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Young artists share new commissions

During lockdown, Bristol Beacon commissioned young artists from our National FLOW Collective cohort to create new music and work which reflected on their experiences of this year.

We’re delighted to present these pieces for the first time here.

The National FLOW Collective is a creative and professional development programme that aims to make the music industry more representative of disabled people. They are a cohort of exceptional young musicians who have the skills, drive and ambition to be music industry leaders, but may currently face disabling barriers to a career in the music industry.

The National FLOW Collective is part of our Inclusive Excellence programme, funded by Youth Music, working in partnership with Sage Gateshead, Midlands Arts Centre, Sound Connections, and a range of industry partners to provide local support.

Meet the artists and watch their lockdown commissions below.

Nick Bignall

Nick Bignall, AKA Prynox, is a Bristol based musician that we have been working very closely with through the National FLOW Collective program. Nick received a nomination for best producer at the 2019 Youth Music Awards, and has gone on to work as a composer and sound designer with We the Curious and Arnolfini, as well as further developing his own body of work as Prynox.

Nicks’s commission piece ‘Cosmic Lotus’ is an audio visual piece that was produced in collaboration with artist Dean Tamango.

In Nick’s own words, the piece is about change, transformation, and triumph over adversity. “First stop, the muddy and murky swamp world from where the lotus grows that offers no hope. Some might call it hell. Secondly, we reach the middle ground, where she’s still not quite out of the woods, but the lotus begins to shed her chains and does start to bloom. Finally, bliss at last – we’ve reached the high world, or heaven. The darkness was worth it. Look, the lotus shows herself in full force and begins to dance. Remember the teachings of trauma as chaos turns to order. Stay strong!”

Siobhan Clough

Siobhan is a musician that Bristol Beacon have been supporting in partnership with Sound Connections through our National FLOW Collective program.

Siobhan is a regular member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Resound ensemble, and also works with the Bristol based Paraorchestra.

Siobhan produced an audiovisual piece in response to the National FLOW Collective Commission brief. The piece is an arrangement of the traditional Welsh hymns ‘Suo Gan’, ‘Calon Lan’ and ‘Ar Hyd y Nos’, arranged for Voila and Violin.

“The Welsh musical culture and landscape evoke images of awe and beauty, which is why I decided to combine three popular Welsh hymns into one piece of music. This vast change of circumstances has given me the time and perspective to reflect upon just how lucky I am to be able to creative and perform music that doesn’t just mean something to me, but expresses who I am.”

Liz Birch

Liz Birch AKA Iridis is a Birmingham based musician that Bristol Beacon have been supporting, in partnership with the Midlands Arts Centre through our National FLOW Collective program.

In response to our National FLOW Collective Commission brief Liz produced The Cell, a piece comprised of audio, video and poetry that in Liz’s words “expresses how I have felt these past six months; I wanted to communicate these feelings through words, as well as creating the atmosphere behind the words; what my brain sounded like and what my emotions would sound like if they were audible.”

“The poem has meaning to each individual person and I’ve always wanted people to create their own meanings. I feel it’s more impactful that way. Each word, line and sound is there with a purpose, but I like people to find their own purposes.”

This video contains flashing images, intense sounds and talks about intense subjects. If you would prefer, please watch the alternative version  here.

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Bristol Beacon

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon.

Our new name is just the first step, it is about more than the sign above our door. Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

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