Wishart honoured with BASCA Innovation award
The awards, hosted by BBC Radio 3’s Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Andrew McGregor, were presented at the British Museum, London, on December 4th 2018, in a ceremony which included a performance in memory of Oliver Knussen, given by musicians from the Royal Academy of Music. The BASCA Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music in association with exclusive broadcast coverage from BBC Radio 3. Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Andrew McGregor will report from the BASCA Awards ceremony on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 9th December at 9.20am in the programme British Composer Awards 2018. The BASCA Awards celebrate the art of composition and showcase the creative talent of contemporary composers and sound artists.
Throughout his life, Trevor Wishart has had an innovative approach to composition and music making. He is celebrated for his work in sonic art, but he has also been influential in music for education and the wider community. He has thrived as an independent, sustaining his distinguished career as a freelance sonic artist without the support of permanent academic appointments.
He is a composer who has made significant contributions to the evolution of electroacoustic music, both in terms of his personal contributions to the musical repertory and through the development of innovative digital technologies that have been creatively explored by composers worldwide.
His compositions, made in his home studio in York, are striking for their idiosyncratic sound world. Electric-acoustic works involving performers, like the six vocal pieces in his Vox series, demonstrate the originality of his vivid imagination; the performance of Vox at the 1988 Proms brought him to the attention of a wide public. His site-specific events and installations have been seen throughout the UK as well as overseas. For many years, visitors to York’s famous Viking museum, Jorvik, were transported in time by Trevor’s meticulously researched soundscape.
Ever since his first visit to IRCAM in 1981, Wishart has been regarded as a leader in his field. As well as his music, his work in audio software design and his writings on digital media exert a wide influence. In particular, he was a founding member of the Composers Desktop Project (CDP). He was instrumental in ensuring that this co-operative thrived, developing the tools that allowed composers and sonic artists to make new work at their home computers, without the need to create elaborate and expensive studios.
As the resources associated with CDP gained in power and sophistication, so Wishart continued to develop his personal software, at the same time making it fully available to others via CDP. Known as Sound Loom, this system provides an extensive repertory of facilities for electroacoustic composers, and it remains without parallel in the commercial sector. His compositions using this resource stand as testament both to its power and sophistication and his consummate skills as a creative artist, leading to landmark works such as Tongues of Fire (1994), Imago (2002), Globalalia (2004), and his tour de force Encounters in the Republic of Heaven (2011), which creates a digital metamorphosis of spoken voice recordings from North East England.
Trevor Wishart has had an international career, travelling all over the world for performances of his work. He is much sought after for residences, and many international prizes have come his way. As his music abundantly demonstrates, he is a true innovator.
Crispin Hunt, Chair at BASCA, said: “The passion, creativity and dedication to music demonstrated by this year’s winners is deeply inspiring and humbling. A record year for submissions, the new music landscape in Britain proves itself time and again to be more vibrant, dynamic and vivacious than ever, engaging with a diverse range of ideas and audiences. This is a hugely exciting time to be a creator or appreciator of new music.”
Nigel Elderton, PRS Chairman, said: “Congratulations from all of us at PRS for Music to the well-deserved winners from this year’s British Composer Awards, and thank you for the fantastic music you create which continues to enrich our lives.”
Photo credit: Mark Allan
(5 Dec 2018)