On song City duo are in the running

On song City duo are in the running
scores of talent: Claudia and Leo

Two members of the Department of Music at City University London have hit the right notes and been shortlisted in the 2016 British Composer Awards.

Lecturer Dr Claudia Molitor has been named in the Sonic Art category, while performance officer Leo Chadburn is up for the Chamber Ensemble prize. Dr Molitor has been recognised for her work Sonorama, a smartphone app that train passengers can listen to on journeys between St Pancras International and Margate station in Kent. Inspired by trains, journeying and the disconnect between looking at the passing landscape and hearing only the interior sounds of the carriage, the work fills the gap between the visual and sonic realities of rail travel.

Imagining the journey as the ‘score’, the collection of compositions, interviews, readings and archive material respond to the social history of the route, covering topics as diverse as visio-centricity, Roman history and hop-picking – all relating to a different point or area between London and Margate and informed through a collaboration with historian David Hendy and the British Library.

Dr Molitor said: “It’s very exciting that Sonorama has been shortlisted alongside the work of two fantastic artists, Magz Hall and Hanna Tuulikki. Indeed, the whole list of nominees for these awards is impressive, I feel honoured to be included.” Meanwhile, proud Leo’s nominated piece, Freezywater, was commissioned by Wigmore Hall and was premiered by the ensemble Apartment House.

Influenced by the concepts of psychogeography and ‘deep topography’, the words in the 15-minute composition are the names of 50 topographical features such as hills, rivers, roads and woods that are found in a huge circle around outer London. Leo is thrilled to be in the running, and said: “This year’s shortlist features an incredibly diverse range of musicians, including many composers who I would cite as inspirations, personal creative mentors and great artists. “I’m very proud my name has been chosen to be in amongst them.” The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 6 December at the British Film Institute, with their work broadcast on the BBC Radio 3 programme Hear and Now the following Saturday.