Worldwide response to Instruments India Composition Commission

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A new Composition commission project launched this Summer by Liverpool Hope University and Milapfest has received a total of 55 applications, from a wide range of composers, academics and postgraduate students, from countries including Argentina, USA, Canada. Japan, India, Mexico, Denmark and Sweden.

The latest stage in the Milapfest-Hope Instruments India Partnership, this call for proposals uses the Instruments India musical instruments archive, by Dr Manuella Blackburn, reflected in the Milapfest website Instruments India.

Following the creation of the website and other related composition and archiving projects, this composition project was set up to give composers the opportunity to create with beautiful, and sometimes unheard, sounds of Indian musical instruments; it is also the chance to bring together the electroacoustic and Indian music communities of the world. Four panel members have been given the task of assessing all submissions – the selected four artists will be announced at the end of September. Instruments India is the result of a partnership between MILAPFEST and LIVERPOOL HOPE UNIVERSITY, under the umbrella of the SANNIDHI Institute for Indian Arts. The archive of instruments is a dynamic resource, which will grow on an ongoing basis.

Alok Nayak, Artistic Director of Milapfest said, “The Instruments India project with Hope University has already worked to bridge the gap in understanding the collaboration between Indian and electroacoustic music, resulting in some fascinating exchanges, and a wonderful Instruments INDIA archive, which is a great resource for students, listeners and audiences. Now, with the new commissioning project, we are looking forward to working with Dr Blackburn’s sounds to see what innovative and wonderful creations our participants might conjure up in the future!”

Dr Manuella Blackburn, Senior Lecturer at Hope University, and principal researcher for Instruments India said, “the response to this call is fantastic, presenting a good reflection of the wider research community that want to understand and integrate sounds from other cultures. In its own way, the commissioning project is helping to promote positive attitudes towards cultural diversity by showing how sounds signalling ethnicity, diversity and identity can be appreciated and taken up in a different art forms and contexts. Composers across the globe want to get creative with these musical sound samples that are often rare or unobtainable through any other means. It’s a delight to watch this project grow and develop through new international links.”

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