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At the heart of English folk

Creative Artists Residencies awarded

Creative Artists Residencies awards announced

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is delighted to announce the latest round of successful applicants awarded Creative Artists Residencies at Cecil Sharp House, our London base.

Four projects have been chosen from a strong field of applications from artists working in a range of art forms.

The chosen artists

Sam Sweeney
In a departure from his normal gigging career, Sam will embark on a storytelling project with Hugh Lupton to create a show that follows the phenomenal history of his fiddle. Carved in the First World War and finished in 2009, the fiddle's story will be told by Hugh, with music by Sam, Rob Harbron and Paul Sartin.
Find out more about Sam

Ben Nicholls
Ben will be researching the music and cultural fallout of the British South Seas whaling voyages of the early 19th century as ships left from London Docklands, round Cape Horn and into the Pacific, then exploring and developing new music based upon these themes.
Find out more about Ben

Kerry Fletcher and Natasha Khamjani
Kerry and Natasha will work on Folk Dance Remix, a project that brings explores the boundaries of, and brings together, traditional folk dance and music with contemporary styles with an aim to developing them into a full performance piece.
Find out more about Kerry Fletcher and Natasha Khamjani

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
Josienne and Ben will be researching English song back as far as the sixteenth century, such as the works of Dowland and Byrd through to Vaughan Williams, with a view to creating new arrangements of selected pieces for modern voice and guitar.
Find out more about Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker


What next?

The artists receiving the awards will undertake research and development for new music, storytelling, and dance all using folk material as their source and inspiration. They will receive a bursary towards expenses and fees, rehearsal and performance space at Cecil Sharp House, as well as support and guidance for the future development of their work.
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
The Creative Artists Residencies form part of EFDSS’ Aspire Programme, which is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, to provide artistic support and professional development to emerging artists. It is the second year that the bursary scheme has been run.

Neil Pearson, EFDSS’ Artist Development and Programming Manager, said: “This year’s applications were incredibly strong and came from a wide range of artists, at all levels of their career development and from different artforms.

“The creativity and range of the proposals shows English folk music and dance to an inspiration to artists from all genres, and we’re proud to be able to support the creation of new work in the earliest stage.”

He added: “The four selected projects have potential to develop into significant work for English folk traditions, and we will offer help and support to all the artists during the process to help them make the most of this opportunity.”

The Creative Artists Residencies were open to individuals or groups who wished to explore their creative potential and English folk traditions by undertaking a residency to research and develop new work. Proposals needed to be about working with an aspect of the folk arts and were particularly sought from artists keen to work cross-genre, cross-arts, or cross-culture to create performances with the potential to go on tour.

Find out more about EFDSS' Artist Development programme

2012/13 Creative Artists Residencies


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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