Looking for a sonic feast this September?

Join Sound and Music’s very own Sophie Morrison as she sounds out this month’s new music highlights, from surreal synth soundscapes in London to the sounds of stained glass in York.

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1. Duality: Six New Operas in 6000 Seconds Manchester // 6 September

This Saturday, Manchester Contemporary Youth Opera will bring six brand new, short operas to The Dancehouse, in what looks to be a really intriguing and exciting event: “Instruments and voices merge on stage in the worlds of the denied, the confused, the angry, the sad, the content. Questioners, their questions posed: sometimes answered, sometimes not.” MCYO was founded in 2017 by Nina Whiteman and Richard Strivens. It is a foundry for new opera: created, developed, interpreted and performed by the generation who will take opera’s mantle and shake and re-shape it in the coming years. If you’re in Manchester, I recommend checking this out!

2. Illuminate Women Composers – York // 7 September

In July, DONNE shared the results of their research into 2019/20 orchestra programmes. They found that of 15 orchestras worldwide presenting 1500 concerts; only 123 include at least one piece by a woman composer. Following on from their research last year, they have calculated that at this rate we will have to wait until 2051 to have at least one piece by a woman composer in all concerts… Illuminate Women’s Music is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of music, historical and contemporary, composed by women. Their event in York this month will see the Ethel Smyth Trio performing works by a number of women “from the past and present,” including Laura Shipsey, Judith Weir and Morfydd Owen.

3. Sandunes Live – London // 12 September

Sandunes (Sanaya Ardeshir) is an incredible keys player and composer who has been making waves globally: she has recently toured the US and has performed at the Barbican in UK and Magnetics Fields Festival in India. She is also really cool – in 2017, she co-founded DASTA – “a beatmaker’s collective that focuses on DIY growth and empowerment through the arts in India.” Don’t miss her upcoming show at The Pickle Factory, which promises to be outstanding – follow the link above to see her RA Sessions video.

4. A M O K 5 – York // 18 September

Composer-Curator James McIlwrath continues with his excellent A M O K series in York, with this evening based around a newly commissioned work by Catherine Robson that interacts with the history of the unique venue. The concert will also feature improvised performances of graphic scores by Sam Kaufman and Joanna Ward, as well as the UK premiere of Erika Bell’s work ‘1-’. When I heard James speak at the Composer-Curator induction day a few months ago he showed us photographs of the super interesting places he’s using for this series – these, as well as his enthusiasm, made me really excited for this series. Keep an eye out on The Sampler for two more A M O K events taking place in York before the end of the year, and do have a read of this interview with James.

5. The Glove x Edited: Dream Catalogue Showcase – London // 28 September

The Glove That Fits in Hackney, London is a great venue – there have been so many good experimental music shows there recently, and it’s really close to Temple of Seitan! – and Edited Arts have rapidly established themselves as an excellent platform for adventurous new music. They have come together for this Dream Catalogue showcase at the end of the month which I’m really looking forward to – in particular to HKE and Bruised Skies! I recommend getting into some of the Dream Catalogue stuff and heading along.