Trish Clowes’ ‘no boundaries’ Birmingham festival needs your support

Trish Clowes

Trish Clowes

The hugely-talented and enterprising saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes created a festival without musical boundaries called Emulsion, and she is bringing it to Birmingham in January. She already has substantial backing for the project to go ahead but she wants to commission new works from composers – two of them, Percy Pursglove and Hans Koller, with strong Birmingham connections – and for that, and for guest players, she needs to raise further funds. Which is where Kickstarter and you come in. Time is tight, as there is less than a week to go. So please, read what Trish has to say below about Emulsion and the good things it is doing for cross-genre creative music. And then go to the linked Kickstarter page and help her achieve her – and all the composers and players involved – goal.

Over to Trish:

I started Emulsion in 2012 with a desire to create a space for a ‘no boundaries’ approach to music-making. Since then, Emulsion has presented three festivals, a residency at Cheltenham Music Festival and provided a professional development course for its core musicians. Crucially, we have also commissioned 11 new works from a wide range of composers.

The Emulsion Sinfonietta

The Emulsion Sinfonietta

On 27 January 2017, we are taking Emulsion to Birmingham at the Midlands Art Centre (mac birmingham). Emulsion V, hosted by Radio 3 presenter and new music specialist Fiona Talkington, will take the form of a triple-bill concert, surrounded by free space performances and a panel discussion. We will be collaborating with local players and students.

It takes a huge amount of time, energy and money to keeps things like this alive. Other artists and festival promoters such as Cath Roberts and Dee Byrne of Lume or Georgia Mancio – Revoice may tell the same story! Previously, Emulsion has been very lucky to get support from the PRS for Music Foundation, the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Musikkfondene (Norway), the Arts Council and then radio broadcasting support from BBC Radio 3.

This year we have managed to get some support from Arts Council England and from partner organisations in Birmingham. It’s been a long road, but we’ve finally received the funding to make sure the event can happen. What we still need is some money to commission new works for the festival and to invite some special guests to join us. We have now launched a crowdfunder on Kickstarter to help us achieve this.

  • The Kickstarter is HERE.

The goal of £2000 will enable us to commission Percy Pursglove, Hans Koller and Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian to write for the Emulsion Sinfonietta which is a colourful line-up of saxes, clarinet, oboe/cor anglias, cello, guitar, piano, violin, trumpet, bass and drums – a happy by-product of previous editions of Emulsion. Cevanne’s commission is in two parts. She has written part 1 for my new band My Iris, which was supported by the PRS for Music Foundation and part 2 will be written to include the Sinfonietta.

We are also hoping to invite Joe Wright to perform solo saxophone, Cevanne to play solo folk harp and Iain Ballamy to join us with the Emulsion Sinfonietta –  should we surpass the initial £2000 Kickstarter target.

There are opportunities to get involved in Emulsion V as advertised on the Kickstarter, but please feel free to send us an email or message through the website or social media if you want to know more. If you think you can help us keep commissioning at the heart of Emulsion, we would be eternally grateful!

The programme so far:

  • Panel Discussion open to public, hosted by Fiona Talkington and in collaboration with Birmingham City University

  • Hans Koller Quartet – featuring John O’Gallagher

  • My Iris (my band with Chris Montague, Ross Stanley and James Maddren – part of our launch tour for my new album on Basho Records)

  • Emulsion Sinfonietta (pieces by Koller, Pursglove, Montague, Cutler, Birmingham Conservatoire students)

Find out more about Emulsion at the website HERE.



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