Sonia Allori

Music

MUSICAL STYLE

I trained as a classical musician and wrote music in a contemporary classical style until part-way through my PhD when I started to lose my hearing. Since 2014 I have been writing electro-acoustic music which often combines words and music in various guises. I love the combination of live instruments and electronic tracks and have found my niche here where there are still traces of contemporary classical style but mixed with electronica and folk undertones. The music has melody tinged with unexpected tonality, is sparse and often bittersweet. I also write peculiar and occasionally humorous songs which are always melodic but sometimes accompanied by unusual sounds and textures (flapping dachshund ears looped springs to mind!?).

Commissions

RECENT COMMISSIONS

F-EmailRarescale at Angel Field Festival (2021) – for alto flute, bass clarinet and voice track which imagines the journey of the first email sent in 1971 to the present 50 years later.

Songs in IsolationDisability Arts Online (2021) – electroacoustic song trilogy written during the pandemic.

Click below to hear and read more about the ‘Songs in Isolation’ commissions.

CURRENT COMMISSIONS

Room to Breathe

Room to Breathe is a new commission with Drake Music Scotland and Nevis Ensemble. The idea for this new work is to explore breathing post-Covid in different ways with text, spoken word, song, digital instruments and acoustic orchestral instruments. There was a performance of a new movement from the work called, Fear, hope & breathing (scored for wind trio & tape) at Plug Festival – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on 25th April.

UPCOMING COMMISSIONS

DAO commission

I’m working on a digital commission, Adventures in Captioning for Disability Arts Online.

When you begin with some words, a deaf performer, a lovely live captioning human and auto captions you’re never quite sure where you’ll end up! Adventures in Captioning is a comic exploration of a new creative process developed while working online during the pandemic.

The forthcoming online performance will go live in September 2022 and involve spoken word, song, soundscape and captioning galore!

PREVIOUS COMMISSIONS

Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing (2019)

Song – For Frida Kahlo research & development project, Pitlochry Theatre.

Last Tango in Liverpool (2018)

For “Destination Sound” DadaFest, Bluecoats, Liverpool – For string quartet, trombone and vocal track.

Listen on DadaFest

Listen on SoundCloud

Memorial to an important lace shirt (2018)

For “Exploding Collage” Exhibition at Hatton Gallery, Newcastle – Voice and looped instrumental track – Text by Hannah Hoch (Dada’s Women).

Listen on SoundCloud

Never keep both feet on the ground (2018)

For “Exploding Collage” Exhibition at Hatton Gallery, Newcastle to accompany a short film by Vaia Paziana – Vocal soundscape.

Listen on SoundCloud

Thread of time (2018)

For “Dada Soup” with visual artist Audrey O’Brien at Wasp Studios, Glasgow – Voice, piano, alto sax & looped speech – Text by Sonia Allori & Celine Arnauld (Dada’s Women).

Fall from Grace (2017)

Commission from Sound Festival Aberdeen for multi-bassoon work with vocal track. Performed in Aberdeen in 2017.

The Lost & Found Songbook (2017)

Songs from the “Lost & Found” project. Performance is at Eden Court Theatre in September 2017.

Listen on SoundCloud

The Lost & Found Suite (2017)

Music for a short film documentary.

Listen on SoundCloud

You Can’t Get There from Here (2015)

Commission for Sound Festival Aberdeen. 6-composer collaborative commission for Ensemble Thing (chamber ensemble). Listen on SoundCloud

Music for Angharad – electro-acoustic work (2013)

Performed: Edinburgh, Summer 2013. “To inhabit spaces” – Composer for dance project in Edinburgh, June 2014 (writing music for dancer, Angharad Jones).

Listen on SoundCloud

Seasons 4.0 – electro-acoustic work (2013 – 2015)

Performed: London, Spring 2013 & Autumn 2015.

Drake Music London (2013)

Attended a creative lab to develop ideas for a new work with dancer/choreographer, Sheron Wray. This work was developed further as a commission to score music for a new dance work based upon a re-imagining of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” (London).
Performed: London, Spring 2013 & Autumn 2015.

