24 Jun 2017
Steve Martland Bursary Fund 
Steve Martland - Summer School - Bursary Fund

Sound and Music has launched a compelling appeal to raise £25,000 by July 2018 in order to create a much-needed bursary fund, in memory of the much-loved composer Steve Martland (1954-2013), offering financial support to young composers attending the annual residential Summer School for Young Composers.

Every year, 75 young composers aged 14-18 from all over the country arrive at the Sound and Music Summer School for a transformational week of music making. They learn from and work alongside a team of world renowned composers, professional musicians and experienced educators in developing their compositional skills, be it in writing for instruments, writing for film, writing for non-European instruments, writing for voice, or writing for a jazz ensemble. This is the only course of its kind in the UK and for many of the young people attending it is a truly life-changing experience.

For music to thrive in the future, there is an urgent need to ensure that the pursuit of music and composition as a profession is available to every young person who has the talent. Every year, at least a third of attendees at the Summer School need some level of bursary to be able to attend and in 2015 the idea of creating bursaries specifically in memory of Steve Martland was conceived, from which the current appeal has been born.

Steve's words feel more than ever relevant now: "Creativity is everything that is against what's going on in the world right now. It's to do with tolerance and understanding other people. With more creativity we wouldn't have these conflicts we're having. I know that's very idealistic, but if I didn't believe that I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing. It's about seeing the differences between people and celebrating them. That's what all music is about for me."

An exceptionally generous donation of £9,000 from Steve's publisher and friend Sally Groves, made in memory of her husband of Dennis Marks, has kick-started the appeal. Other supporters are now being sought to make the fund a reality.

The actual cost per pupil of attendance at the Summer School is £1,200, and the fee to parents (without a bursary) is £450. Donations received will go directly towards assisting young people to attend, and a fund of £25,000 means that Sound and Music can ensure the future of the Summer School’s ability to offer bursaries whenever they are needed.

More details and the facility to make a donation are available via soundandmusic.org.

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

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