Lockdown Composing: call Scottish-based composers

Opportunity details

This opportunity has been scoped out in reaction to the current lockdown and will provide skills development and a small commission fee for three Scottish-based composers. The composers will have the opportunity to develop works of approximately 3 minutes for our local new music ensemble Any Enemy. The instrumentation is violin, cello, flute, oboe, 2 bassoons, trumpet, piano and 2 percussionists (exact percussion instruments to be confirmed).

The works must be written so that they can be performed online by musicians situated in separate spaces. The process will be supported by composer Pete Stollery, and the new works will then performed online on Zoom.

There is a commission fee of £250 for this work.


  • Mentoring session with Pete Stollery (Tue 19th May): group Zoom session on composing
  • Rehearsals and performance, (wk begin 1st Jun): Zoom
  • Complete parts and score to be submitted by Fri 29th May


The three successful candidates will be talented freelance composers not in regular employment and resident in Scotland. They can be at any stage in their career, however they should be able to demonstrate at least a few years compositional experience, and must be able to articulate how this opportunity would benefit them.

How to apply

To apply for the opportunity please fill in the application form  by Tuesday 12th May 2020.

If further information is required, please contact We will inform you whether you are successful or not by Thursday 15th May 2020.

Selection process

Please note that sound is committed to working with and supporting composers from under-represented sections of the population. To enable this, there is a two-stage application process: an initial selection is made, and then this is narrowed down in a second stage selection process. If you are a female, disabled and/or BAME composer, you can self-select to be put forward automatically to the second round if you want. The selection panel will be made up of the Chair of sound and a member of the staff team.

Notes to composers applying

Selection for new music opportunities is inherently subjective and the criteria used can differ from project to project. We are frequently over-subscribed and often the quality of applications is extremely high from a wide range of composers, which usually means making difficult decisions.

Reasons for selecting one composer over another are not always to do with skill level or experience. We may, for example, be looking for the right fit for us as an organisation at a particular point in time e.g., we may be looking to develop specific strands or activity or genres of music.

For development opportunities that happen in a group setting, it may be that we need to take into consideration the coherence of that group e.g., we may prefer to have composers of a similar experience-level. We thus sometimes end up turning down composers with more experience or skills, or giving opportunities to composers who we feel would benefit most from a particular opportunity at that stage in their career, and faced with difficult choices we may sometimes turn down composers who may have already benefitted from a number of opportunities in the past.

We would however encourage composers to apply for any opportunities that interest them and for which they fit the specification, and not be discouraged if they are not selected for a particular opportunity, as it does not mean that they are not “good” enough. Please do continue to apply for any opportunity that interests you!