Fear Itself – Clarinet quintet (2011)

Performance: Student soloist and The Edinburgh Quartet, Edinburgh (Edinburgh Napier University). Forms part of PhD folio of compositions. Listen on SoundCloud

Guinevere – SATB soloists, SATB choir, Chamber orchestra (2011)

Words – A. L. Tennyson. Forms part of PhD folio of compositions.

Hilary & Maggie – Sax Quartet, vibraphone & prepared synthesised speech (2011)

Words – M. Thatcher & H. Clinton. Forms part of PhD folio of compositions.

Residencies

Recent

In 2020, I was one of three Artists in Residence with Drake Music. Due to the pandemic the residency was online, and we adapted to the changing circumstances.

During a 10 month period the AiRs are embedded in Drake Music, working as part of the team, sharing and developing their practice and creating a new piece of work for their final project.

Previous Residencies

Exploding Collage (2018)

Collaboration with writer Ruth Hemus and visual artist Vaia Paziana to produce an installation and performance at Hatton Gallery, Newcastle. Working with materials from Dada movement we created a short film with soundtrack, performed a new art song and held an interactive workshop with young people and other visitors to the gallery.

Learn more

Spring Soup Dada (2018)

Worked with visual artist Audrey O’Brien to create a Dada-themed event comprising visual art installation, contemporary classical music/electro-acoustic music, performance art, chance performance, poetry …. and soup!

Read more here 

Learn more here

Lost & found (2017)

Commissioned and produced by Drake Music Scotland with funding from PRS Open Fund. Workshop sessions and performance at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.

Read more here

Watch here 

Performing Dada’s Women (2017)

Funded by Royal Holloway – University of London to create an interactive workshop and performance at Tate Modern in London. Creative team – Ruth Hemus (librettist), Vaia Paziana (visual artist) & myself (composer/musician/performer).

Read more at Tate Modern

Read more at Dada’s Women

Sound Festival Aberdeen (2015)

You Can’t Get There from Here”, 6-composer collaboration arising from Timeout residency in 2014. Performance – ACT Aberdeen, October 2015. An experiment in multi-composer creation of new work where each composer’s process is shared, and working is open and collaborative.

Read more at Creative Scotland

Rough Mix residency (2015)

Selected for 2-week residency at Summerhall with other artists & performers to work on an idea for a new work. I was able to take the idea for “Dada’s Women” and to work particularly on improvisation, exploring non-linear narrative and experimenting in performance with text, visual art, music and movement.

Read more here

Flip Artists (2014/15)

Selected for 9-month mentoring programme for disabled Scottish artists. A tailored development programme with support through devising a new work, an opera – “Dada’s Women”.

Read more here

Brighter Sounds (2015)

Chosen for a 5-day residency with Beth Orton (Manchester).

Read more here

Unlimited Fund (2014/15)

Received funding to further develop Seasons 4.0 (formerly Seasonal Fluctuations) from this fund (Arts Council England/Creative Scotland). This is a mixed media dance-music fusion work. This funding allowed a second stage research & development process for this work (Edinburgh & London). I was mentored through the devising process of this work and collaborated with a dramaturg, choreographer and filmmaker.

Read more here

Timeout composer residency (2014)

Composer residency at Covepark, Helensburgh through New Music Scotland.

EIFF Composer Lab (2013) – attended a week-long composer residency with 7 other emerging composers at Edinburgh Film Festival (Edinburgh).

Ghent Film Festival (2013)

Attended the festival for a week to study film music process for the composer (funded through EIFF) (Ghent, Belgium).

Performance

CURRENT

I’m a multi-instrumentalist and sing. I play clarinets, bassoon, saxophone and EWI (electronic wind instrument).

I currently perform and compose in Sonic Bothy; an inclusive experimental music ensemble based in Glasgow which I joined in 2019

In 2021 we created a new work Verbaaaaatim for the BBC Tectonic Festival. We also made a new film for Sound Festival in Aberdeen as part of a project for Glasgow University.

In 2019 we performed a set at Tusk Festival at Sage Gateshead:

PREVIOUSLY

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