Development opportunity for Scotland-based composers

sound is a new music incubator based in North East Scotland, initially set up to give local audiences access to new music. It is now renowned in and beyond Scotland for producing and promoting high-quality work, for its support to composers of all generations and for attracting new audiences through its varied programming and inclusive nature.

sound’s objectives are to:

  • Increase access to new music and build audiences
  • Encourage excellence and experimentation
  • Nurture talent 

We achieve these through a variety of activities including an annual festival, year-round collaborative events and learning and engagement activities, many in partnership with a range of local, national and sometimes international arts organisations.

This development opportunity for composers based in Scotland is part of our soundcreators programme, which focuses on nurturing creative talent. soundcreators is funded by Creative Scotland, Help Musicians UK and the PRS for Music Foundation. This particular opportunity is funded with support from the Fenton Arts Trust.

Five composers will have the opportunity to develop works of approximately 5 minutes for oboe and cello over a residential weekend with the support of musicians from Red Note Ensemble and composer Bill Sweeney. The new works will then be performed during the 2019 soundfestival.

Residential weekend, 6-7 September 2019 
Location: Phoenix Centre, Newton Dee Village, Bieldside, Aberdeen, AB15 9DX
The composers will be mentored by composer Bill Sweeney and will work alongside two musicians from Red Note Ensemble to develop new works. The sessions will take place from early Friday afternoon until late Saturday afternoon. It is expected that composers will bring work in progress with them to the weekend.
Accommodation will be provided for Friday night, and catering will be provided for the weekend. Travel costs will be covered.

Rehearsal, October (date tbc)
Glasgow (details tbc)

Performance, Saturday 26 October
A performance of the new works by Red Note Ensemble will take place in St Andrews Cathedral (Aberdeen) on Saturday 26 October at 12pm as part of the 2019 soundfestival. There will also be a rehearsal prior to the performance.

The five successful candidates will be talented composers resident in Scotland. They can be at any stage in their career, however they should be able to demonstrate a number of years of compositional experience, and must be able to articulate their development needs and how the opportunity would benefit them.

Please note that sound is committed to working with and supporting composers with additional support needs.

Financial support for the opportunity is limited to related expenses for travel/accommodation. 

How to apply 

To apply for the opportunity please send:

  • A cover letter containing a personal statement on why you are interested in the opportunity and how it will help your development;
  • An outline of your areas of compositional interest;
  • A full CV or biography listing your works;
  • A small portfolio of your work (pdf scores and/or recordings of three pieces) can be sent digitally via dropbox/google drive or links to your website or soundcloud (if applicable);

Applications should be sent to either by email to

or by post to sound, c/o The Barn, Burn O’Bennie, Banchory AB31 5QA

Deadline for applications: 24 July 2019

If further information is required, please contact

We will inform you whether you are successful or not by the end of July.