Listen: Fresh Yorkshire Aires recordings

After two fantastic concerts by Matthew Bourne and Philip Thomas, and thanks to Jez Riley French’s recording and mastering skills, we’ve got these recordings made during the performance at Bank Street Arts.



Arts Council England Funding awarded

We’re very happy to announce that Fresh Yorkshire Aires has been awarded funding from Arts Council England! This is a fantastic seal of approval and acknowledgement of this exciting project – it’s wonderful to know so many people believe in what we are trying to achieve!

Obviously this is great news, as it gets us even closer to realising our Leeds and Sheffield events and exhibitions.

However… we are not celebrating just yet, we still need your help and support to raise the final funds – our ACE funding is just one piece of the puzzle and you can be the other.

Our PledgeMusic campaign is still live and you’re support really is essential!

We would like to thank everyone who’s been kind enough to support our work by pledging so far, we’re really grateful and we couldn’t have done any of this without you.

Don’t forget, you’ll all receive an exclusive download to listen to anywhere, any time, of a live recording of the new commissions, performed by Matthew Bourne and Philip Thomas.

We’re so close now – with just 12 days to go we can get the final funds together and make this unique event happen!

So join us now, get supporting, get pledging…

Photos from Artist Skill Share 1

On 10 April, all of the artists and composers making new work for Fresh Yorkshire Aires met with Matthew Bourne and Philip Thomas to discuss works in progress and share ideas on graphic scores. (Pictured: Nigel Morgan, Philip Thomas, Jacob Thompson-Bell, Matthew Bourne, Katie English) (Photos by Jez Riley French).

Please support our campaign to bring our scores to exhibitions and performances in leeds and Sheffield:

Hand made prints for Fresh Yorkshire Aires posters

Here’s some photos from designers Joe Auckland and Elliott Brodowski, who’ve designed and screen printed a bespoke set of Fresh Yorkshire Aires posters.

You can find out more by visiting the Pledge campaign page, where you can watch a short film of them working. There’s also poster and artist prints available as exclusives – pledge to get your hands on them…

Your pledge will help us put on 2 exhibitions in Leeds and Sheffield of our four new graphic score commissions, featuring performances by pianists Matthew Bourne and Philip Thomas!

Be part of our Pledge Music campaign!


Support four new commissions

By Jacob Thompson-Bell

Following the recent commission call, I’m excited to announce four new commissions for Fresh Yorkshire Aires from Jez Riley French, Katie English, Nigel Morgan and me.

We’ll be sharing this work as exhibitions at The Gallery at Munro House, Leeds, and Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, featuring performances from Matthew Bourne and Philip Thomas.

To develop our work, we’re running a special Pledge Music campaign, with support from Sound and Music, offering exclusive artwork, musical scores and downloads from all of the artists on the project. Watch our introduction video to find out more!



Jez Riley French: “My intention is to create a photographic score based on intuitive visual responses to the acoustics of specific architectural spaces in east Yorkshire and their locales. During the process the room tone of the eventual performance / exhibition spaces will also be taken into account in the formulation of the accompanying guidelines. Key to the process is to create a score that allows the performers to work along side the ambient sounds in which the score is to be performed.” (Photo: Phoebe Riley Law)

Isnaj Dui 2 - Credit Chris NunnKatie English: “Since moving to Yorkshire in late 2013 I have noticed a change in the way I work, having become more visually focused. I have a degree of audio-visual synaesthesia and so the lines between music and visual art are, for me, always slightly blurred. I am planning to create a score from the visual landscape that surrounds me in Halifax, the town has a brilliant combination of rural views along with the architectural impact of a rich industrial history and so has a lot to offer in terms of a visual score. In particular the combination of mill towers protruding from undulating hills would provide a good source of sonic and graphic exploration and so I plan to mainly concentrate on those aspects of the area, to produce a piece that portrays the drama of the landscape. Potentially I would like to include a tactile element to the score as this is a particular area of interest for me, so might include some relief work, of course bearing in mind that it would need to be printable.” (Photo: Chris Nunn)

Nigel PortraitNigel Morgan: “Whatever the image in a graphic score some kind of mapping has to take place: to make a translation either to musical notation or directly to physical movement or action to produce sound. Informal discussions with jazz and improvising pianists tell me it seems to be more often the former than the latter. In choosing graphic images for this proposal I have been particularly attentive to the mapping issue. I have chosen to source four images, each based on collections of specific symbols: names. words, integers, binary rows. These images will come directly from specific locations across Yorkshire, two in rural locations, two in urban locations. As possible examples I suggest two that have immediately come to mind: a section from Gordon Young’s Walk of Art at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and one of the Stanza Stones created for Ilkley Literature Festival by Simon Armitage. Images will be presented so that letters, integers and binary patterns could be read traditionally left to right or in vertical or diagonal configurations. An optional key and possible mapping suitable for an interpretation by a keyboard player could support the image.”

LEECH_20131004_90356Jacob Thompson-Bell: “I will be transcribing the bustling, cosmopolitan soundscape of Leeds, recording specific locations using music notation, illustration and written word t form a series of sonic maps of the city. I moved to Leeds last year, and I’ll be using this as an opportunity to really connect with my surroundings, and learn more about the place where I now live. I’m also the project producer for Fresh Yorkshire Aires, so it’s fascinating for me to see and hear what the other artists are creating, and learn about their perspective on the Yorkshire region.”

Matthew Bourne on notation

Matthew BourneIn most of the musical settings in which I work, I’m lucky enough to not be instructed as to what I should or shouldn’t be doing(!) but, it’s also fun to work from notation: learning challenging piano parts, or deciphering new ways of communicating musical ideas by others, can bring about surprising and unexpected musical results…

Some of the most effective examples have often been the simplest – I remember being fascinated by the score of Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise, and even some of Cathy Berberian’s pieces, almost preferring this sort of notation to that of staves, notes and barlines. That said, I am actually a stranger when it comes to playing from graphic notation – which is why I’m really looking forward to being challenged by the materials and ideas that will be submitted (by you!) for this project.

So, don’t forget, this is open to anyone who would like to contribute their compositional ideas – regardless of notational style – and I would be very happy to look at draft ideas or initial sketches. All are welcome!


By Jacob Thompson-Bell

Fresh Yorkshire Aires explores connections between making visual art and writing musical scores. Both can involve putting pen to paper but in music the composer’s manuscript is traditionally hidden from view.

The term ‘graphic score’ refers to any kind of musical notation that uses pictures, symbols or illustrations, instead of or in addition to traditional notation, to inspire performances – musical scores can be just as satisfying to look at as they are to listen to.

Visual art can also be a powerful inspiration for improvisers seeking musical parallels to the shapes and imagery of different creative mediums – visuals can be just as good to listen to as they are to look at.

Yorkshire has thriving music and visual art scenes – Fresh Yorkshire Aires will help bridge them together, allowing artists to share their work and skills with each other and the wider public.

Whether you’re a professional artist, student or keen amateur, you can apply to have your work included – this project is a chance to source fresh ideas, techniques and opportunities for Yorkshire-based makers.

Submit your work>>