Workout!

Make us sweat! Join us in a workshop marathon of 100 pieces by 100 composers in a year to celebrate our tenth anniversary.

Apply here to have your composition considered.

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed us to redesign our activities over the next year. While we’ll be recording remotely in London, we’ll be reaching out worldwide and connecting with more composers and music enthusiasts than ever before. Global communities are what we need now more than ever.

We’ll accept submissions throughout the year and we’ll release two online workshops each week. Selected pieces will receive a workshop-style video recording (30-40 minutes), with our comments and suggestions, and a ‘live’ performance recording which composers will be able to use however they like. All this will be available publicly, online, as well as some info about the piece, the composer, some discussion about the music, and the score itself. 

The first application deadline is 1st September 2020, and the first recordings will be published shortly afterwards. Workout! will then run until autumn 2021. Watch this space for release dates, and join our mailing list for updates. Please note we may have to delay if social distancing rules change.

The scheme is open to all:

  • Worldwide
  • No application fee, no paywall
  • No age limits (lower or upper)
  • No references needed
  • No formal qualifications needed
  • Nothing to attend in person
  • No language requirement. We speak English, you can speak what you like... Google and others can help us translate.
  • No printer or paper required!
  • We strongly encourage applications by black and minority ethnic composers, those with disabilities, those identifying as women or LGBTQ+, and from other underrepresented or disadvantaged groups.

Requirements

We have to be able to select, play and record your music on a very tight schedule - 100 pieces in a year! So there are a few requirements for the sake of practicality:

  1. Each piece should be up to 5 minutes. Complete pieces are preferred, but movements or excerpts of a larger work may be OK.
  2. The music must be notated as a PDF score. No individual parts needed, as we play from iPads with pedals for page turns. We strongly prefer portrait, and A4 works well, but other formats are acceptable. 
  3. We are a string quartet (2 violins, viola, cello)! Extended techniques, improvisation, graphic scores, electronics, and even extra instruments may all be fine, but please be practical.
  4. Please give us permission to share the score and our recording publicly online. Your work must be your own, and must not include any material which would infringe the rights of any third parties.

How it works

In the spirit of social distancing, we are going to be working from home (or whichever space we can use at the time), and producing the workshop and recordings ourselves. We will select 25 of our favourite applications from each of four deadlines:

  • 1st September 2020
  • 1st December 2020
  • 1st March 2021
  • 1st June 2021

The application form will be available online from two months before each deadline.

Our selections will reflect the widest possible range of entries. We can’t ever be objective, but what we’re looking for is musical innovation, curiosity and diversity.

As this is a workshop scheme, the pieces we choose will encourage discussion and learning. We prefer compositions that have been written in the past 10 years, which have not been recorded before. If you would like to submit a piece that does not satisfy these criteria, please give us your reason (in "Other information").

We anticipate that there will be many high-quality submissions and regret that no feedback can be provided to those who have not been selected. Shortlisted composers will be invited to reapply with the same piece in the next application round. All are welcome to reapply with a different piece.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

The majority of this project is made possible by Arts Council England’s generous Emergency Response Fund.