-in-Residence scheme.

Get Composing is an annual composition programme for young people aged 12-19. Led by professional composers and musicians, it gives young people from the North East and other more remote areas in Scotland the opportunity to develop compositional ideas in a stimulating out-of-school environment.

We also support our local music community, giving them opportunities where possible to develop their practise and enjoy new music opportunities. We recently set up a new music ensemble responding to a request from local musicians.

Learning & Participation

We regularly work in schools both in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to allow young people to discover new music and be creative.

We work with secondary school music teachers to support them in teaching composition.

We regularly organise participative opportunities, both for the amateur new music community and for the general population as a whole, to discover the excitement of rehearsing and performing new works.

"sound continues to triumph, demonstrating that imaginative, cutting-edge yet accessible programming and inspired commissioning can produce radical results." The Scotsman, 2016