Eleanor Cully- "I have often been the only woman in a room full of composers, or one of few women. In fact I don’t recall being one of more than two female composers whose work is presented in a new music concert."
Inspired by images and written words, Eleanor Cully is a unique sound artist who utilises space and visual effects within her work. We spoke to Eleanor about her approach, and found her connection with - and consideration of - the title ‘composer’ to be particularly interesting. Here is what she had to say:
I often prefer the term ‘artist’ rather than composer - I think it covers the various things I do. I do change the term I use depending on the situation – who I am speaking with, what I am doing and what my idea is. At the end of the 2017 summer I was definitely feeling like an artist (as opposed to a composer) in that I was making sound works with visual elements and presenting them in spaces with visual artists. However, when working in collaboration with visual artists last year I was referred to as a composer by others, I guess to highlight the distinction, whether it feels important to the work or not.
I think what is important to me has been my preference to make things that are beyond me, things that are realised away from my direct involvement - wishes that may become true, words that may be interpreted one way or another, descriptions of experiences that become sounds.
I have recently been performing as a vocalist in collaboration with other composers, for which my role has been to have creative involvement especially in the way I presented the programme. For this I do not use the word composer to describe my creative role, but others may describe me as a composer to give some context/background to my work, as this is a recent shift.
Eleanor Cully's British Music Collection records can be found online here.