Black Composers Open Call

We are seeking to support UK-based Black composers, artists and collectives from the African and Caribbean diaspora in a new Open Call opportunity for 3 x £750 grants for new sonic works.

Every year we review and refresh our opportunities and this year we want to support Black creators from the African and Caribbean diaspora based in the UK. We are particularly interested in receiving proposals from those who identify as coming from low socio-economic or working-class backgrounds – who have faced additional barriers due to their socio-economic status.   

Here at Sound and Music, and particularly on the British Music Collection, we feel that it's essential to capture moments in our collective history; to create a space to reflect, to celebrate individual voices, and to address the under-representation of Black composers, creators, and their works. 

The opportunity:

Black Composers Open Call:  3 x £750 grants for new sonic works.

Deadline for delivery: February-March 2023  

The named applicant must be based in the UK and not currently participating in a Sound and Music programme (e.g. New Voices, Composer-Curator and Adopt a Music Creator). If you have received an award from us (e.g. Francis Chagrin, Covid-19 or Seed Award) you are welcome to apply.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, you can contact Grace Bailey, Executive Administrator – 

The selected works will be hosted uniquely on the British Music Collection website and will be shared widely via Sound and Music’s social channels and newsletters. 

The brief for this project is intentionally open and isn’t tied to any specific themes, as we want to support Black composers and creators to make the works they feel need to be heard. However, we are keen to support those who identify as coming from low socio-economic or working-class backgrounds and to address the structural barriers still faced in the new music sector. Applicants will be able to self-define and will not be asked to provide any evidence of their status.

Works do not need to address class directly to be considered, but we are keen to understand how widespread socioeconomic and geographic variances in provision and opportunities affect approaches to creating new music and sound—this could be captured within the works or via additional context i.e. a blog.

Works can be created either alone (solo) or with collaborators of your choice (this could be another composer, musician, visual artist, filmmaker, animator or writer etc. For the fee, we are looking for 1 to 5-minute creative, sonic responses. You're welcome to produce a piece of work longer than this, but Sound and Music is keen to ensure everyone is paid fairly and properly for their time and output. 

Previous projects have covered themes such as ‘Identity and the anxiety of influence’, notions of ‘identity and aesthetic’ and issues surrounding the breadth of new music produced by Black composers across the UK.  

How to apply:

Applications are now closed.

Deadline for proposals:  Thursday 24th November 2022 23:59pm

In your proposal, you will be asked to provide: 

  • Your basic contact information (Name, email, phone number) 
  • 250 words or a 2-minute video about your idea for this work 
  • 250 words or a 2-minute video about your experience of creating new works 
  • Links to previous work
  • You will also be asked to complete Sound and Music’s Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (anonymous) 

Please note that video applications do not need to be you talking to a camera. Please apply in whatever way best suits your needs. 

If you have any access needs or access related costs with regards to applying for this opportunity, please contact: If you have a question, you can contact: Grace Bailey, Executive Administrator – 

A panel of Sound and Music staff plus one external panellist will select the successful applicants. 

We will aim to get back to all applicants week commencing 12th December 2022

We are committed to equality, inclusivity and diversity across all our programmes. We actively encourage applicants who are D/deaf; disabled; LGBTQI+; working class;  who have experienced racism; and applicants who feel they have had less access to opportunity, or who have experienced barriers or discrimination, due to a protected or other characteristic. 

You can find out more about our commitment to creating open and inclusive opportunities by reading our Fair Access Principles

If you have any questions or would like this document in another format, please contact Grace Bailey, Executive Administrator — 

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