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Development Opportunity for Scotland-Based Composers

Five composers will have the opportunity to develop works of around 5 minutes for double bass and marimba working alongside Iain Crawford (double bass) and Tom Hunter (marimba) from Red Note and composer (TBC).

This development opportunity for Scotland-based composers is organised in partnership with us at Red Note and is part of soundcreators programme, which focuses on nurturing creative talent. soundcreators is funded by Creative Scotland, Help Musicians UK and the PRS for Music Foundation as well as by Idlewild Trust, the Hugh Fraser Foundation, the Leche Trust and Aberdeen City Council.

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.

Five composers will have the opportunity to develop works of around 5 minutes for double bass and marimba working alongside Iain Crawford (double bass) and Tom Hunter (marimba) from Red Note and composer mentor (tbc). The new works will be performed during the 2021 soundfestival.


Draft schedule:

Session 1: Introduction to double bass and marimba, 12 August 2021

Where: Zoom

This first session will primarily be an introduction to writing for double bass and marimba, and will be led by Iain Crawford, Tom Hunter and composer mentor (tbc)

Session 2, late-August 2021 tbc

Where: Zoom

1-to-1 mentoring sessions with composer mentor (tbc) and musicians. The composers will submit short (approximately 30 second sketches) in advance.

Following this, the composers will work up full pieces for the third session.

Session 3, 12 September 2021

Where: tbc (Central Belt)

The composers will work alongside two musicians from Red Note Ensemble to develop new works. It is expected that composers will bring work in progress with them. The session will last a whole day.

The composers will then have until mid-October to make any last adjustments.

Rehearsal, mid-October (date tbc)

Where: tbc (Central Belt)
The pieces will be rehearsed with the composers in attendance.

Performance, end of October (date tbc)

Where: Aberdeen
A performance of the new works as part of the 2021 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 we are committed to working with and supporting composers with additional support needs. Composers from under-represented groups and especially composers with disability are encouraged to apply.


Financial support for the opportunity is limited to related expenses for travel/accommodation. There will also be a small commission fee of £200 per composer for a delivered piece to be performed at soundfestival.


How to apply
To apply for the opportunity please fill out a digital form HERE.

Deadline for applications: 18th July 2021


If further information is required, please contact admin@sound-scotland.co.uk

We will inform you whether you are successful or not by the 28th July 2021.


Selection process

As mentioned above 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 one of the musicians, composer mentor (tbc), a representative of sound (either a staff member or the Chair) and of Red Note.


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!


Red Note and sound are PRS Foundation Talent Development Partners.

18 July, 2021 - 0:00 to 23:59


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