Instruments India Composition Commissioning Project

Instruments India


The Liverpool Hope University and Milapfest partnership is looking for proposals from composers to use their extensive Instruments INDIA sound archive for the creation of new music. The archive contains many hours of sound recordings from approximately 25 different Indian musical instruments and it is intended that these sounds will be used exclusively in the creation of the following types of compositions:

  • Acousmatic/fixed media music
  • Installations
  • New media

Proposals are welcomed from composers/practitioners who intend to work with the archive exclusively in the creation of a new work. The finished compositions/creations will be premiered at Liverpool Hope University at the end of the project lifetime (Summer 2016). Composers taking part in the commission project must be willing to take part in a series of interviews/questionnaires about their work-in-progress to examine their relationship with the sound materials

Commission fee:

A panel of jurors will select up to four composers to participate in the project, which will provide access to the archive, and a commission fee (£850) is available to all composers selected. This fee is payable to the composer on receipt of their finished work and full participation with interview sessions. The work is required to be cc 7-15 mins in duration. For installation work scale and scope must be specified in the proposal. The timescale for the project is 9 months.

About the archive:

The Instruments INDIA sound archive contains approximately 25 different Indian musical instrument recordings captured by Dr Manuella Blackburn as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Early Career Fellowship in 2013. Short musical excerpts from this large sound collection appear on the Instruments INDIA website:

The larger sound archive contains instrumental fragments (individual notes/motifs) short ideas, melodies/rhythms and extended techniques, which will be accessed only by the selected composers.

Full list of available sound materials:

Strings Percussion Wind Vocal Keyboard
Dilruba Ghatam Bansuri flute Carnatic Harmonium
E-tanpura Ghungroo bells Morsing Hindustani
Mandolin Kanjira Shankha Konnakol
Santoor Mridangam
Sarod Tabla
Sitar Udukkai
Tar shehnai

About the premiere:

Completed compositions will be premiered in the Capstone Theatre at Liverpool Hope University. This venue will be set up to playback stereo, 5.1 and 8-channel audio. Installation works may be positioned in the Capstone building foyer. For further technical information please contact

How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying for this commission, please send an up-to-date CV and complete the proposal form below. Send completed applications to:

Please check the following criteria for eligibility:

  • You will work with the sound archive exclusively (no other sounds used)
  • You will provide links to previous compositions within the proposal.
  • You will be willing to take part in a series of interviews/questionnaires about your work in progress
  • You will create your composition within the 9-month project lifetime.
  • Your piece will be premiered at the end of the project at Liverpool Hope University (Summer 2016).

The selection process:

This commission call is open to artists regardless of age, nationality, gender or experience. The jury will select composers after reviewing all proposals. The selection criteria is based upon:

Project Feasibility
Compositional creativity, originality and artistic aims
Applicant’s compositional track record/quality of music

Deadline for receiving proposals: 1st September 2015

Selected composers will be notified by September 30th 2015

For further details please contact: Manuella Blackburn





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