The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop & PRS Foundation present…
The Oram Awards 2020 winners announced
for innovation in sound, music and related technologies
- Fourth annual award presentation to recognise talented music creators innovating in music, sound and related technologies
- Revealed: the six winners of The Oram Awards 2020 are Loula Yorke, NikNak
(Nicole Raymond), Poulomi Desai, Una Lee, Vicky Clarke and Yifeat Ziv
- Winners to receive talent development bursaries from PRS Foundation
- Due to Covid restrictions, The Orams Awards ceremony will be postponed until 2021
- Announcement of a new six month mentoring programme for Oram winners, commencing January 2021
The Oram Awards 2020 is the fourth annual event celebrating innovation in music, sound and related technologies by the next generation of forward thinking artists – an initiative by PRS Foundation in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Following an outstanding uptake in applications in 2020, The Orams are pleased to announce the names of this year’s six winners: Loula Yorke and NikNak (Nicole Raymond) received special commendations and talent development bursaries of £1,500 each with Poulomi Desai, Una Lee, Vicky Clarke and Yifeat Ziv receiving talent development bursaries of £500 from PRS Foundation.
About the winners:
Loula Yorke is a composer and performer who uses sound, video and participation to create artworks. Dancing in the spaces where the personal meets the political, her varied and noisy electronic music practice conjours moments of revolt as well as revealing hidden systems of control. Yorke runs femme-centred synth-building workshops Atari Punk Girls, and co-founded the SonitusLIVE curated livestreams.
“I will be able to access mentorship for the first time, and I hope to take my instruments on a mini tour, creating connections and performing to new audiences in other regions of the UK.”
NikNak (Nicole Raymond) is a Leeds based music creative; an artist, performer, presenter, producer and turntablist. She makes experimental music that mingles with other genres. Her debut album “Bashi” is a sonic exploration and retelling of her time spent in Turkey, due for release November 2020. As a turntablist and sound artist, she has worked with artists like Shiva Feshareki and Anna Meredith, in creating soundscape-based live improvised performances.
“I believe that Turntablism has not yet been represented in the New BBC Radiophonic workshop and so to be the first Turntablist to be in the cohort is a true honour.”
Poulomi Desai is a multidisciplinary artist and curator. Her work interrogates the politics of identity, listening and perception, inspired by her activist background and DIY post punk. She subverts broken sitars into new electronic instruments and melds circuit bent toys, optikinetic instruments, kitchen knives, and massage tools. Under Covid restrictions, she has been exploring the mini-oramics instrument (made by Tom Richards) using data from pandemics, migration and financial markets.
“It’s great to be part of this award with so many amazing creatives and I am looking forward to creating a solo release and the mentoring.”
Una Lee is a South Korean, UK based artist working with sounds, stories and sensations. She sings, narrates, improvises, collects field recordings and makes graphic artworks. She creates immersive compositions, and designs performances and intervention scenarios. She is currently exploring, rethinking and contemplating the notion of ‘song’ through ‘Songs to Stay Awake to’, a spoken song project in collaboration with Poetry Jukebox.
“The bursary of the award will help me realise my project ‘Songs to Stay Awake to’ by supporting the involved musicians for their time and work. It will be a vital contribution to the production process.”
Vicky Clarke is a sound and electronic media artist from Manchester. Working with sound sculpture, DIY electronics and human-machine systems, she explores our relationship to technology through sonic materiality, live audiovisual and browser-based artwork. She is currently working on her debut album SleepStates which explores ideas around machine addiction, broken transmissions and algorithmic sleep territories.
“It’s a privilege to join the Oram awardees community. My obsession with electronics and machines and all those noisy hours spent experimenting in my studio with materials and solder have been worthwhile!”
Yifeat Ziv is a London based vocalist, composer, sound artist and free improviser. She combines voice, electronics, field recordings and text to create interdisciplinary sound works that derive from her research of the human voice, technology, acoustic ecology and listening practices. In her performances and installations, she aspires to create situations where an active listening experience can emerge; an invitation to critically engage with sound.
“Especially in our current reality, I believe in the necessity of forming a network of creative women and gender minorities who have a mutual interest in innovation in sound and electronic music”
BBC Radio 3’s “Unclassified” will be introducing The Oram Award winners on Thursday 5th November. Hosted by Elizabeth Alker, one winner will be profiled each week for the next six weeks.
After much deliberation, the organisers have decided to postpone this year’s Orams Awards ceremony until 2021; to wait until everyone can safely come together to showcase this year’s incredible talent and to hold a proper live event.
Instead the team has been focussing its energies on the winners and is delighted to announce the launch of a brand new initiative. As part of continuing support and creating a community for the Oram Award artists, The New Radiophonic Workshop has secured further funding from the Arts Council for a mentoring programme which will be available to all six winners, alongside masterclasses for past and present winners. Commencing in January 2021, the mentoring programme will last for six months and give artists access to experts in the field of sound and music as well as a space to support each other’s work and practises that push the boundaries of innovation. The Orams will be busy working with winners past and present to create something very special in 2021. Watch this space!
The 2020 judging panel comprised 2019 Oram Awardee Nwando Ebizie (Lady Vendredi); composer and performer Nik Void (Factory Floor, Carter Tutti Void); BBC Radio 3 presenter Elizabeth Alker; Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths University, Dr Iris Garrelfs; mastering engineer Katie Tavini; and representatives from the PRS Foundation; Grants Coordinator (meeting Chair), Westley Holdsworth and Grants and Programmes Manager, Elizabeth Sills.
Nik Void commented
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being involved in this year’s Oram Awards judging panel. I joined a panel whose collective experience across the industry brought diverse perspectives and a lively discussion. It was a real pleasure to see such a display of commitment across a range of practices from the applicants, and it was no easy task choosing the final six winners. With thanks to PRS Foundation and The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop for their role in championing the work of women and gender minority music creators, I look forward to seeing this new community of next generation musicians and artists thrive, creating new and exciting work that pushes the boundaries of innovation.
NikNak (Nicole Raymond)